My son is taking ceramics in school. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this. He has an opportunity to be creative and play with an unfamiliar medium (why is it that mama always gets most excited about the arts -- cooking, sewing, ceramics, creative writing?).
His final project was a tea pot. A gorgeous tea pot. There was only one eensy problem. The handle broke. He thought he could glue it but then another student came by and broke it even further. Beyond repair.
He brought the pot home today and I have to admit -- I'm enamored. I especially love the lid with its brown patina and hint of green where it meets the yellow knob (I'm struggling to get a good photo here in my winter dark kitchen but trust me -- it's charming).
This broken tea pot is a thing of beauty and it will have a forever home on my windowsill. What makes me sad is that this pot must receive a grade. Grading this creative effort seems so silly. Is it perfect? Of course not. But there is no shame in making mistakes. There is no shame in failure. How else is one to learn? And who are we to place judgment? And to what end?
Certainly I understand a grade for participation. Did you show up? Did you try? Did you learn? A resounding yes? Then A++.
"There is no such thing as failure. There are only results".
Of course we need to know where the errors lie. Sometimes they are obvious like a broken tea pot handle. Other mistakes are more covert like a missed decimal point. So perhaps I'm not so much against the grading as the labeling.
Mistakes are simply an opportunity to learn. To be bigger and better than before.
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."