Following up on yesterday's post about transcripts, people's comments really get to why it's so totally bewildering for us to have to send them with our applications. What exactly are transcripts supposed to show? That I took a lot of classes with random course numbers and super-informative official titles like "Topics in Value Theory"" Or that I, like every other grad student who didn't get disappeared from their program, got As and maybe a B+ or two?
Anon. 7:40 suggests that maybe they're just supposed to verify that people who claim to have their degrees in hand really do, which might make sense. But shouldn't people's letters make that sort of thing clear? And then Anon. 8:34 reports that their department really did seriously look at the GPAs of their job candidates. That astounds me. What possible interest could those grades be when you have CVs, letters, and writing samples to get a sense of who people are?
Now another theory, and one I think might bear out in a lot cases, is that transcripts are required by human resources robots, to borrow Sisyphus's phrase. I have a growing appreciation for the way HR people fuck this process up for pretty much everyone, but I'll leave that for another day.
In the meantime, let me just pass along Inside the Philosophy Factory's suggestion that people send along a note with their unofficial transcripts saying they'll be happy to send official ones if they're needed.