An A is an A...and a C is a C

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By Alice Du Pont

It has been a long time ago since I was in school, and there have been a lot of changes. In my opinion, some of those changes have made things better and some have not.

Let's just take honor roll. Making it was a big deal in elementary, middle and high school. It meant that you had applied yourself to your studies and the reward was to publish your accomplishments and knowing that you had earned academic distinction. When you made the roll you walked around the school proudly for days after it was posted on bulletin boards throughout the school, and in the local and school newspapers. Other students would single you out and point saying, "She made the honor roll." And if you consistently made the it, you became one of the elite.

A lot of students, including my brother Carl, couldn't care less about the honor roll. It wasn't that he couldn't make it; he was content getting passing grades so that he wouldn't get punished by our parents. He loved to make things and fix things and he was, and still is, really good at building and repairing.

All of these years I have thought that making the honor roll reflected high academic grades like earning A’s and high B’s. Flipping through our paper this week, I saw the A/B/C Honor Roll. How can you make a C and be on the honor roll?

C’s have always meant, at least to me, being average. You don't get rewarded for being average. If you can make the honor roll with a C, what's the point in trying to get an A? There is still the A Honor Roll and the A/B Honor Roll, so I guess students could strive for that distinction.

But I am perplexed by the A/B/C Honor Roll. Just what is it and how does one make the honor roll by being average? I called several people at the school district office and no one seemed to know.

The only thing that Elizabeth Turner, elementary school coordinator, and I could rationalize is that a student maybe got a C grade in one subject and in other classes earned enough A’s and B’s to balance it out to a 3.0 grade point average, which is the criteria for the honor roll.

She promised to check into it further and let me know what her research turned up.

I can hardly wait.