Grades are just people's opinion on you.
My second year's teacher at Singapore Polytechnic, Ken, once told us in his class that grades are just people's opinion on us. This statement is not universally true. For instance, if you were doing a maths question and you got it wrong hence your teacher grade you down. That doesn't mean your teacher has a bad opinion on you, it just means you are wrong.
But the statement certainly holds true for design related grading, which is very subjective. Most of my teacher tried to convince us that they were being objective during the critique, but how can that be? I am not convinced and I don't think critique should be objective. It should be subjective, because I believe that we should judge a design based on our perception and our opinion. I can't imagine anything more boring that during critique one teacher agreeing with the others. I somehow feel that they are too afraid to offend the others opinion than they just go with it even though they don't share the same opinion with the other teachers.
When Ken told us grades are just people's opinion, he meant to be supportive and he didn't want grades to bring us down. After all, people have their own opinion every time and everywhere on what we wear, what we are doing, how we should behave, etc. We should not give a damn to those harmful opinions. Because if we give a damn of every single thing people said to us, we will end up doing nothing, we will end up being a crowd-pleaser, we will end up going nowhere.
But don't know whether Ken realized it not, because he is also saying that people who grade you down mean they have a bad opinion on you. Hence, grades are also means for us to see whether people like us or not. It is a way for us to see them they way they see us.
Well, whatever what people's opinion on us, we should not let ourselves be content or brought down. We should always aim higher and fight to be better.
The moment we feel content, we are done, we will not get anywhere.
The moment we feel brought down, we are done, we will not get anywhere.
For me, bad opinions are motivating, they empowers me to prove those who look down on me that they are wrong.