Author Topic: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"  (Read 5961 times)

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buvezdevin

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2012, 03:13:09 PM »
Wow, that classmate sounds ... Horrible.

As for suggestions on responses:

"your views on whether multi-generations *should* be included is not relevant, as my project and the funding sources involved are expressly multi-generational.  If you have any comments which are on point for the proposal under discussion, it would be more effective to share them without adding your personal views which are not the subject of discussion."

"I will gladly engage in discussion of my proposal, but won't respond to any further comments which are outside the scope of the subject."
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.
Mark Twain

Lorelei_Evil

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2012, 03:15:24 PM »
She's a bully.  She figures if she throws a big enough fit, you'll cave in just to shut her up.  POD to Buzdevin.

Coley

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2012, 03:27:24 PM »
Wow, that classmate sounds ... Horrible.

As for suggestions on responses:

"your views on whether multi-generations *should* be included is not relevant, as my project and the funding sources involved are expressly multi-generational.  If you have any comments which are on point for the proposal under discussion, it would be more effective to share them without adding your personal views which are not the subject of discussion."

"I will gladly engage in discussion of my proposal, but won't respond to any further comments which are outside the scope of the subject."

POD. These are great responses.

rashea

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2012, 03:29:56 PM »
The teacher won't step in after she used the word "retarded"? Frankly, I'm not impressed with the teacher at that point.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

Vermont

Slartibartfast

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2012, 03:48:18 PM »
Does this woman's opinion of your project impact your grade in any way?  If not, I think you can be pretty blunt about it: "I understand you're all about the kids, but that's not relevant to my project.  It's multi-generational, which means I'm trying to cater to the adults too.  Do you have any constructive ideas about the project as it stands?  Because if not, I'd like to hear from everyone else too."

If her opinion does affect your grade, I think you need to be ready to go to the professor if you get anything less than perfect marks from her.  You can use her unprofessional language and her inability to grasp the situation as proof she didn't understand the assignment and thus her criticism of you is invalid and shouldn't count against you.

Marguette

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2012, 03:56:29 PM »
How tempted I would be to display the science museum’s statement of its multigenerational mission (brochure? website?) and ask her (wonderingly, not confrontationally) in class discussion to elucidate how that fits in with her statement (quoting her exact words) that “adult education is stupid.”

But I doubt anything good could come of it.

Jones

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2012, 03:59:29 PM »
Upon her calling you "ageist" how did you not laugh in her face? SHE is the one who is proposing to restrict the program based on age, not you.

sweetonsno

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2012, 04:07:50 PM »
How annoying. I vote for citing the assignment requirements (sigh. again.) when you talk to her. I wonder if perhaps her grant project deals exclusively with children and she missed the memo about everyone having different objectives. Anyway, re-iterate that your assignment specifically requires you to include multigenerational programs and that doing so is part of what the funder requires. If you're feeling cheeky, ask her if she has any suggestions as to how to meet that objective while excluding every group except the children.

If your instructor is taking the peer review into account, then chances are that she will read the feedback. Feedback that is useless or irrelevant should not be counted against you. Her obsession with something that you cannot change is likely going to hurt her rather than you.

Deetee

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2012, 04:18:26 PM »
People have already shared some good overall ideas so I'll agree with most everyone who has already posted and just add a couple techniques.

I am assuming that this is a group setting so try the following to enlist the passive observers to fyour side.
Scenario:
Ridiculous Girl (RG): This is stupid. This should be for kids only!
You: RG, thank you for your suggestion that I rewrite the grant and focus on children only. Of course the funding body has requested multigenerational grants so I plan to focus on that. But I would love to hear from everyone else. Melissa, what do you think of the proposed age structure?
Melissa: uh fine
You: thanks. Bob?
Bob: Makes sense, that's where the money comes from.
You: Thanks, Fred?
Fred: Looks good to me!
You: OK, so that takes care of the proposed age group that I target this for. Let's move on to the upgrades. Melissa, what do you think of the drawings on page two?
RG: But the children!!!!
You: Thank-you RG, I think we have addressed that as a group. I will read any comments that you have of course. Melissa, you have such a great eye for detail, what so you think of the drawings?
Melissa: I like the overall concept, but I really think some colour would help things pop.

