Why Failing Isn’t “Failing” in a Cumulative Threshold Based Pedagogy


Sorry, I just like to start pieces already contradicting people.

Thought problem: If you are able to achieve above the median mark on any assessment, but below the next grading bracket; is that a sort of “high pass”? The answer to your question is, of course, “shut-up”.

I would not call that a “high pass”, I would call it a full university credit on path to feigning merit by pointing at a piece of paper that no one will ever want to see. In other words success!

This is doubly so in any system where education, inspiration, knowledge sharing, praxis apprenticing, and wisdom fostering are not of any particular priority at all – thus, via a system of summing and meaning, a number is produced to represent you: full of sound an fury, signifying nothing.

Namely, any threshold, tick box system predicated, institution of paper winning pseudo applause, who will give out a gown and a cap in exchange for unimaginative memorization, rehashing and paraphrasing (*& a small fee, of course).

I’m just joking; the fee isn’t small.

But since here you are, we may as well keep going. There is nothing anywhere else.

AJ Casper, CJ Casper & J(J)R (2014). The Tuvex System: Review, Chron of Lett. Ed3. 01-05.

Tuvex – AA123ZZZ


<<Why Failing Isn’t “Failing”: Ode to Mark  Why Failing Isn’t “Failing”: Sum>>

Why Failing Isn’t “Failing”: Ode to Mark

See, if you are looking at marks, it is not like any single piece is really worth 100% as a thing in itself; certainly not in any meaningful sense that I am willing to grant. Rather, the entire class is worth, say, 400%.

This is the better way to think about it, because it is more useful (eg 1x 10% assignments, 1x 10% participation in labs/section or research, 1 x20% midterm exam & 1 x 40% final – but each out of 100 marks – taken as part of a birds-eye view whole; a whole that is to be measured from any given end game scenario imaginary future, complete with full emotive adoration, to the point we will call “now”).

This construct has a more even temper and is why you ALWAYS hand things in. Because, as should be apparent, getting 9% on the midterm isn’t a “fail” on the midterm – it is 9% that still counts as part of the over all “200%” competency to practice, which is required to access the next region of focus that you will be told is definitely truer and more important than anything you have done,  in a given field. Does this make sense?

That is why failing is never worse than not handing something in. For you see, 9% shows that you barely get the topic anywhere near well enough yet, true, and if you are not sleeping with a professor or something (…like sleeping with a professor >>), you should probably be using circle paper and be wearing mittens that conveniently attach to the torso of your jumper. Indeed, you may be shocked to realize that this could well be an indication that your long term, and back up, planning systems are highly faulty. It is probably brain cancer of one sort or another.

I wouldn’t presume anywhere frontal sub/frontal, off the bat, or even cortex at all necessarily. But you will die from it. Or not. I’m a little uncomfortable having this conversation with you, if I’m being honest. And it is none of my business.

However, the results are further enlightening, stating clearly that:

1) If you seek the perceived benefits of the gown and paper, you better try and pick up marks on the finals more actively, and;

2) That, in truth, it is simply not as informative (and I would argue therefore accurate) to say:

“You got the majority of the questions dead wrong, GaWd – looser ! Nice face >:|”

then it is to say:

“You were just 1% away from passing that exam, and that means are really one step closer to all the happiness paper and textile symbols from antiquity can bring”

And, without coming across as too sappy: you may even be forgiven for thinking from time to time something along the lines of:

“what does my grade really matter anyway? Especially compared to all the neat stuff I’ve learned in the course of my studies, wow: what an adventure life is!” (kidding. That would not be forgiven, at all.).

None the less, iff the microcosm describes the macrocosm as it describes the microcosm, as it often does [fact]; then you only need to get +1% on the other assessment and you will pass the course just fine. Or not. I’m just saying there is aliens out there.

Perhaps I better sum up.

Why Failing Isn’t “Failing”: Sum

1) This moment is all it is

And by “it” I mean “you”.

2) Those who don’t do didn’t do, diddy did

Study costs a lot (too much?). Enough that one best hesitate before making the decision of retaking a course, once it is paid for. The situation will be the same in that this moment next term as well. Believe me.

3) I have a lot going on right now, will it really be not be easier later once, things have calmed down: you don’t mean cases like mine, do you?



In fact just you.

Not even especially you – JUST you. That is right – do not refresh your set- I am confirming that for you, and you alone, this will be the case. Everyone else is having no trouble.

