Author Topic: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.  (Read 6191 times)

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bopper

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Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #45 on: January 31, 2013, 09:49:40 AM »
I would go to the Prof ASAP. Grad school is a big majority about how you handle the work environment in the real word. When there is a problem you need to let the prof/boss know asap so they can rectify the situation as fast as possible. Delaying this just causes more problems, no point in dragging on the inevitable. If you speak later who knows she might throw all of you under the bus first...

And in the real world,  I have worked with many people, but there have been two people over the course of 25 years who I have specifically asked not to work with.  They don't last long in the long run.

Lynn2000

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Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #46 on: January 31, 2013, 10:52:42 AM »
Not to pile on about contacting the professor, but pickles50's post made me think of something. My friend works at a university as an academic coordinator (sort of recruiter, advisor, teaching assistant, etc. all rolled into one). I would say her number one complaint about students is that some aren't proactive about solving their own problems.

For example, one class she was helping out with had group projects, where each group was supposed to work with a professor to explore a research topic. Sadly, one of the professors was flaky and never got back to the students, even though they tried to contact him several times. However, the students didn't let anyone know they were having this problem. Instead, they turned in a half-baked project at the end and then, when they got a bad grade, reported that the professor refused to make time for them (and showed the emails supporting this). My friend's opinion was--well, that's horrible of the professor and we're going to speak to him about it, but why didn't you tell us this earlier, when we could have done something about it?! So the bad grade stood.

I don't know if students aren't used to showing initiative like that, or if they think they'll just be seen as whining to the teacher, or what. But in the "real" world there are ways to let a higher-up know about problems in a professional way that should not reflect badly on the person having the problem. So, add me to the chorus of people who think the OP should contact the professor with a professional, non-emotional email explaining why she doesn't want to be in a group with Moochette (my fave name for her).

"Professor X: Regarding group project #1, Ann Miller, Joe Brown, Paul Jones, and I would like to form a group. [copied them on email] Another classmate, Betty Smith, has told me she asked you to put her in a group with me. I request that Betty Smith and I not be assigned to any projects together. Based on my previous interactions with her in multiple classes and on her answers to the 'getting to know me' class assignment (see attached), I believe she will be unreliable and not contribute meaningfully to the assignment. I take my coursework seriously and would like to work with others who feel the same way. Sincerely, OP."

Not guaranteed to work, of course, but if they're assigned to a group together anyway, the OP can send another professional email requesting guidance on how to document each group member's contribution.
~Lynn2000

NyaChan

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Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #47 on: January 31, 2013, 10:59:29 AM »
I liked that "I take my coursework seriously and would like to work with others who feel the same way" line quite a bit.  I think that emphasizes that it isn't just you not wanting to do extra work, it is about the quality of the education.

Lynnv

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Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #48 on: January 31, 2013, 11:16:22 AM »

If she's trying to request you as a partner, you definitely need to email the professor and clearly state that under no circumstances do you want to work with this person, and why (dropping out of contact, refusing to do her work group projects and leaving you in the lurch, not showing up for projects).  Personally, I'd go so far as to get my other requested group members (the ones who have already send emails to the prof asking for you) to also email stating that they don't want to work with her.

Otherwise there's a good chance that the professor will look at her email, assume it's a reasonable request, and add her to your group.

POD.  Normally, I would avoid going to the professor until you got stuck with her.  But, in this case, since she has requested your group, I think going to the professor and making your case for not being forced to work with her is fair.

If I did get stuck with her, I would be sure to bring her little SS note to the professor's attention and ask what mechanisms are in place to ensure that you get the grade you work hard to earn and don't lose points to her unwillingness to do her fair share. 
Lynn

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mrkitty

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Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #49 on: January 31, 2013, 11:34:53 AM »

If she's trying to request you as a partner, you definitely need to email the professor and clearly state that under no circumstances do you want to work with this person, and why (dropping out of contact, refusing to do her work group projects and leaving you in the lurch, not showing up for projects).  Personally, I'd go so far as to get my other requested group members (the ones who have already send emails to the prof asking for you) to also email stating that they don't want to work with her.

Otherwise there's a good chance that the professor will look at her email, assume it's a reasonable request, and add her to your group.

POD.  Normally, I would avoid going to the professor until you got stuck with her.  But, in this case, since she has requested your group, I think going to the professor and making your case for not being forced to work with her is fair.

If I did get stuck with her, I would be sure to bring her little SS note to the professor's attention and ask what mechanisms are in place to ensure that you get the grade you work hard to earn and don't lose points to her unwillingness to do her fair share.



I totally agree with Lynnv. This is quite different from a "real world" work situation where delicate office politics and personality dynamics may be involved and thus, require one to tread carefully.

The situation you're in, Snowdragon, is so different. You are paying good money to take a class; you have the right to complete your project without interference from a classmate. And, you are entitled to the grade that you earn - and not to have to cover for someone else. In an earlier post, I suggested not saying anything unless you are assigned to work with this person. But now, having read the advice of others, I have to agree that you should put a stop to this immediately. You are not in this class to teach her, or do her assignments for her, or even how to learn to "work around someone". You are paying for your education. I would urge you to insist you not be assigned to work with her. And, if you are despite your request, and she behaves according to her own precedent and the professor STILL refuses to remedy the situation,  I would escalate the issue all the way up through the department chair to the university provost if I had to.

NO WAY should you have your grade hijacked by a SS.  >:(
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