I read your reponse earlier and have been thinking aobut it all evening trying to put into words a reply. Fundamentally I think I completely disagree with your reasoning. I find and always have found the notion that those who keep their heads down and try their best in an unflashy manner should be passed over for (in my opinion of Chen, a slacker) I mean what then becomes the point of training to be the elite in your field if your not going to get the top gig anyway? And lets not forget that in terms of the story the very survival of the Federation was potentially at stake It shouldn;t have been a question of giving the other 70 more highly qualified and disciplined officer help it should have been a question of getting the best of the best. Obviously in the termsof the story Chen's experience with the Noh Angles WAS a deciding factor but that's a hell of a gamble by Picard. In more general terms I find the idea that the school system should effectively punish you for trying hard rather unfair. Certainly efforts should be made to draw out potential and help children with special needs but not at the expense of those who simply do the right thing anyway.