While school and the larger education system have become core pillars in the mainstream narrative of our culture, many have emerged to criticize various aspects of modern education. One aspect in particular, the grading system, poses certain dangers and pitfalls that we rarely acknowledge. On the outside, grades appear to provide an objective metric and offer a standardized approach to learning. But the effects of grading on a student's self-esteem, relationship to learning as a form of personal and intellectual development and on how society denotes individual worth are all worthy of consideration. Are we too quick to abandon students who receive low grades time and again? How might our predisposition to grades as an end goal distract from the process and benefits of learning? Could we find a more thorough, human-based means of assessing individual needs, concerns and aptitudes?