Completion credit never made sense to me. Why tell your students ahead of time that they would receive a passing grade for merely completing the assignment. Where does this teach them to take pride in their work? To make sure each answer is correct and each problem is dutifully explained. If you know that you only have to finish the project, why make sure it is your best effort? This system seemed flawed, and it didn’t work for me. I wanted to explain to teachers the error of their ways. If the students new you were not examining their work, then they wouldn’t immerse themselves into the task and learn.
I never liked completion credit. I took each assignment seriously. Completion credit or not, I was going for the A. I was going to do the assignment like my life depended on it. I have mentioned in previous entries that I am a nerd, right? Point taken. Can we say teacher’s pet? Maybe.
With that being said, I have never competed in a sporting event for completion credit. I always found a big difference in doing something for fun, and doing a race. Races are fun, but if I am doing a race, I am going to race. Half Ironman? I want to qualify for worlds. Running race? I was there to win. Century? I am not threatened by a century, I can go slow if I want, or I can go fast. A century is not a race. Anything with a timing chip, a medal, a t-shirt, or a plaque, you might as well go for it. Am I competitive? Not in the least. Focused? Possibly. A little OCD? Most likely. I enjoy pushing my limits and building strength by putting myself into competitive situations.
Then that takes me to my latest endeavor. Cyclocross. I have competed at my previous 3 races. Or at least attempted to, the acrobatics of crashes aside. However, I found myself on a technical course. A course that had elements that were above my comfort level. But that’s why I am there, right? To push the envelope. To gain experience and skill to assist in my road racing. But it wasn’t worth injuring myself over. I was still smarting from the previous crash, and was not willing to take a risk that could jeopardize my road season. I found myself competing in an event for completion credit. Did I get “credit” for finishing such a difficult race? Maybe. It wasn’t difficult in power or fitness, it was difficult in skill. I went from wanting to compete, to wanting to survive. I finished the race. I didn’t even try to compete in the race, but I finished. I finished safe and sound. Mission accomplished? I guess, but it still leaves a slight bitter taste in my mouth. I don’t go for safe. I don’t go for survival. Yet, in a sport that is beyond my limits, I will take a simple “check” for completion credit. Race finished. Pack up the bike, get on my road bike and get some base miles under my November belt.
I still don’t believe in completion credit, but I will have to admit I am glad the concept exists every now and then. Now, what grade would have gotten?