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    Why Grades DON’T Matter as much as You Think They Do

    Maybe a better title is “Schools don’t teach kids what they need to know”, but I won’t change it…

    Yeah, I know what you’re all thinking… “What a stupid 7th grader! He should know that Grades come before anything! If he gets bad Grades, he’ll get a bad job and basically fail life and have no money when he’s older!”
    My plan is to join the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard. (I haven’t decided yet, but for now, we’ll just say its the Coast Guard)
    But I can’t enlist until I’m 18, so I’m going to work somewhere like in a retail store before that. And I’m not even allowed to move out until I’m 18, so between the time I can get a job and when I move out of my parents house. So lets just say I will work at American Eagle or Aeropostale, my favorite clothing stores.
    You don’t have to be a nerd to work there, although it would help to get good grades. But, they don’t teach you how to sell stuff in Junior High, they don’t teach you how to use a cash register.
    So, lets skip that part of my life for now.
    Onward to the Coast Guard!
    Obviously, you don’t have to be a genius to get into the Coast Guard. I bet they will know that learning CPR and flying a helicopter are not required in school. So they won’t care if my grades aren’t good. (Maybe CPR is learned in Gym Class, but I never learned it in Gym so lets say its not, they didn’t teach it in my Gym Class). I don’t mean that straight N’s will get you anywhere, (Because they won’t) but I usually get C’s and B’s. They will teach me how to fly a helicopter, they will teach me CPR (If I already knew it (which I don’t) they will either teach me it or review it), they won’t care about algebraic equations, they won’t care if I can name the presidents or not, they won’t care if I can say everything in French, they would want me to rescue english speakers while I’m speaking English to them anyway.

    Same with the Army. Because they obviously teach you how to Fire an M-16 in Science, maybe Grades do matter! (If you’re a complete idiot and believe they are actually teaching us how to Fire an M-16 now, you should be back in school, and I was being sarcastic obviously).

    Maybe you don’t see my point, maybe you do. Parents probably want their children to get good grades so they can get a good job and NOT join the Military, but hey! When I’m 18 I’m a legal adult, and my parents then can only make recommendations, they can’t tell me if I’m going to join the Military or not. Parents just don’t want their son or daughter to be injured.

    So maybe you see my point, maybe you don’t. Everyone thinks grades matter more than anything, but if you choose a future at all similar to mine, Grades may still matter, but not as much. I’m not telling everyone you should just not care at all about Grades, they are a little important, just not the most important thing now! Probably the most important thing now is getting good at a sport or something. So you have a fallback if you don’t get into the Military because of the PHYSICAL test, not a “How smart are you” Test. The test is if you are strong enough, how good your eyesight it, how good your hearing is, stuff like that which won’t involve naming the presidents.


    Disagree or Agree! Whichever, comment your opinion!


    3 Responses

    1. You have not done your research into the military nor into real life. In order to join the military you must take and pass a placement exam. It involves the same mathematics and science that you should be learning in school. Granted if you do poorly on this exam you are just branded as non-officer material and hence left to be a grunt for the rest of your military “career”. Your physical abilities are useless if you do not have a brain to guide them. You are right in one sense though, grades do not matter. However, the material you are learning does. If you know everything they are trying to teach you then it does not matter what the actually letter grade they give you is. I am getting a PhD in math right now and I got B’s and C’s in grade school and even in high school because I knew everything before they taught it and so I did not care what letter they decided wanted to give me. This is not your situation obviously as you are making an entirely different argument.

      I have seen people who work in clothing stores who did not understand basic math, they don’t last long. Even though the registers pretty much do all the work for you now, you don’t understand just the basic competencies that you acquire by learning more material.

      If you are really going to the military, maybe you should talk to a recruiter and ask them how important they think math is. You will find out that the only ones who get to do anything interesting in life are the ones who have developed their mental abilities in science, math, even english (mostly writing abilities). The ones who give up on school because they are going to the army end up on the cleaning crew or performing repetitive mindless tasks because they cannot be trusted with more difficult assignments.

