Anywho, I've given more thought to this subject since.
Grades are really injuring my will to learn. I've been intent on getting the grades that I want, and trading my health in the process. Then I feel terrible and do terribly on assessments, so I work even harder. It's a vicious cycle.
The other day, in APLAC, my teacher questioned, for the sake of his curiosity, how students' educations would be different did grades not exist, and in their stead were written letters of whether each student passed a class or not. He realized that there were immediate faults to the system, such as bias against or for a student, as well as students "sucking up" to the teachers. After a minute of discussion, we returned to the topic that we had been discussing previous to the question concerning grades.
So I thought that there has to be a better system to ensure a student's proficiency. I believe it to be more beneficial for students to understand concepts and apply them instead of continuing the practice of the cold hard memorization of facts, equations, and random exceptions. The majority of these facts, equations, and exceptions eventually fade from memory, however, so all the studying done was but a waste of time, energy, and effort, all three of which are absolutely priceless.
I liked the idea of the written letter of proficiency, but I decided that there were just too many immediate and indirect flaws for it to be effective.
I brainstormed a little, trying to find a better way, the solution to all of this cheating and failing and inability to truly learn and understand. What did I come up with? Nothing.