My parents have always encouraged us to work hard to get the best possible grades, as they really believed that a good education and a degree were important. They passed on the ideas and values that the benefits of learning would give a sense of personal achievement and would lead to better career opportunities. That did not mean no fun, no friends and just studying all the time. Like a lot of people I know, I thought sometimes that homework and assignments were a nuisance, but we all did the work. Not everybody likes every course or subject they need to study, nor can we all be brilliant at everything, but I know we accepted that and tried to get the best grades.
Thinking about subjects leads me on to teachers and their attitude to students. My experience has been that in the courses I enjoyed most, like math and computer studies, I related well to my teachers and seemed to try harder, but I would say that was normal. Most people develop confidence when they are good at something and this spills over into other areas of learning, helping them to do better. It is also true to say that people helped each other, worked quite co-operatively, and there was no great divide such as Bob Chase suggested.