      You are being a stupid 7th grader saying that grades don’t matter for the reasons you have given. They really do not matter in one sense. They do not accurately portray how intelligent someone is. However, if you are actually smart and want to actually do good things in the military, then the easiest way for you to accomplish that is to play your teachers’ game for a few years and just get good grades. It is so easy to do anyways and then you can go into the army on the fast track to becoming an officer.
      Scott777: First off, I’m not one of the people who get all N’s, I get B’s and C’s and 1 A. I do understand basic Math, but you won’t have to know the answer to 5x+3y=15 to count how much clothing one person buys, or to add up the cost. I can add fine, and no one really is going to buy $700 of clothes in one store even though I probably could add up to that much. And the equation I showed before won’t help me shooting a terrorist. And even if I do become an officer, will that help me command my troops in battle? Common sense is different than naming the presidents. Naming the presidents won’t help you on the battlefield, but common sense will. Maybe sometimes I don’t think everything through before I do something, but knowing what type of lava comes out of a Shield Volcano won’t get me any more or less common sense. And you’re right on one thing, knowing how to do academic stuff will help me somewhere in life. But you go find someone in the military. Ask them what the answer to 5x+3y=15 is. Would they, people 10 years older than me, in what I want to do, know the math I’m doing right now? But maybe you should ask them a moire advanced question, because its really obvious that 5×3=15 and they could probably use that to find the answer. Ask them some High School Math. (You said you’re getting a PhD in math, you should know what some high school math is.) An officer would possibly know the answer, if they remember it or not. A regular soldier may or may not, and a cleaning person (or Army Janitor) would obviously not.
      And you do make another good point. Letter Grades don’t matter but what you know does. Maybe a better title for this is, “Schools don’t teach kids what they need to know“. And just another thing, if you don’t think I’m saying sensible things, think about my situation. I’m a 7th Grader. You’re getting a PhD in math. Try arguing against all your high school teachers, thats kind of what this is like for me. But then again, are you one of the parents who is always like “My kid has to be smart and get good grades!!”?

    2. I think you write very well for a seventh grader, even if you do have somewhat naive ideas about what is important to get what you want in life. The fact that you’re thinking this far ahead shows a level of maturity that a lot of your peers probably don’t have.

      Math and writing skills are important in every aspect of grown-up life; these should always be your biggest priorities in school. I think you’re selling yourself short if you can pass your classes without that much effort. I recommend you put in a little more effort in school and apply for ROTC college scholarships — get a free degree and come out a commissioned officer. That’s what your goal should be. I know several people who did this and they are very happy with the position they are in now.

      Aim high.

    3. Don’t think that what you know now qualifies you for a life that is successful in your terms. First off, your rhetorical question, “what is the answer to 5y+3x=15” shows this as there is no answer: it is a two-variable equation and can have an infinite number of “answers”. Don’t blow off middle and high school; though getting grades is not imperative, in things such as the army with high competition, the army cannot know who is good material and so they rely upon simple deciding factors such as test scores. Besides, choosing your career at this point (7th grade) is terrible for your future. Sure you’re focused, but, as a result, you close your mind to outside opportunities. I have many friends who simply wanted to join the army when they turn 18, and many did. But it isn’t a path I would suggest and may be one you will regret in the long run. Don’t think that it’s all about shooting terrorists or supporting your fellow teammates in combat; it’s not like the video games–though I’m sure you’re not that naive as to think that. What I’m trying to say is, it’s a life-changing experience and may not be one for the better. You’d be better off living your life through to your twenties and then joining when you’re more experienced and more likely to gain a better experience overall serving in the military; but hey, that’s just my opinion. It’s your life, just don’t be so hasty in choosing such a monumental decision in your life when you’ve got so much time ahead of you.

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