Looking great

LinkedIn. We all use it. It’s American. 316 profile views. In what time-frame? Is that great? Based on what? Compared to whom? Who is doing the viewing?

And your “accomplishments are being recognized.” The word accomplishment is a big one. MerriamWebser defines it like this:

“The act or fact of accomplishing something; completion – accomplishment of a goal; a feeling of accomplishment; something that has been accomplished; achievement; her family is proud of her academic accomplishments; an impressive accomplishment.

316. Great !

An American in Berlin

German Feedback

“I started working for a German company a few years ago and was immediately excited to find that they had a culture of frequent feedback.

As the weeks went on, the feedback kept on coming. Very quickly, I began to see a pattern; it was almost entirely negative. All delivered amazingly well, with examples of how I’d fucked up alongside helpful guidance on how I might want to improve.

The onslaught continued; it was relentless. It became apparent to me that there was very little chance of me passing my probation period if this continued. So I buckled down, pushed myself to breaking point and put in those extra hours to save my job. But still, it kept continuing critical feedback, after critical feedback.

For the first time in my career, I was going to fail my probation period. There was no point in getting feedback on how I improve the situation. I was getting it daily. I was just shit.

So finally, my final probation review came around. Everything was excellent; the company was super happy with my progress and delivery. I passed my probation period with flying colours. But it had broken me. I was fried and burnt out.”

Feedback: Be a little German, Be a little American.

Americans Feedback

“I have recently started working in an entirely new industry, leading a small team. Shortly after joining, my team’s scope changed to a new problem space.

Again, this company had an active feedback culture and processes. Constant feedback was given to the team every two weeks from leadership. As we built the team and worked out how we were going to achieve our new goals, we got feedback all the time. And it was always positive.

This didn’t play well for me. I knew that there was no way that we could be that good, we were a team with little experience in what we were doing, how could we be doing that well? There must be areas for improvement.

As this continued, positive feedback began to feel more and more empty. I went hunting for critical feedback. Unfortunately, this manifested in me trying to find critical input for the team bellow me. I became overly focused on trying to find areas for improvement in the team.

The problem came to a head when one of my team said ‘I only get negative feedback from you, and I don’t know what to do about it.’ I was so focused on finding the negative areas that we could improve on, and I had not given any support for improvement. I had also failed to celebrate the positive.”

Mr. German Man is deflationary

An American woman. About how her German husband is deflationary with scores. And how she is inflationary. Can’t separate the two.

Now this woman is a youtuber. And an American on top. So, she is more than a bit animated. And frankly, she could have made her points in about two minutes instead of seven and a half. But wait, it’s YouTube. And not a webinar.

Begin watching at minute 4:00.

Rankings USA

Rankings – or standings – are particularly popular in the U.S. Where an individual, team, organization „stands“ is always in competitive comparison to other individuals, teams, organizations.

Examples of college and university rankings include US News and Business Report, Princeton Review College Rankings, College Prowler Traditional College and University Rankings. Subjects of rankings include Liberal Arts Colleges, National University, Research, Student Satisfaction, Diversity, Alumni Networks, among others.

Business school rankings are found in BusinessWeek, Forbes, US News Business School Rankings, Princeton Review Business School Rankings, Wall Street Journal Business School Rankings, Poets&Quants, the Economist. Subsets include region, country, specialization, composite, and endowment.

Law School rankings are found in Vault, LLM Guide, Princeton Review Law School Rankings, US News & World Report, Gourman Report, Hylton, Leiter, National Law Journal, QS World University Rankings, and Judging Law School Rankings.

Corporate rankings are found in Fortune 500, MarketWatch, Most Ethical Companies Rankings, Netweek Green Rankings, Careers.org Company Rankings, Forbes Company Rankings, SEO Company Rankings. Subcaterogies include revenue, ecologically friendliness, ethical behavior, innovation, size, industry, sector, social media presence, pay, employee satisfaction, and career development.

“I’d give it a B+”

August 10, 2015. 8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. National Public Radio (NPR). The segment is Marketplace. 

Stating that many students (pupils from elementary to high school) are returning to school, the announcer reports that school-related consumer shopping – supplies, clothes and electronics – is down 5% or more.

