First, the athlete. I’ve had him in another class. Professor, I’ve been going to the Center for Athlete Success, and they “help me with the homework” (it’s always perfect.) I took this class last year, and failed. I’m graduating in the spring, and this is the last class I need to graduate!
I ask him what his plans are. He is going back to his home village, to take up a full-time position at a business where he’s been working in the summer.
A few days later, Brenda Blondie walks in. Professor, I’ve been trying really hard, I want to succeed in this class. All of us (the other people in her major who are in my class) took the prerequisite course in the summer, and it was…kind of rushed. We’re all graduating in the spring and this is the last class we need to graduate!
Her plans? To enroll in a graduate program at Expensive Private U, in an area she expects will lead to one-percenter income. She needs the minor to burnish her smartypants credentials.
Professor, do we have a deal?
Children. Please. Of course you have a deal. Just keep coming to class and turning in homework, and you’ll be all right. Sadly for you, there are three students in the class who are honors majors, completely on top of the material. So it will likely be a C.
Now, I don’t actually tell them that, I just try to “look understanding” and deflect the conversation to the material (“any questions on what we did today?”) Maybe I should be more open about it. Maybe my colleagues come right out and say “sure, you’re on track to pass with a B”. Somehow their deal-making (we all do it) gets them an “evaluation bump”, and I am never so rewarded. They’re not keeping their side of the bargain.
Q: So, how do you handle these plaintive (and so obvious) deal requests? Are you rewarded?