Bird courses aren’t going to fly

Photo by Alex Trkulja

Bird course. Easy A. We all know what these are and have all seen students go out of their way and demand to know which courses offered at Laurier can be called one.

The prospect of a class on your schedule which can seemingly fade into the back of your mind and still pass with a decent mark while you focus on the things which “matter” is a tempting one.

Sometimes, when bogged down by the stresses and trials of life, it is a comfort knowing that a part of your education can be lumped out of that anxiety, your GPA won’t suffer and you can still have a full course load. I take no issue with this concept, but what concerns me is the fearful attitude that could come with applying yourself fully.

In all the desire for an easy A and taking a course you can breeze through, there lurks a denied fear of a true challenge to your academic prowess.

For many of us who don’t see ourselves continuing our education past this point in our degrees, this is our last chance to prove our intellectual mettle, see how smart we really are and learn what we can get out of our education once we become invested.

The idea that there are people who only want to coast through their degree, making it as easy as possible around every corner, is fundamentally undermining the purpose of higher education.

So what if that course you considered taking has a “hard marker?” Who cares that the credit you need has “too many assignments?”

You only get out of education what you put it into it and shirking away from the challenge of it all shows how little you care about the process itself.

Yes, failure can be a terrifying consideration and your GPA is important to consider. Sometimes, however, it isn’t all about how may 90’s you get on your midterms.

Sometimes it is about what you learned about yourself in regards to what you (as a student or a person overall) are capable of.

Succeeding in a bird course is meaningless because, by definition, everyone is meant to do just as well. You become just one more “pass” in the crowd of hollow achievement. I don’t see how anyone can feel good about that, especially to the point they model their whole path through university by that standard.

Personally, I’d take a course where I know I will fail if I try and drift through it, over one that I don’t ever have to care about.

If I am going to earn a degree at this level of education, I want to have the personal satisfaction of knowing that I earned it without ever being fearful to test what I am capable of doing. I want to get something more than a diploma.

I personally was offered to take a graduate school course in my fourth year over the summer and jumped at the opportunity.

Am I currently confident I will be attending grad school in the future? No. Do I see failure as a potential result of this undertaking?

Of course I do, because that’s what makes the experience so rewarding and the “pass” all the more satisfying.

Take your bird courses here and there to relieve some of that academic stress. But never become complacent with the meaningless “A” you get out of it. In my mind, you learned nothing that counts.

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