Author Topic: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.  (Read 7925 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #45 on: March 14, 2013, 08:37:20 AM »
If I were the dean, your coming to me over this would annoy me.

You can fix this just the way you currently are--by refusing to give her anything.
And as far as not wanting to work with her, i would be saying, "have you talked to your professor?"

I'm a busy person--don't bother me with something so small.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #46 on: March 14, 2013, 11:37:48 AM »
If I were the dean, your coming to me over this would annoy me.

You can fix this just the way you currently are--by refusing to give her anything.
And as far as not wanting to work with her, i would be saying, "have you talked to your professor?"

I'm a busy person--don't bother me with something so small.

I appreciate the clarification from the OP, it helped a lot.

From previous posts I was under the impression that the OP had talked to the professor, and the professor was actually the one giving other students' work to Problem Student. I think it's easy enough for the OP to just tell Problem Student NO (at least regarding projects they aren't doing together) but if the professor is giving copies of all the students' work to Problem Student without the other students' permission, I think that's a bigger problem worth taking up a level. With proper documentation that the OP tried to solve it at the professor level first, of course.

If the OP and Problem Student have to work together, I would try to think logically about what ought to be shared, and then only share that. For example, if the project was a jointly-presented PowerPoint presentation or paper with both names on it, I think the actual PPT or DOC file has to be shared. But that doesn't mean Problem Student gets free access to all of the OP's notes and unused sources. If the project is to critique each other's lesson plans, then unfortunately all of the required parts of the lesson plan need to be shared--but if I had an "A" level lesson plan anyway (or whatever grade you want), I wouldn't go out of my way to make it extra super awesome and thus more attractive to Problem Student.
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TurtleDove

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #47 on: March 14, 2013, 11:47:34 AM »
I see this as two issues. 

1. Sharing Work: I think we all agree that the OP does not have to share her work.  She can simply say no.  As many of us advised, I think the OP should get clarification from the professor what work is to be shared, because he apparently has no problem with what the other student is doing.  It may reflect poorly on the OP if she does not share, depending on what the actual policy/practice is.  As several posters explained, it is not unheard of to be expected to share work.

2. Working With The Problem Student:  Here is where the OP is very likely to come across poorly if she does not handle this well.  The OP is likely to appear to be the "problem," especially if it turns out the expectation is to share work (this seems to be the chief complaint against the other student).  This is why I think it is very important for her to get clarification from the professor and then decide how to proceed.  As with the sharing of work, the OP is within her rights to refuse to work with the other student.  It may not be wise to take this stance, however.

I agree that the Dean does not need to be involved at this point.  I think the OP needs to talk with her professor.  If she disagrees with the professor's decision, she may of course escalate the situation to the Dean (or whoever would be next up the scale).  Again, it may not be wise to do so.

bopper

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #48 on: March 14, 2013, 01:33:42 PM »
If a good and thoughtful student asked to have a copy of your work, you might agree because you feel that your work would be an academic collaboration, you would be cited properly, and they might have something to offer you in return.

If a mediocre/poor student asked to have a copy of your work, especially in the case of a lesson plan, you would tend not to agree because you feel like you are doing work for free for THEM (instead of for you learning how to make a lesson plan), you might feel like you wouldn't be credited and they would have nothing of value to swap in return.

So, like others, I would go to the professor ahead of time and say "As you pick new groups, I would like to request that I not be placed with Moochette.  She does not exert the same effort as other classmates and wants us to hand over all of our hard work so she can modify it for her own use.  I am all for collaborating with colleagues, but that assumes a give and take.  She does not provide anything in return, but expects me to spend 3 hour copying all my work for her.

Also, I would help Moochette, but not the way she wants.  You (and others) create good examples of lesson plans, and I do think sharing work is a good way for people to learn from each other which is part of the point of the presentations.

To Moochette: "Moochette, many hours have gone into finding all the clips and creating the drawings and I don't have the licenses for the clips to share with you and if you are going to create your own lesson plans you are going to need to learn AutoCad as well if you want those kind of drawings in the future.
What I will do is give you a paper copy of my PPT. It will show where the clips would go and diagrams would go and you are welcome to use it as a template for any future presentations you create.

So you are sharing, but not doing hardly any work!

