Don’t dis the standards

They said not to dally. They said to complete them early so the stress and pressure doesn’t crush you like Giles Cory. Instead, you just kept saying, “more weight.”

But you don’t blame yourself, you blame this establishment and its insane board of directors for implementing these heinous, absurd standards. How dare they apply these superficial tests on top of your heavy workload? On top of your major and minor requirements, class requirements, athletics, work, all the frames of reference and Soundings — not to mention you exorbitant social life — they expect this?

Nonetheless, they warned you. Through your orientation classes and your first-year seminar, they told you time and again that waiting would only make it harder. They tried to make it easy for you. They even tried to implement these tests into your required classes, but you still procrastinated.

It seems now the sand has run through the hourglass and the weight and pressure of your situation has you asphyxiating. It is now, or never. The game is on. The prize: your diploma.

Most Castleton students’ college experiences do not turn out this way. It is, however, an ever-present nuisance that plagues the minds of students until they pass the required graduation standard tests.

The tests, implemented circa 2005 by Castleton’s board of directors, were meant to provide students with a fundamental basis of what they should know and be able to accomplish as a college graduate in the real world.

“The ideal is that students are graduating with confidence and understanding about what the college is defining about college level competence,” explained Dean Yasmine Ziesler. “The Board of Trustees wanted to create something as a matter of policy saying that the state colleges cannot give someone a diploma unless they can meet these kind of basic requirements.”

The problem with the tests is that they can be completed almost whenever the student feels ready.

“I forgot about it for the most part, and when I thought about it, I just suppressed it again until I really had to deal with it,” recalls senior Kate Philips. “It was easier to say ‘I’ll do it later’ or ‘I’ll get around to it when I’m less busy.’

“You don’t think about all of the stuff you have to do to transition out of college, getting a job, finding somewhere to live and everything… That’s why it’s good to get it out of the way early, so you can focus on what you really want to do later.”

In fact if students really are ready to move onto the real world, then they should be ready to handle things expected and required of them, despite time restrictions, conflicting schedules or desires, or any other fathomable excuse.

Despite the relevance or importance of the content of any given test to any given person’s life, if they are college educated, they should be able to overcome it.


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