October 9, 2007
Maybe Monday just makes everyone grumpy. (I know it is Tuesday, but we are on a Monday schedule here.) This morning, I had a student come in who is on Academic Warning. Granted, her GPA is just slightly lower than it ought to be, but she is required to see me nonetheless. Now, I gave her what I thought was good advice about outlining and exam preparation, but every suggestion I made was met with an (albeit somewhat passive-aggressive) argument. I was worried that she would go off and do exactly the opposite of what I advised.
Then, I had an e-mail correspondence with another student who wrote something to effect of, “I suppose I need to schedule yet another meeting with you.” Gosh, I am flattered; do you say that to your dentist too? I mean, really, how snarky is that? And how could I answer it without seeming uptight and angry (which I was)?
So I have decided to use reverse psychology with these students (because I too am grumpy). You know, the old, “whatever you do, don’t wear a coat in the snow” method our parents used on all of us. (Bugs Bunny also made it popular; Elmer Fudd could never resist.) Here are some examples of statements I am thinking of trying with my more troubled students:
- Please go out and buy some commercial outlines in lieu of making your own. Also, please buy the big study guides and read them in lieu of your casebook.
- Whatever you do, don’t go to class. Not today, not next week, never!!!!!!!
- Don’t even think about December exams until January. Also, don’t think about them unless you are on a beach far, far away.
- Cramming sure does work in law school. Read nothing now, no payments until the night before the exam.
- Multiple choice, shmultiple choice. B is always the answer. Don’t bother practicing them.
- Do take that class with Professor Failsemall. You are likely to be in the 50% of the class that passes, fate being what it is.
- Practice questions are for wussies. Are you a wussy? Of course you aren’t.
- Weekends aren’t for studying. Don’t you follow some sport and imbibe some mood altering substance? That’s what the weekend is for.
- Don’t talk to your professors outside of class. Didn’t you know that the cooties are far more contagious in a smaller space?
- Library? Right here in this building? No kidding-go figure.
If that doesn’t work, I’ll just get some more coffee and try typing my responses wearing my Mr. Rogers sweater; I find it very soothing. (ezs)
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