Music School/Work

My Criticism of GPA

Ah yes, my rant of today: Grade point average. Why is a single number so important to getting into the right courses, knowing the right people and securing the right jobs? To me, GPA is just that – a number. It gives a general sense of how an individual performs academically and how well they conform to university’s standards. But it also fails to account for creativity and divergence. It rewards people who are machines – disciplined enough to comply with requirements and intellectually curious enough to ask the occasional question – but nothing more than that.

A good example is my course CSC309, Which I now have a page on, The professor who gave me a 27 on my project seemed to completely disregard my experimentation with the tools I used. He wanted conformity, homogeneity and uniformity in the projects. I gave him something different, a bit prettier in my opinion, but perhaps too much of a deviation for him.

My point is, the system is flawed. For example, some courses require minimum GPA of 2.5 but in reality there is no way to get exactly 2.5. A C+ is a 2.3 and a B- is a 2.7. So what is a 2.5? Somewhere between a C+ and a B-. Somewhere between a 67 and a 70. Why couldn’t it be 2.3 or 2.7 to be exact? That’s my ridicule of this system. It is not a predictor of whether someone is going to be successful or not in the future. Yet life rewards those who conform with scholarships, internships and scorn those who do not achieve that magic number.

GPA doesn’t tell you about great orators or great musicians or great writers or great artists. There’s no GPA cutoff to be President of the United States. There’s no GPA cutoff to be CEO of a Silicon Valley startup. My friends, Innovation and Leadership are what makes you successful – not GPA.

I’ve been playing The Beatles Rock Band recently, and some of the songs are pretty good. As a result, here is the song With a little help from my friends on both piano and guitar. Unfortunately, no John Mayer or Jason Mraz this time, I’ll try to do some next time but my recordings are often spur of the moment.

Piano version:

Guitar version: