Thursday, February 4, 2010

Grading Rubric of Life


Hot chocolate date with Jaunt yesterday, as is our custom whenever the public school system has a snow holiday and she is temporarily freed from the shackles of teaching high school English. We always go to Chocolatea Cafe up by Hopkins. Recommendation: the Banana Split (dark chocolate with banana puree) or the Peanut Butter Cup (dark chocolate, creamy peanut butter, marshmallow.) Amazing.
Somehow, the conversation shifted away from choices, relationships, dating, literature, and the demographics of the school system in which Jaunt teaches to the AP English Essay Grading Rubric which looks a little something like this:

Essays to be graded on a 1-9 scale, with 1 and 9 being variants of the determinations below, in two minutes or less.
8- effective
6- adequate
4- inadequate
2- little success

Suddenly, it made perfect sense. The AP English Essay Grading Rubric translated smoothly and aptly to assessing individuals and their direct relationship to either
a.) planet earth
b.) other human beings
c.) planet earth and its population of other human beings.

"I'm being a 2 today," Jaunt said.

"Come on. You've never been anything less than a 5."

"There are a lot of houses in the land of 5," she countered.

"True, but I don't think it's a complete failure to come at life closer to adequate than not," I said. I could hope to be a 5. At the very least, I wanted to be something more than "inadequate."

"Pretty much everyone, to me, comes in at a 5. I don't like to judge too hastily," Jaunt said. Always the optimist.

Think about it. You know someone who's a 3. Hovering through life somewhere between "little success" and "inadequate." You probably even know someone who soars above the crowd at the zenith of 7 (lurking between adequate and effective at all things in life.) A truly effete individual might have sunk to the bottom of things down at a 2 (or a 1 on a truly horrid, inexplicable day.) I don't think I know anyone who is a 9. Beyond effective. I don't think I would want to be friends with a 9 because, in comparison, I would constantly feel like a 4. 4-minus, even.

On a good day, I like to feel I could settle happily in the land of 6. But, because I'm a writer, good days don't ever exist because you're never satisfied and constantly obsessed with the idea of dying inexplicably and becoming famous post-posthumously. So I could probably never even encroach upon the land of 8, though in my head there is some perfect version of me building mansions on the Boardwalk square of that particular game board.

Where do you fall?

That person who cut you off- definitely a 2.

The person who returned your wallet- a 5 operating at a karmic level of 9.

See how much easier this makes things?

1 comment:

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