Author Topic: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"  (Read 5656 times)

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snowdragon

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"Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« on: October 16, 2012, 01:46:19 PM »
   I am in a grant writing class. We are doing hypothetical grants for projects we developed ourselves.  My is repairing the local observatory and developing multigenerational classes at the science museum dedicated to teaching people of all ages and abilities how to use the museum telescope, how to use and choose their own telelcope, what various astronomical phenomena are and so forth.

 We have to make suggestions about each other's projects  but we are supposed to work with the project as presented not try to co-opt and change it into something other than it's stated purpose. /end background.
   
  I have one classmate that everytime she comments on my project tried to remake it in to be all about the children. She has emailed me and told me that I am "selfish and wrong for wanting to include adults in the program, museums are only for keds, ect". She has publicly called me out as being "immature" and things like "ageist" and worse because she does not like the fact that my program includes adults.
 
  When she evaluates my project ( peer evaluations comprise  part of our grade) ALL of her suggestion focus on making the program over for kids, tying the grant evaluation criteria to Obama's education policy, dropping the adults from the program ( because it's "wrong to take things from kids to use for adults") tying the grant monies to children's rising science scores, ect.
 
  Frankly I have had it with her and agenda. She refuses to deal with my program other than to try and change it to suit her agenda. I feel like she has not even bothered to read or respond to my program but she is continually trying to construct my program to suit her.

  I lost it today and called her on it, and I really lost it...but this will happen again.  How do I respond to someone who is trying to take over my project with her own agenda?

mechtilde

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2012, 01:58:11 PM »
"That does not fit with the brief."

Then ignore her.

NE England

GSNW

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2012, 01:59:28 PM »
I would stop trying to deal with her, she is being completely unreasonable.  And rude.  And a few other things I can think of.  Can you meet privately with the instructor and go over your concerns?  I would print out emails and just tell him/her that working with this person is damaging your ability to meet the course objectives.  I shudder to think of dealing with this person in the workplace.

Off topic, sort of, I think your grant is a great idea.  My day really is "all about the kids" and there is a huge need for adult ed that is accessible in a ton of different ways.  Kudos to you.

Hmmmmm

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2012, 02:01:28 PM »
"your comments are not valid to my proposal."

Gail

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2012, 02:03:28 PM »
What does your teacher say?
The last time I said what I was really thinking there was an "intervention".

CakeBeret

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2012, 02:03:58 PM »
I would just try redirecting her. When she starts in on "But think of the chiiiiildren!" you can say, "I'll keep that in mind. In Paragraph Four, I've outlined children's programs but the wording may be a bit awkward. Could you give me some feedback on that section?"

And if all else fails, you may just have to keep repeating to her, "I am not going to change the nature of my proposal."
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

snowdragon

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2012, 02:08:09 PM »
What does your teacher say?

She refuses to get involved.  when I talked to her about it, her response was "the peer review can be quite hard on all sides, try and work with her"  What I got out of that was she doesn't want to deal with it so I am on my own. :(

GSNW

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2012, 02:13:54 PM »
What I got out of that was she doesn't want to deal with it so I am on my own. :(

In that case, the redirection from others is your best bet.  Maybe the teacher is silently evaluating on how you deal with the stress and nonsense this person is dishing out?

TootsNYC

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2012, 02:14:51 PM »
i would ignore her as much as you can.

Or question her:
"Do you realize this is hypothetical? That the purpose of this is to learn how to develop a grant, not to actually propose a real-life program?"


And then, after she blah-blahs a little say, "Interesting. Yes, I've heard that before, but I think we should move on. Other people would like to contribute and then wrap up." And stop caring what she blah-blahs.

gingerzing

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2012, 02:24:19 PM »
Quote
My is repairing the local observatory and developing multigenerational classes at the science museum dedicated to teaching people of all ages and abilities how to use the museum telescope, how to use and choose their own telelcope, what various astronomical phenomena are and so forth.


Personally I think she has a bit of "ageism" since she is ignoring all but one segment of your required grant. 

Point out again that your grant is multigenerational and that includes all ages.  And more importantly that getting all ages involved is better in the long run for the entire community.  (hypothetically speaking for this grant) 

If she continues and since peer evaluations are part of the grade, bring it up with your teacher that she is ignoring the parameters of your given grant when she comments on your work and it is not giving you valid critiques of your work.

