The inspiration for this piece comes from two disparate sources: (1) President Barack Obama, who during a recent interview on Oprah, gave himself a B+ for his work so far as president and then explained the circumstances prevailing against him to keep his grade from being even higher; and (2) my experience teaching freshman composition at community colleges, during which time I've heard plenty of excuses, explanations, protests, and pleas from students who were convinced, for no reason whatsoever, that they deserved a higher grade than the grade I assigned them (the grade they had earned).
So with tongue in cheek, here's my version of Obama on grades...
Hi, Professor America. This is Barack, from your first-term class. I was hoping I could talk to you for a minute after class. It's about the B+ you gave me. I mean, no offense, but I really earned an A, you know.
Well, yeah, I know that my grade averages out to an 85. No, no, I can see it's generous to bump up an 85 to a B plus instead of just a B, but still... I should have earned an A in this class, and I deserve an A. It's not my fault that my grade-point average isn't higher.
First of all, there's that guy, George Bush.Yeah, sure, he graduated, like, over a whole year ago and all, but he's still messing up the freshman classes, and he's not even on campus anymore. The dude is a crazy legend, man... kind of like Ferris Bueller. You can't fight that kind of mojo!
And secondly, I totally would have done better in class if the Constitution had told me what was going to be on the test, but it didn't, which is totally unfair! I mean, no one can succeed on a test if no one tells them what to study, right? You could tell I read the Declaration of Independence, right? Why didn't you curve the grades for me?
And third, it's totally not my fault that the dog ate my homework. I mean, that almost never happens. Dogs usually only eat elementary school homework and they leave you alone by the time you get to high school. I think the last time a sitting president had his homework eaten by a dog was, like, Millard Fillmore...and that was so long ago. If I had known that was going to happen, I would have bought the kids a cat.
Anyway... Maybe you could give me an extra credit assignment? I'll work really hard on it, and get it in on time, I promise!