An expert is interviewed briefly. He is asked to give a grade for the disappointing results thusfar. His voice is low, unanimated, sounding a bit depressed: “I’d give it a B+.”

B+ is only half a grade from an A. And an A is considered to be excellent.

“Almost everyone gets an A”

A comment by a German with extensive experience at the university level in the U.S.: “I think the real issue here is not how grades are officially classified but that there is a much stronger tendency of grade inflation in the U.S. 

Almost everyone gets an A, whereas a B already feels like a failure even though it’s officially considered “good”. 

Germans – at least at university level – are much more likely to give a student a C and think that she/he did a good job. When professors give a B they think the student’s paper is great. A basically means a professor could have written this.”

Rankings

Rankings – or standings – are particularly popular in the U.S. Where an individual, team, organization „stands“ is always in competitive comparison to other individuals, teams, organizations.

Examples of college and university rankings include US News and Business Report, Princeton Review College Rankings, College Prowler Traditional College and University Rankings. Subjects of rankings include Liberal Arts Colleges, National University, Research, Student Satisfaction, Diversity, Alumni Networks, among others.

Business school rankings are found in BusinessWeek, Forbes, US News Business School Rankings, Princeton Review Business School Rankings, Wall Street Journal Business School Rankings, Poets&Quants, the Economist. Subsets include region, country, specialization, composite, and endowment.

Law School rankings are found in Vault, LLM Guide, Princeton Review Law School Rankings, US News & World Report, Gourman Report, Hylton, Leiter, National Law Journal, QS World University Rankings, and Judging Law School Rankings.

Corporate rankings are found in Fortune 500, MarketWatch, Most Ethical Companies Rankings, Netweek Green Rankings, Careers.org Company Rankings, Forbes Company Rankings, SEO Company Rankings. Subcaterogies include revenue, ecologically friendliness, ethical behavior, innovation, size, industry, sector, social media presence, pay, employee satisfaction, and career development.

„What’s the Point of a Professor?“

The New York Times online pubished an opinion piece by Mark Bauerlein, Professor of English Literature at Emory University in Atlanta, on May 9, 2015, entitled „What’s the Point of a Professor?“

In it Bauerlein – clearly an American of German descent – writes: „In 1960, only 15 percent of grades were in the A range, but now the rate is 43 percent, making A the most common grade by far.“

The auther further states that faculty members’ attitudes are kindly, too. In one national survey, 61 percent of students said that professors frequently treated them „like a colleague/peer,“ while only 8 percent heard frequent „negative feedback about their academic work.“ 

According to the survey more than half leave the graduation ceremony believing that they are „well prepared“ in speaking, writing, critical thinking and decision-making.“

„You can’t become a moral authority“, writes Bauerlein, „if you rarely challenge students in class and engage them beyond it. If we professors do not do that, the course is not an induction of eager minds into an enlarging vision. When it comes to students, we shall have only one authority: the grades we give. We become not a fearsome mind or a moral light, a role model or inspiration. We become accreditors.“

“A work of art”

Penguin. An American publishing house (a part of Random House, which was acquired by Bertelsmann). A flyer tucked into one of their books purchased via Amazon. Quotes by reviewers about some of those other Penguin books: 

“A work of art. One of the greatest political biographies ever written.”; “How non-fiction should be written.”; “Magnificent. I finished it with a sense of exaltation.”; “One of the world’s most original and provocative thinkers.”; “A mind-altering book.”; “The most important book on the Second world War in decades.”; “When you read it, you feel like you can topple giants.”

Scoring System

Superlative: Of, relating to, or constituting the degree of grammatical comparison that denotes an extreme or unsurpassed level or extent; surpassing all others, supreme; of very high quality, excellent; excessive, exaggerated. The superlative form of nice is nicest, bad is worst, of interesting is most interesting.

The American academic system – high school, university respectively – uses the following scoring: A excellent (high school), 4.0 (university); B good, 3.0; C satisfactory, 2.0; D pass, 1.0; F fail, no credit.

Grade inflation occurs when higher grades are assigned for work that would have received lower grades in the past. The American academic community has attempted time and again to address the problem of grade inflation, but have yet to establish workable standards.