In this way, you control the conversation and get everyone else actively on-board with you. Once people start to voice their opinions, they are more likely to defend you against RG.
 
 


Dr. F.

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2012, 04:26:03 PM »

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.

Wow. I currently work for a funding agency, and have written proposals to the Federal Govt., State Govts., private foundations, etc. I have taught scientific grant writing. Your classmate is insane.

Grant writing 101 is to respond to the actual solicitation. Your project is doing that, classmate is trying to talk you out of it. That would make your project *worse*. I would tell her somewhat bluntly that what SHE thinks of the project is irrelevant, what the *funder* thinks is the only thing that matters.

I can't imagine what the teacher is thinking in not trying to pound that into her head.

AreaWoman

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2012, 04:42:49 PM »
So I'm totally biased, because I volunteer for a nonprofit that has a multigenerational arts education program.  If I were you, I would try some redirection and focus on how multigenerational education programs benefit ALL generations, young and old alike.  My area has a lot of transplants, from other parts of the country and from across the globe, and kids benefit greatly from the learning they get from older folks, since a biological grandparent may not live nearby.  I mean, it is all for the children, right, and who doesn't benefit by having smart, interested adults learning and growing with them?  And many kids learn appropriate behavior from interaction with adults, not other kids.  I understand it may be a worthless endeavor, but I will tell you that we've had some challenges getting funding because of the very bias she is showing.  You could think of it as practicing nonprofit advocacy.

I would also seriously consider reporting her inappropriate language to someone higher up, like the appropriate dean's office.

Thipu1

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2012, 05:28:50 PM »
Snow dragon hasn't told us what her classmate's proposal is.  That would be fun to know. 

Snow dragon's hypothetical grant proposal sounds lovely.  It's a fine thing to teach children about science.  It's even better to offer their parents, caregivers and other adults the same opportunity.  A scientifically literate community of all ages is a good thing.

As other posters have said, the classmate is the ageist here.  I wouldn't say she's a Bully but she is being what we would call an 'Old Schnull'.

  The Professor isn't the greatest either.  In a class like this,  it's the job of the Prof to act as a mediator and promote discussion and that help all students consider different points of view and write a grant proposal that might actually get a grant.

I've never actually written a grant proposal but I've read many of them.  In my experience, a grant that's inclusive has a much better chance of getting funded than one that's exclusive.

Stick to your guns, Snowdragon, I think everyone here agrees that you're on the right track.  If you can find a hole in your classmate's proposal, drive your truck straight through it.  You're playing the Grad School game fairly.  Not everyone does.

O'Dell

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2012, 05:34:07 PM »

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.

Does your teacher know this and still refuse to do something? Then do the school equivalent to the bolded and ask a student adviser or an instructor you trust what your next step should be. Questions: does she do this to everyone or just you? And what is the r-word?

If they say you are on your own, then start shutting her down when she starts in. Interrupt her. She swears at you: Do not swear at me. Same if she insults you personally: There is no need to insult me personally. I will not listen to you if you continue. She starts in for the nth time on her same old same old: You've said this already/the other day/every day. Anyone have anything new to add? And of course listen when she does say something new.

And if she starts in on the ageism thing again, throw that back at her because she is the one that is an ageist.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

wheeitsme

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2012, 06:28:26 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.

"Your comments are not applicable to the funder's requirements.  This funder is more likely to fund a multi-generational project and is anti-agist.  If I want money from this funder to help children, I also need to help other generations.  You might not like or agree with that reality, but I need to work within it."

Slartibartfast

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Re: "Your project's objectives have to change to suit me"
« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2012, 07:08:04 PM »
The "r-word," for those of you who are asking, is usually associated with people who have mental disabilities.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 01:40:35 AM by Slartibartfast »