And yes, I get that the teacher might be seeing how you cope with the wayward critics, but the teacher also needs to reign this other student in to understand what a grant is looking for and following the restrictions of a grant.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 02:26:44 PM by gingerzing »

buvezdevin

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2012, 02:24:29 PM »
Taking your classmate's rudeness out of the equation for a moment, what criteria will be used in assessing the success of your work, and your grade for same?  Is there any possible validity to the points that focussing your proposed project more or exclusively on children would increase the success of your project being funded (understand it's a hypothetical, but presume it will be evaluated on real world factors)?

It may also be that your instructor is not getting involved in the dynamic between you and your classmate because exactly this kind of problematic communication, and differing agendas is part of many grant proposal processes, both in drafting, shaping programs and obtaining funding.

Your classmate does sound unpleasant, but perhaps it would help to consider your interactions and communications with her as a difficult but valuable opportunity to practice how to deal with such people in a business setting (we all do to varying degrees) and approach it as though you need to either get her to "buy in" to your proposal, or successfully prevent her from derailing it.  In other words, don't think of her as a classmate, think of her as though you are pursuing a real project, and she is either a board member of the museum, or a patron with ability to provide funding approval.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
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Lorelei_Evil

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2012, 02:28:56 PM »
What does your teacher say?

She refuses to get involved.  when I talked to her about it, her response was "the peer review can be quite hard on all sides, try and work with her"  What I got out of that was she doesn't want to deal with it so I am on my own. :(

I can see where she's coming from to a certain extent.  In these kind of courses, conflicts like this occur, and it's valuable (though a real pain sometimes) to develop strategies for working it out on your own without running to the authority figure. 

"The scope of the grant proposal in question is to include MULTIGENERATIONAL aspects.  May we move the discussion forward?  I feel we're getting sidetracked in an unproductive way."

I had to learn to deal with some very strong personalities, so I empathize.  20 years later there are a couple of  people I avoid like contagion even now.

snowdragon

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2012, 02:45:28 PM »
Taking your classmate's rudeness out of the equation for a moment, what criteria will be used in assessing the success of your work, and your grade for same?  Is there any possible validity to the points that focussing your proposed project more or exclusively on children would increase the success of your project being funded (understand it's a hypothetical, but presume it will be evaluated on real world factors)?

It may also be that your instructor is not getting involved in the dynamic between you and your classmate because exactly this kind of problematic communication, and differing agendas is part of many grant proposal processes, both in drafting, shaping programs and obtaining funding.

Your classmate does sound unpleasant, but perhaps it would help to consider your interactions and communications with her as a difficult but valuable opportunity to practice how to deal with such people in a business setting (we all do to varying degrees) and approach it as though you need to either get her to "buy in" to your proposal, or successfully prevent her from derailing it.  In other words, don't think of her as a classmate, think of her as though you are pursuing a real project, and she is either a board member of the museum, or a patron with ability to provide funding approval.

as to the bolded, the funder that I am "working" with specializes in "grants for community education, with an emphasis on projects that allow for more than one generation to work and learn together" so having the multigenerational aspect is a plus. This student has repeatedly said that "projects for adult education are stupid and should not be allowed" and other such gems when I went to look at the grant for adult diabetes prevention education her comments were along the same lines, that all efforts should be for education and entertaining kids, adults simply are not on her radar.
   I kind of feel that I am under attack as a person as some of the things she has called me reflect on me personally,,although I guarantee you if she used those words in a business setting I would have ample reason to go to the HR department with it. ( She's actually sworn at me today and used the r-word in a review )
While it would be great if the teacher would address the agenda pushing, I realize she can't babysit us, but I do think that if she is making it a personal attack that the teacher needs to at least say something maintaining a professional demeanor or something along those lines.

Giggity

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2012, 02:54:09 PM »
The r word?
Words mean things.

gingerzing

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2012, 02:55:25 PM »
Quote
as to the bolded, the funder that I am "working" with specializes in "grants for community education, with an emphasis on projects that allow for more than one generation to work and learn together" so having the multigenerational aspect is a plus. This student has repeatedly said that "projects for adult education are stupid and should not be allowed" and other such gems when I went to look at the grant for adult diabetes prevention education her comments were along the same lines, that all efforts should be for education and entertaining kids, adults simply are not on her radar.


the bolded makes me wonder, since she is all fired up about adult education being stupid, why she is taking the class.