Part of this is my fault that I did not start it sooner, but I’ve come to a major roadblock in my research. It seems, comparing the grade books and the college catalogue, that the Archives have mistakenly labeled the volume I was using. This whole time I was trying to make sense of the grades from the prep school, not the college. I discovered this with Jim and Malinda as I asked them for help trying to find the 1906 year. My reason for asking them was I discovered that the names did not match up.The Archives are working on getting me some individual gradebooks from professors, in hopes that might help.
Let me describe to you a little bit about how the grading system worked. Rather than be assigned an A, B, C and onward like they do today, they used to assign people grades that were based on point values. These values were taken out of 200 and assessed at the end of each semester, wherein they would be added to your final yearly grade. THen the number of demerits you received would be subtracted from your total, providing the final grade. For example, some of the higher ranking grades were calculated in the 3000s. The books that I was looking at only provided the grades from some courses, with no final grades added. The prep school grade book (which, like the other gradebooks, are approximately three feet by three feet and wiegh the same as a small child) was the only real source of complete, calculated final grades.
This means two things for my research. One, it means that I will have to hope that the archives has more gradebooks if I am going to make my research complete.
Second, this means that I can conclude in my research paper that there is little evidence to work with, and thus, we would be hard-pressed to find a treasure trove of evidence. Certainly, given enough time and money and research, every tiny bit of data can be arranged and analyzed, but without a solid definitive “body of evidence” I’m sunk. I think, however, that the conclusion that this cannot be researched is a valid conclusion. I mean, without any of the original gradebooks, we might never know exactly how women stacked up against men in the classroom.
Anyways, working on my first draft right now, sans research of course. Let’s hope it turns out okay.