Why Not to Participate

For the Participation That is 20 percent of My Grade,

I’m done with you. For years, I have tolerated your existence. For years, I have let the distasteful requirement that you are impact my academic experience. Hell, I’ve stood idly by and watched as you’ve taken my grade from a solid 95,  and shoot it down to an 80. Call me Taylor Swift, because we’re never getting back together.

I like to think that I’m a decent student. I turn my work in, I’m present in class. I even go as far as making sure I sit at the front of the classroom, placing myself in the danger zone of my professors. Even in light of this effort though, you have managed to deceive my educators in believing that you, participation, truly matter.

I don’t like speaking in a public setting. I feel as a student that my contribution to the classroom is best seen through the work I turn in. So when forced to speak, and threatened with daunting possibility of having 20 percent knocked off my grade, I feel panicked, and quite frankly, less inclined to speak.

So go ahead, knock my grade down. This is your invitation, your welcome letter in contributing to the destruction of my academic experience. I feel no need to conform the way in which I learn, or how I feel most comfortable, by the standards that you set. I feel neither pressure nor obligation to give into what you demand of me. This is my silent protest, and silent I will remain.

I’m the Angelina Jolie to your Brad Pitt, a long lived marriage meant to come to an end. As we encounter each other these last two years, trudging along to the finish line, please remember what you are: A waste of words that appear on every syllabus that I read. Damn it all, I am done with thee.


A Begrudging College Student

Shelby Barnes, Arts & Entertainment Editor