PBK stands for Phi Beta Kappa, which is America’s oldest honor society. Some of you probably already knew that. I studied very diligently as an undergrad and I was fortunate enough to earn a PBK key when I graduated. I actually surprised myself! I was hoping that I would be inducted into the honor society, but I was actually surprised when they wrote to me to notify me that I was. Later, I felt that maybe I didn’t deserve to be a Phi Bete. I never wanted anyone to give me anything that I didn’t deserve. I always wondered about it.
Now as a Spanish lecturer at UIC, I volunteer to review academic records to see who deserves to earn a PBK key upon graduation. So I usually compare myself with PBK prospectives. I am proud to say that I usually fit right in the middle somewhere. I wasn’t a brainiac, but I wasn’t exactly a slacker, either. Most students who earn the PBK key have a GPA of 3.7 – 4.0 out of 4.0. I had a 3.71 GPA. Students must also demonstrate depth and breadth of study, risk taking, and a general love of learning. So if a student takes many honors college courses that contributes to his or her dept of breadth of studies. Doing a double major also accomplishes this. Well, I was in the honors college, and I did a double major in English (3.79) and Spanish (GPA 3.99), and I took a lot of upper lever-courses that I didn’t need just for the fun of it. I attended college later in life, so I really loved school and I tried to get as much out of it as possible. After reviewing students this year, I realize that I did deserve that PBK key!