OK, so Indigo Luna posted today her feelings of dismay over the often-uncomfortable but always unavoidable "kids grades." (and, by the way, big bleachy from probably most of us!) Her dismay comes from the idea that grades get kids used to being judged based on the priorities, values or characteristics of others. Having to "measure up." Having other people tell you what you have to do, say or be in order to measure up. Yeah, that can suck.
But I also think of it this way: school is supposed to prepare you for the future. And in the future? People judge you. They weigh you, they measure you, they hold their own, personal yardstick up in front of you and decide if you pass muster. And there, like school, you don't get to decide what things should matter to them, what things are musterific.
For instance, say that nobody can hold a candle to you when it comes to the fine art of writing with your feet -- something that would be a prized skill in places, say, without hands -- but you're in handyville, a place overflowing with fingers and thumbs and the like. And here what they want is knitters, pearlers, those who are proficient in the cats cradle!
Or maybe you're the very bestest, bar-none, at alphabet burps. And not just the english alphabet, baby. Oh no, we're talking greek, chinese, ALL the various letters! But the job you're interviewing for? They want typing. They want phone skills. They want you to be on time. All the time! They want timeliness!!
Or maybe you're witty and dynamic and handy with a camera, not to mention un-shy and un-stoppable! But you're also thirty-(mufflednumbernoise), single, chubby, pushy and let's just call it "wordarific". And single. And single, single, single, and single. And the yardstick that the rest of the world uses to judge you doesn't have things like "dynamic" or "un-shy" on it, and things like "chubby" or "pushy" are there, but they're really low. (higher then "no hands" though -- keep it in perspective!) If I hadn't already learned how to handle the yardsticks of others this would be a big old surprise, people. But thanks to school, and to jobs, and to bars and the like? Bring it!!