Gabriel Marcel, one of the prominent philosophers of the 20th century, had the "misplacement of the idea of function" as his point of departure or the crux of his discussion. This focal point, however, when translated into English, loses its sense of agency when compared to its French counterpart. For what Marcel wanted to dissect was not merely the misplacement of function: he wanted to examine function's desorbitation. Were there an English word for this, it would roughly correspond to a dis-orbiting; that is, it is a total and permanent loss of direction, not the temporary loss associated with a misplacement. What is misplaced suggests something that will be found once more sooner or later: this is not the case with a total deviation from orbit.
From what I have understood of him, he speaks as if most men have lost regard and respect to those things which are truly important to them: that we value things which, in the end, are meaningless. Although not the interpretation most pedagogues support or teach, I believe that the very essence of what he says is correct. Maybe I am writing this solely for escapist purposes; however, I believe this is more fruitful than sulking all day long.
It is because I believe that we have disregarded the importance of those which are truly important to us. At least for me, I do not believe in academic excellence anymore. For what is often supposedly learned in the classroom is highly unapplicable to life's harsh realities. To live, and to flourish in this world, we do not need to know (unless it truly is in our fields of expertise) why the sky is blue, or why we think. It is enough for us to know that the sky is, and that we think, because in the end, reality is so far-fetched from the thought experiments we perform inside our classrooms. Excelling in the academe may lead to high-paying jobs later on, but so does being streetsmart. And to an extent, being streetsmart surpasses excelling in the academe simply because once one knows how to fish, he can do it all his life.
Grades, in the end, are meaningless, because when one looks back to one's own past it is not the grades that he will remember but the relationships that have built up and have made him or her who he is today. But then again, maybe I am just making an escape for my own self.