Getting Away With Murder and Other Passtimes

I want to make it clear right up front that I am in no way complaining here.  I don’t mind that this is happening per se.  I just think it’s interesting.

I’ve accidentally become teacher’s pet.

It started out innocently enough, answering questions in class, usually correctly although occasionally not, asking pertinent questions, laughing at her jokes (I thought they were funny).  Maybe it was my interest in the subject matter or maybe it was my lack of total disinterest (you should see the looks on the faces of some of the people in this class) whatever it was I think she likes me.  I think that’s great, I like to be liked.

I first noticed that this might be working to my advantage when we went over the last test in class.  I did well on the test, I knew the material, I mostly understood what she was getting at in her questions and answered mostly appropriately.  But there were a few questions as we went over the test and she told us what specifically she had been looking for in the answers that I wondered.  It wasn’t that I had gotten the question wrong, it was just that I had described the process without putting the name to it.  I knew the name, I should have included it but for whatever reason when writing my paragraph answer to her question I failed to use the name.  I got the question right anyway.  Now in my defense, I did describe the process which shows an understanding of what’s really going on which is, to my mind, more important than giving the name of the process.  I appreciated her giving me the benefit of the doubt, but I wouldn’t have faulted her for taking off a point.

Last week I turned in a draft of a research paper for this class.  In class she had mentioned that it needed to be 2 pages long.  I did some research, finding myself almost obsessively interested in the subject matter (see this post) and wrote 2 1/2 pages on the flu.  It wasn’t until after I had turned it in that I read through the actual requirements for the 2 pages draft.  They include things like a preliminary works cited page, which I haven’t gotten around to working on yet, and at least 3 in text citations, again, not something I bothered with.  Oh well, I thought, I’ll probably still get in the mid 80% range and my grade so far in this class is such that that won’t be a problem.

I got my score today, 100%.

As I mentioned at the outset, I’m not complaining.  It was a draft which I don’t usually write, that’s just not how I roll. It didn’t even begin to follow the outline that I had turned in a month before (in conjunction with not drafting I do not outline stuff before I write it, at least not on paper) in fact, I didn’t even keep a copy of the outline that I had sent in so I couldn’t have followed it if I wanted to.  And in reality, as an indicator of how the whole thing is going to turn out it’s 100% work.  My final paper will be good, it will have all the necessary points as far as numbers of references and in text citations, it will be the correct length and it will be as science heavy as I can make it (which was not my plan when I chose my topic, in fact I chose that topic because it has a lot of historical implications and at the time I thought that I was going to find that a lot more interesting.  I was wrong, microbiology is fascinating and I’m loving the science) all things that are going to make it a paper worthy of a grade in the mid to high 90’s. And I’m certainly not complaining about not missing points but…



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. LisAway
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 14:09:14


  2. gojo
    Mar 18, 2011 @ 07:47:07

    As a teacher myself, I can tell you that this syndrome is very hard to avoid (and maybe shouldn’t be avoided anyway). Students who are engaged in the work of the class get rewarded. They get rewarded by learning more (which helps them on tests) and the get the benefit of and doubt on assignments.

    I tell my students this at the beginning of the semester. Most of them ignore it.


  3. E
    Mar 18, 2011 @ 11:00:00

    Sarah gets this. And by that I mean she gets treated that way. I don’t know if she understands why or if she does it on purpose. I don’t think she does. But thank you for explaining it to me I never really understood it until now. I always wondered why her teachers weren’t tougher in their grading. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it though, because “real life” is not any different.

  4. Melanie Jacobson
    Mar 19, 2011 @ 05:04:15

    The older you get, the better it is when you’re a teacher’s pet. Enjoy it.

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