We are told in Chapter 11 of the text that Chris was a gifted student who could attain A grades without effort. On the occasion that he received an F grade for Physics, his father went to talk to the teacher about why this happened. When he spoke to the teacher he discovered that it was not the content of what he had written, but the fact that Chrisdid not adhere to the teacher's strict rules of how a laboratory report should be written which resulted in the low grade:
..."i came home and told Chris that he gor the grade he deserved."
It is possible to interpret the actions of Chris as a deliberate attempt to assert his individuality and to rile his father. As a celebrated designer of satellite systems, Walt was an eminent physicist. His unbending will was frequently at odds with that of his stubborn but free-thinking son. It is likely that Chris was making a conscious effort to show that he would not be held by the restrictions of any one or any system. Walt's reflection on the incident, that the F grade was justified, shows how he, like the teacher, was unable to understand Chris' need to be different.