Thursday, December 18, 2008

Appraisal system - it happens again

When I was at form 6, my school organized a 5k run event. In my school, only form 6 has girl students, so we were like 150 females running for the top 10 places. Despite being the third one to pass the arrival line, I was not called up on the stage to receive the trophy. Everyone who knew me were surprised, they thought I had been disqualified. The fact was, the girl who recorded the top winners didn't have her glasses that day. Coincidentally the fourth one who arrived was also from my house (with purple house shirt), she thought we were the same person, thus listing the fourth winner as the third one and subsequently I got eliminated from the list and everyone behind me got upgraded a place. I was very upset as I was waiting for the glory moment on the stage, receiving the trophy from our handsome headmaster. Realizing the mistake, the organizers wanted to make another trophy for me, but I had lost my interest. It was about the moment, not the trophy.

The same situation happened when I was in my MBA class. Each year before the commencement day, a professor would dress in her gown and announcing and distributing a certificate to graduating students who managed to get first class on their grade. I was waiting for the proud moment. Surprisingly, I was not on her list. Later the secretary told me that they had forgotten me as some of my classes were taken outside of this main campus. I was disappointed.

Recently I experienced this injustice moment once again. I was at our class gathering and some classmates mentioned about the ranking on our grade transcript. They laughed about it as someone who has higher grade were ranked lower than others. One guy was noted as "unrankable" as he didn't take the full exam. I was confused as there was no ranking on my transcript. When I got home, I checked my transcript and I saw some number and thought I was ranked 21 out of 23 students. I couldn't believe it. Hubby just laughed it off and said grade was not important. I agreed. But I have always thought that we should give credit where it is due. Also, I couldn't be sure if I won't need this transcript to apply for another courses in the future in case I move to another country and ranked 21 out of 23 is simply unacceptable. So I wrote to the school secretary. And guess what? She replied and said indeed I should be ranked number one in the class and she didn't know why it didn't appear on my transcript. She didn't know whether it is still possible to change it. Seems like luck is not on my side, again.

Hubby couldn't understand what is to be upset about. From his reaction, I realized that we grew up in a completely different environment and education system. Since primary school, I was given grade and ranking. You would be praised if you are able to be on the top three of the class and you would receive present from the school in front of everyone. Your achievements are to be shared with everyone else. During graduation ceremony, those who got first class are going to receive the certificate first then followed by second class and third class.

The appraisal system just work differently here. No gift if you are number 1 in class. No graduation ceremony. No competition within classmates and peers. I don't know which system is better, but I do prefer to have some praises from time to time.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:00 PM

    Hi Bee Ean,
    I think your hard work should be rewarded and recognized! What does she mean they can't do anything about changing your rank from 21 to 1? That's a huge difference. I hope they'll be able to do something about it because it's important to you and you deserve it!