Plan For The Drama

I realized this week that there is one item on my office supply list that I am running very low on: tissue. I have seen a lot of tears this semester, and it has not been pretty. The faucets have not been running over trivial things either–people are going through some serious and tough times. If you don’t believe me, just look at St. Louis, Philadelphia and Chicago. There is a major story of epic proportion that is happening in the home and hearts of people in each one of those places right now. The most difficult thing to deal with is that life must go on in the midst of the drama, and this usually includes school. Here are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with the drama of life while in school:

1. Expect The Drama: I’m sorry, but I think that there is some mandate In the universe that says “If you are trying to become something better then the forces of the universe must work against you in sort of way”. I have NEVER obtained great things without opposition, so I have come to expect it. I do not dwell on the arrival of drama, I simply plan for its arrival.

2. Plan For Its Arrival: I have car insurance. I don’t necessarily like my insurance agent, the company or the logo. I have insurance company because people can be idiots and on a bad day, so could I. So I have an insurance policy that covers all types of things that could go wrong. However, I take it a step further: I actually READ my policy and ask questions. I compare the policy to others and request for things in writing. I educate myself on the details of my plan and how it will be executed.

3. Educate Yourself On Your Plan: I feel bad for some students when they choose to finally read their syllabus after the semester is over and they want to contest a grade. I once met a student who was right and the instructor was totally wrong. As I spoke with the student about the issue I asked her “What took you so long to get this settled?” She then dropped her head and replied “I never read my syllabus.” It was two semesters after the actual class when she and I were having the conversation–and she had been waiting that long to graduate all because of one incorrect grade that was actually in her favor.

These are three things that you can do when you have time to plan. They get far more detailed as things progress. Now your plan will not work to its full potential without the teacher being on your side. So try these things BEFORE you require the use of your plan:

*Learn your teacher’s schedule and know when they are in their office. Stop by on the first week of school to say hello for the sake of saying hello. It will remove the cloud of awkwardness and allow you to stop in when you really have something serious to talk to them about.

*Watch what seems to annoy your teacher. If they get annoyed with tardy students then don’t show up late. If they get annoyed with talking during class then shut up. Teachers are people and they have pet peeves like people.

*Compliment and thank your teacher if they teach about something that you liked or if you learned something that day. Say simple things like “Hello Dr. Gray” when you see them in the halls. Speaking to them BEFORE you need something builds trust, but speaking to them BECAUSE you need something builds tension.

*Ask questions that are directly related to the material covered in class. It shows that you actually care about the class and the material.

*Stay awake in class. Some students are afraid to speak to their teachers because they have this bad habit.

Now, these activities will allow your teacher to become more trusting of you so that if/when you must activate your plan that they will become advocates of your plan instead of enemies to your plan. REMEMBER: do these things BEFORE your plan is needed and not AFTER. Doing these things after you implement the plan can cause even more drama than what actually led to the activation of the plan in the first place.

But what about drama that you cannot prepare for??? Well, let’s talk about that in the next post…