CoryanderX

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #49 on: March 14, 2013, 02:54:09 PM »
I think you should go to the Dean to discuss this. And be sure to mention that she EXPLICITLY said she paid for the course in order to get other students' work to use in her own class. If I were told I had to give this person my work... it might not be a hill to die on, but it'd be a hill to get pretty banged up on before I'd give in.

zinzin

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #50 on: March 14, 2013, 03:23:30 PM »
First of all, the dean is not usually the immediate superior to a professor. The situation as you describe it - it is over the top to go straight to the dean, especially if you haven't even bothered to talk to the prof yet. It's like going to the company VP because you have a problem with a co-worker and haven't bothered to talk to your supervisor.

If it's class policy, then decide from there where to go with your concern (perhaps department chair after a civilized discussion with the professor?). But to go straight to the dean over a course work conflict with another student is the very definition of an over-reaction.

Alpacas

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #51 on: March 14, 2013, 04:11:59 PM »
I won't go into legalities here, but look into the copyright laws of your country, snowdragon.
No matter what you create, painting, photograph or written words, it would be under your copyright. That means that only you're allowed to distribute your work.

And as others have said. speak to your Professor and if that was/is no use go to the dean.

I had the unfortunate experience of working one of the past semester for the benefit of another of my group as he didn't contribute anything to our project. It is really demorallizing when you get an A at the end of the year...but the guy that did nothing still gets a B.

AnnaJ

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #52 on: March 14, 2013, 07:06:04 PM »
First of all, the dean is not usually the immediate superior to a professor. The situation as you describe it - it is over the top to go straight to the dean, especially if you haven't even bothered to talk to the prof yet. It's like going to the company VP because you have a problem with a co-worker and haven't bothered to talk to your supervisor.

If it's class policy, then decide from there where to go with your concern (perhaps department chair after a civilized discussion with the professor?). But to go straight to the dean over a course work conflict with another student is the very definition of an over-reaction.

Yup, that's the way to become 'that student' not just in your discipline but in the entire school/department.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #53 on: March 15, 2013, 10:46:09 AM »
I'm not sure if "go to the dean" is to be taken literally. Colleges have different setups with their administration. I work at a university, and I'm honestly not sure exactly who I would go to if I had a problem with a professor. But, I know that our school website has tons of information on the proper channels for pursuing issues, so I could easily find out. I think the point is just that if the OP has a problem with the professor, she should take it up the chain. The next person up could have any number of titles, depending on her institution, and she should be able to easily find out which person is appropriate to contact next.
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TurtleDove

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #54 on: March 15, 2013, 11:31:32 AM »
I think the most salient point remains that the OP is going to come across poorly no matter what if she does not address this with her professor.  To me, the OP certainly does not have to give the other student anything she does not want to, and it seems the other student is overbearing.  That said, I think the OP may be out of line in her stance that she shouldn't have to share or work with the other student. Several posters have stated that in their experience, sharing is expected and to take such a stance does not look good for the OP. Unless the OP clarifies with her professor, we don't know what is expected here.

camlan

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #55 on: March 15, 2013, 12:05:18 PM »
While sharing work done for class might be common in some disciplines or at some universities, it isn't in all. When I was in grad school, I had one class where we shared our research. This was clearly stated in the syllabus and by the professor on the first day of class, so you had the chance to switch courses if you wanted to. And the professor made it a point to clearly state what we would be doing, because it absolutely was not common or expected. And there were a lot of high school teachers working towards a Masters degree in my program, and they didn't expect to get lesson plans or anything else from their fellow students.

The matter needs to be addressed with the professor. If the professor can't/won't do anything about it, then I'd go to the department head next. Also check to see if the university has any kind of ombudsman for the students--this is someone whose only job is to help students deal with problems of this nature. Or there may be a resolution/counseling center that can provide advice on what to do.

The dean or the president should only be contacted when everything else has failed.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


amylouky

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #56 on: March 15, 2013, 12:07:06 PM »
I'm not a teacher so I don't really understand what a lesson plan is or how much work goes in to creating one.. so I tried to put this in terms I do understand.
I'm in IT, and when I was in school I took a web design class. We worked in groups of 3-4 and had a semester-long project. Ours was an adoption site for a local pet shelter, and we put months of work in to it. If a classmate had asked for a copy of the site so that she could use it for her for-profit pet store (since gimme woman does get paid for teaching, presumably) ?
No way. Just because you created this work for a class does not mean that you don't still have the right to say how and by whom it is used. I'd talk to the professor one last time, maybe with a few other students, and if that doesn't work I'd go to the head of the department.