Blog: Ballad of the grade zombies


Mia Karr, Print Editor-in-Chief

I could have survived in the days before the Internet. In the days before cell phones, or rotator dial phones, or fax machines. I could have lived happily before electricity or indoor plumbing. Before the printing press. Before the wheel. Before fire. However, sometimes late at night a terrible thought seizes me and I succumb to uncontrollable shivering- what did they do before Powerschool?

I need access to my grades at all times. Not only that, but I need to know that I can scroll to the bottom of the page and see my cumulative GPA any time, any where, in case of emergencies. I remember, sometime in the distant past, when I would first receive news of my grade on a test when it was handed back in class. Oh, how the world have changed. Now my Powerschool obsession intensifies whenever I know I have a test grade ready to potentially shatter my life into a million underachieving bits and I’ve left with no defense but to refresh, and refresh, and refresh, and refresh….

Is it an obsession? An addiction? Is it love? Either way, I’m not the only one afflicted. Many of my peers live in the comforting gray-blue color scheme that is Powerschool, subsisting off the jolts of adrenaline they receive when they see their grade has changed. When Powerschool was experiencing a glitch earlier this year, you could tell something was wrong- people were jumpier than usual, sweatier than usual. I thought there might be all out anarchy. (Especially among the sort of people that says “I just totally, like, failed that test” when they get a 91.)

Maybe the more important question is why we care about the numbers in the little boxes so much. When did our lives (and our home pages) become a glorified spreadsheet? I would provide the answer, but I don’t have time. I have to go calculate what grade I need on this column to maintain my A in English.