Cum laude: (adv) with honor
The pressure to be pressured.
It is prevalent among human beings.
We are little satisfied with satisfaction.
We seem to be possessed with the need to be superior.
It apparently does not help that we are heads and beaks above the animal kingdom in intelligence. No, there is a gnawing desire to be dominant at everything—to be acknowledged as the winner.
So in the educational system they came up with cum laude. This means you graduated just a little higher than the average, and there are no noticeable mars on your record.
At the moment of graduation, every cum laude would like to be at least a summa cum laude. The problem with being summa is that it’s not magna.
No one tries to be summa cum laude—second place.
No one has it as a goal.
They’re shooting for magna cum laude and fall short.
But they’re just a “nose-in-the-air” better—so they require a category to distinguish them from being a mere cum laude.
When the work life begins and the cum laude, summa cum laude and magna cum laude arrive at the company, park their cars and walk in at 9:01 A. M., the grades or the courses that decided the varying degrees of recognition vanish. Now they have to live off their common sense and their kindness.
Yet the human race thinks it really is—a race, that is.
We want someone, somewhere to know in some way that we were a magna instead of a summa, or at least became a cum—not just ending up a “laude-mouth.”