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How to impress without being sycophantic?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:32 am
by Billorani
Fri July 29th 2011, 03:55am
Hi all, let me shoot off straight:
I am a college-student. I've narrowly missed a first class in my BA because of rigourous under-grading by a particular professor of mine. The professor in question is overly strict and perfectionist to the core, which is but natural in way, since he's sort of a genius in his field and is extremely noted in that area. HOWEVER, there's a BIG HOWEVER here-----he's a sort of person who likes...er...people sucking-up to him, or trying to impress him.While generally people who haven't managed to impress him in the way HE likes have landed VERY POOR GRADES,some others who suck up to him have got better, even though they were no better than the rest.


And now that I'm in my Masters Programme at the same University, I hear that he'll be teaching us again...and I know that this time I HAVE TO DO something to prevent my previous debacle. And this is precisely what worries me. I find it detrimental for my self-esteem to "suck-up"", I haven't ever, yet I know that I'm NOWHERE near being the kind of genius that HE expects, to get graded generously by him. I want to impress him, get to know him and spend time with him,but WITHOUT directly sucking-up. Is that possible?

Please, share any information on this topic that you know. :D

Re: How to impress without being sycophantic?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:13 pm
by Bel Bel
Do you have proof this is the case when it comes to grading, if so why don't you asked for you previous paper to be independently graded by someone else. If it proves the point can you put in a complaint. Are there others who will back you up?

The short answer to your questions is you either suck up or don't.

What exactly is required of you sucking up? Is it worth it even if it feels a little deemening would it be worth the extra effort.

Are you sure you don't perceive it as sucking up when in fact these people are more interested hence why their grades are better?

Re: How to impress without being sycophantic?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:23 pm
by reckoner
Wow, that's almost like a Faustian dilemma.

I assume that, whether you decide to suck up or not, this will not affect the quality of your work. That's all that matters: the quality of your work. If you believe you could be in a situation where you genuinely believe that your paper has been under-graded, then find out what procedures are in place for you to contest the mark.

Personally, the only way I would ever try to impress someone is by being a) good at what I do and b) easy to work with. The rest is for people who can't do that.

Re: How to impress without being sycophantic?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:43 pm
by Ticktock
I would be dubious of any claims of favouritism in marking, surely you realise that all marking at degree level is peer reviewed and then externally assessed, projects and exams. The blatant level you claim simply doesn't happen.

However, what a lot of people stepping up from A-levels fail to realise is that the education is no longer compulsory, if you are daft enough to spend thousands of pounds a year on a education and can't treat the lecturer with respect because it will damage your self esteem (honestly?!) then they can just ignore you and concentrate on the one's who take the subject seriously, that is why they got better marks. How much tuition time did you use with that lecturer, did you ask for feedback on your exam papers, what exactly is sucking up to you?

At Masters level you will rely on the support of the lecturers even more, and you may even be lecturing yourself, do yourself a favour and dump the juvenile pride, and treat the lecturers with the respect they deserve and you will get on a lot more.