BADVICE: MIDTERM PANIC

Madeleine Coles

Life Editor

Dear Badvice,

Midterm grades are posted, and I haven’t been doing so great. How do I save my grade?

Sincerely,

Panic Mode

Dear Panic Mode,

First off, I’d like to congratulate you for seeking help at the right outlet. Many who find themselves in your predicament might seek the counsel of professors or advisors. Such people would proceed to suggest to you taking an ACAD course to improve your studying skills or perhaps withdrawing from the course. But speaking as someone whose grades are in constant peril, I can tell you the truth you truly need.

Now, you’ve already broken the cardinal rule by checking your midterm grades in the first place. You see, midterm grades are a truly perfect example of Schrodinger’s cat. (If you don’t know what that is, seriously don’t check your science grade.) If you never check your grade, you’re both acing your courses and failing them at the same time. How neat is that.

Unfortunately, Panic Mode, you did check your grades. The illusion has been ruined, and you are a failure. The good news is you do have a few options open to you.

First, easiest and most obvious: cheating. This option is high risk, but high reward. If you get caught, will there be massive consequences? Probably. Will you fail the course? Definitely. But set that aside for a moment and focus on the key word of if. Now, I’m much too cocky to assume that the odd professor doesn’t read my column now and again, so I’m not going to give you specific cheating advice here. You’ll have to hit me up outside of my professional life for that extra mile. (And the answer is yes, I do charge a consulting fee.)

Option number two is zero risk and almost never any reward. I like to call this option, the deus ex machina. Basically, you witness an actual miracle.

This can manifest itself in many forms, such as the professor pulling an enormous extra credit assignment out of nowhere, making the final ridiculously and unprecedentedly easy or grading on a curve in a class where the highest score is still failing. The deus ex machina is a rare and precious event, and only a chosen few have ever been saved by its everlasting glory.

The third option can become rather complicated. In an ideal situation, it involves a professor with the patience of a saint and the mercy of God Almighty. In the absence of that, it can be pulled off with the sex appeal of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. And if you don’t have the charm and personality of a Golden Age star, it can still be accomplished with a well placed mental breakdown complete with tears.

This option involves letting your grade slip further and further until the very end of the semester, just past the point of no return, which is coincidentally the exact point where you schedule a meeting with your professor to beg for your life.

If you professor is Mother Teresa reincarnate, they just might take pity on you. But, chances are they aren’t. This is the part where you bat those pretty little eyelashes and break them down just that bit further. However, if your professor is strictly professional and refuses to be swayed by your charm, a good last-ditch effort is always a classic mental breakdown. Throw a few tears in there. Make the situation as uncomfortable as you possibly can.

Unfortunately, some professors refuse to be broken down by even the most thoroughly planned sob stories. In this case, I’d recommend extreme measures.

Just drop out.

Because if a professor doesn’t appreciate all the work you went to to raise your grade without actually working, is it really worth it?

Disclaimer: If you are currently drunk, easily offended, or just not very bright, I would like to remind you that THIS IS SATIRE. Please do not follow my advice, or you could end up living life like me. And your mother does not want that for you.

Need some badvice? Email moc.liamgnull@lagnebeht.ecivdab

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