They finished it a week ago, actually. Got extra holidays from work and quite enjoyed writing it. Fascinating subject. They were a little nervous at first about the work load, but ultimately they found it easy. And all while winning the lottery and falling in love. To be fair though, they do have more time and less responsibility, what, with that new promotion they have just accepted. In Paris. And somewhere you like, it has just slipped my mind, but yeah: there. Beautiful spot. Six months of the year is spent in each, with 8 weeks off over  summer.

Also, their partner is really supportive, the grandparents help out with the kids, and their family were already “Oil Barons” anyway: study was just a lark to them while their trust matures.

The truth is; all the money in the world doesn’t necessarily come in handy, not like one may be inclined to expect it would. Case in point: for everyone you know (outlined in the paragraph above) – no problems ever occurred. So they didn’t even need the money it turns out. How bout that?

Irrespective: the future isn’t real, other people don’t exist and you are already in this moment; so get in it.

3) Additionally, few Professors murder students (too few?) for writing a paper they had to mark where the professor found to there amazement they didn’t learn something novel in or get moved to tears by  the very script craft.

Nor do they want to be.

They are dusty, angry, lost faith in their field a decade ago, and to top it all off: the bondage club closes before 9pm tonight under the new “paraphillic restraint restraint” legislation. They definitely do not want what you are selling. Probably. They might. But the point is they don’t.

And they want even less for their TA’s. They really quite hate them. It isn’t about budgets or time restrictions – it is just spite. Their half borrowed, mostly twisted patchwork of memory understanding of someone else’s half borrowed, mostly twisted patchwork of memory understanding and medication slanted view on this, that or the other disgusts them and reminds them of themselves, when they were seen through their parents eyes at that age.

Urgh. You can’t fault them, you really really can’t. And so, understandably, they get a little kick out of a little pain, and they aren’t too picky about the “Who”; the “entire band is optional. And what is wrong with that? There are more ways for you to choke a cat with butter without breaking a few eggs, after all. And, again, that is “you” personally, reader.

Why Failing Isn’t “Failing”: Crux

Time (if it “is”) is too valuable by most definitions to resubmit items. Grades can be repaired and manipulated in a variety of ways, so don’t worry about that now.

And certainly do not invent something not yet on your path, invite it inside, tell it to bring a few friends and make itself comfortable, and then cloak them all in piss, v*negar and an ideal study “miracle world” concept that has more plot holes in it then a summer action blockbuster that is still historically informative, and roughly based on a true story, only with a twist that ruins it and more pixels per explosion. Perfect to take a first date along to.

This “better, later, future” fairytale you have invented is stupid. The characters are weak, plot thin, poorly cast and acting and dialogue is truly awful.

And what is more – it will not happen. Doesn’t exist. Only now exists. And what you do now, is then. So do this.

Why Failing Isn’t “Failing”: Final Thoughts

Why damage your body, and bootielicious* efficacious selfless, with half commitment to an experience? While you pretend to complete the exercise by researching “extensively >>”- you could actually be completing the exercise by researching extensively.

No one is saying magic up energy that isn’t there.

Nor arguing that one should manufacture desire or interest that is hampered, rather than convincingly enhanced  and/or inspired, by the particular offending educational or vocational experience.

However, it is the case that a focused strike with the energy one can spare will often be successful enough to continue to propel a path forward. But the shaft is only 2 meters across and is located in a minor trench that is heavily guarded. Even with the targeting computer – it would take a direct hit to begin the chain reaction to a better life, that you haven’t thought about with concern to being, and therefore do not deserve.

I’m kidding again, that was mostly Star Wars. Mostly. Can’t end on that. Lucas is litigious as my mother in a den of rattle snakes who fed on the blood of Lionel Huts.

How about:

Do not let a possible 9 out of 100 become a certain 0 out of 400 – especially when you only need 200, and it all counts.

Or not.

AJ Casper, CJ Casper & J(J)R (2014). The Tuvex System: Review, Chron of Lett. Ed3. 01-05.

Under Review: TArth/14-RVwXXwCJA/0501

Original publication:

J. (J). R. (2012). Why Failing Isn’t Failing, Chron. Lett. Sci, Ed (4). 14/4-30.

*Applies only to those of legal age in their region or territory.


About J.Chron.Ltt.&Sci. [JCR]

~CogSc (Humor); NeuroPsych; Philosophy (Death/Identity); Methods (Research); Intelligence/Investigation (Forensic); Medical Error~
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