August 28, 2007

Grade that!

A unique grading system and some rampant sexism.

I'd caught up with some old college friends a while ago, and the reminiscences of our alternate culture and lifestyle were interesting. We had our own slang, replete with convoluted expressions which bore an extraordinary resemblance to contemporary spoken gibberish.

Take, for example, our grading system. The instruction division, in its infinite wisdom, had chosen to adopt a grading system which would award a student one of five grades for each course. These grades were the first five alphabets, A thru E. The students, feeling the need for a more fine-grained grading system, came up with their own supplement, which included grades such as CT, Sack B, Fight C etc.

Lets say that students who scored between 50% to 65% in a course were awarded the grade B by the institute. The students grading system worked thus:

  1. 50% to 53% was a "Fight B", meaning he had to put a fight to get the 'B' grade.
  2. 54% to 61% was a "Sack B", meaning he wasn't in danger of dropping to a lower grade, nor was he honour-bound to "fight" for an A.
  3. 62% to 65% was a "A Missed", meaning the poor chap tried to make an A, but missed.
  4. "CT" refers to the course topper, and usually just one student in an entire course got that.

My own CGPA would tell the casual observer that I'd made a lifetime of "Sack C"'s with an occasional B or an A thrown in. And that's not quite far from the truth.

The scope of this system extended beyond grading. I remember back in 1999 (I think), a few of us fresh grads were hanging out in a sidewalk cafe and discussing the relative "hotness" of the women passers-by in these terms:

Grad1: The one in red... I would say a B Missed.
Grad2: Are you blind, man ? She's obviously a Sack B. Jeez.
Grad1: Oh come on... her hair's a mess, clothes fit bad, and she could do with a few more pounds.
Grad2: Oh alright. But I still think she's atleast a Fight B.