How to negotiate with your professors

October 26th, 20070 comments

College life could be anything else but sitting in a classroom.  Extra-curricular activities such as your college entrepreneurial ventures can take up much more time than showing up for class or doing homework.  Equally important is knowing how to wiggle your way out of trouble when trouble finally catches up. 

     Sometimes, a completed homework assignment or a day of attendance would be the fine line between failing and making it through another semester unscathed.  And those seemingly petty details wouldn’t be worth spoiling the rest of your otherwise great school year.  You really have to impress your professor from day one.

Give your professor the impression that you are a good student.
  Because you’d never know when your dog would eat your homework, or that one of your client interviews falls on the same day of your exam.  That way, your professor might just forgive you for your little shortcomings based on your good track record. I’ve been known to use the “good impression” technique on professors.

An example would be my recent trouble with my math professor.  She gives out exemptions for the final exams, and I was qualified when it came to my grades.  But my total number of absences was far beyond the maximum.  She told me that I got the highest average in my class, but she couldn’t exempt me because of my attendance record.  I simply asked her that if I wasn’t a good student, why would I have the highest grade in class? She couldn’t come up with an answer, so I was off the hook for the finals (and so were the other people with the same problem, to be fair).

It’s also important to tell your professors that you’re a working student.  They’ll understand the constraints of your energy and time, and they’ll even have some added respect for you (that is, if your work is respectable).  I tell my professors about my work starting from day one.  This lets them know that although I want to attend class, there are just some days where I can’t make it.  Because of this, most of them become a bit more lenient when it comes to deadlines and attendance.  However, you still need to do the work.  Even if you don’t show up for class as often as you should, make sure your requirements are A material.  Just so they know you’re not a lying slacker.

If all else fails, there’s nothing more effective than working around the truth to your advantage.  However, straight up lying would be going a little too far.  For example, you’re supposed to turn in your book report when in fact you haven’t even read your source literature, you can ask your professor for an extension – let’s say – because you found the topic too fascinating that you want to delve into it further.  But to pull that off, you have to be really creative and you have to perfect your spiel and sound convincing.  Well, you might just get an A for the extra effort.

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How to negotiate with your professors was written by Froggy on October 26th, 2007 at 12:00 am and posted in College

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