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September 25, 2007

Don’t Be a Slave to the Curve

It starts again. Every semester, when we run grade curves, we also run an editorial imploring everyone to view those curves more as a tool to asses your relative understanding of material and what classes to take going forward than as a ruler with which to measure your own personal worth (which should instead be measured by just how well you do in your more … extracurricular activities; please see Solicitations on page ____). And every semester this editorial goes unread as people run straight to the grade curves and commence the ego-crushing exercise of comparing their own performance to that of the 900 other brilliant minds enrolled at our Law School.


Seeing as you’ve already skipped over this editorial and gone straight to the grade curves on pages [_____], there is nothing we can do to prevent the same thing from happening this year. Sure, we could remind you that it wasn’t just your academics that got you in here. Sure, we could point out that Michigan is a great school so it doesn’t matter as much how well you do. Sure we could put smiley faces around the grade curves. But, ultimately, none of it would help.
That is why we are taking stronger measures this year. Before you are allowed to read the grade curves (go ahead, try to turn to them now, you’ll find you can’t!) you have to sign the following, recognizing that you are more than your GPA.

I (please print name) ___________________, the undersigned, being of at least marginally sound mind and only slightly inebriated body, do hereby acknowledge that grades are not everything. I understand that however my recent academic performance stacks up compared to my peers, I will be getting a job offer when I graduate. I further acknowledge that, in the event I do not listen to this advice and I die as a result of taking the grade curves too seriously, I, on behalf of myself, my agents, heirs, and assigns, do hereby hold the RG harmless for having provided them to me. I further leave my entire life savings to the RG for their discretionary use.

Name: ____________________________
Date: _____________ GPA: __________