Recently, the editors here at the Oredigger received a letter from an upperclassmen. In that letter, said upperclassmen laid out an argument in support of the notion that this years’ underclassmen are the whiniest bunch of wimps ever. Apparently, there was a failure to communicate. See, this upperclassmen(whom I shall heretofore refer to as “Sense of Entitlement”) was basing their opinion in large part on my articles complaining about various inconsistencies I have observed and been a victim of at this most illustrious school. Apparently, Sense of Entitlement read my comments and interpreted “Why can’t we have exams that are representative of actual homework?” as “Why can’t we have exams that are as easy as CU Boulder’s?”
Now, I don’t bring this up just to make fun of upperclassmen. I like upperclassmen. Without them, I’d be in major trouble and life would suck. End of story. My purpose in writing this response is to bring to attention what may be considered another strange inconsistency here at Mines. This inconsistency is perhaps the more insidious, because of all people upperclassmen should be the ones trying to encourage and support the underclassmen that are experiencing the difficulty of this school and haven’t yet learned how to deal with it. See, Entitlement didn’t offer any hope, they merely called me out for suggesting that what we’re being given to do is unfair and expecting too much.
To clarify, I by no means want to say that upperclassmen are not supportive. I have many great friends that have been of immeasurable help and without whom I would be, as previously stated, in trouble. The lack of constructive criticism in Entitlement’s letter was in stark contrast to the support I have received from my other friends. This wouldn’t be an issue, except that I am unwilling to believe that anyone, no matter how smart, has made it through this school without the help of upperclassmen. Shouldn’t it logically follow that Entitlement should at least be supportive and possibly even encouraging in their response?
The reality is that Entitlement’s response wasn’t even apt, based on what I actually said. See, I was complaining that some of the exams given in certain classes at this school are far more difficult than the homework, practice exams, lab work, book problems, etc. Entitlement must have understood that to mean that I was complaining about how hard the class was, which I was not. I don’t want to cheapen the reputation of this school or my degree by making the classes easier, but I do want to be able to keep my GPA to a decent level. The problem with making the exams more difficult then practice exams, is that I study to the point where I can understand the practice problems and can do all of them without too much difficulty. When I get to the exam and realize that most of the problems are much more difficult then any of the practice problems, I find it impossible(or at least very difficult) to do well on them. Thus, my GPA falls and I lose my financial ability to attend Mines.
Mines is a great school. I will do my utmost to uphold the reputation of this school, and I am sorry if my complaints have served to degrade this school in the minds of it’s students. At the same time, these inconsistencies must be addressed, and maybe I am the one who needs to do the addressing. While I don’t appreciate being called a whiny little kid who can’t handle Mines, I do appreciate being called out for complaining too much. I have realized that, as a school, we have a pretty bad habit of complaining about the difficulty of classes, tests, professors, and life in general. Perhaps a better course of action would be to seriously consider how we can work together and make this school even better. So, Entitlement, thank you for your letter. I look forward to any further communication you decide to give.