Monday, 28 January 2013

Learning to grow...

I did not approve one of the students final dissertation paper today.  He was furious when he was told about this by the Principal.  He stormed into my office and demanded why I did not approve his paper. He initially accused me of not guiding him at all and then now insulting him by not approving his final paper.  I stayed calm and asked him to get all his drafts in order of their submission, along with all the comments and remarks that I passed on to him, each time he submitted a chapter. He banged the door and left to get his drafts.  He came in a couple of minutes later with a pile of papers and started to put them in some sensible order - which he was unable to do.  I asked him to take his own time and come back with the papers put in order.

He returned after 3 hours, still unable to trace the order and sequence of drafts of his own paper!  I then took him along a 'guided tour' of all his papers. Since I knew all his crazy stuff better than him, I showed him his lethargy and irresponsible attitude all along, in spite of my repeated warnings and instructions - all written in black and white, all along the year.  Soon he realised he stood no chance of arguing or that his anger was meaningless. He had no one but himself to blame.  His last question, "What shall I do now?" I only asked him, "Did that question occur to you any time I returned your corrected drafts?"  He had no answer.

As I type this episode, I still am calm and in total control of myself.  All along I kept telling myself that I only intend to show him his laid back attitude which has cost him his academic certificate.  I should not break or insult him.  Never to shout or raise my voice.  I did it and feel that I've been just.  I know well, it is not about me, but about him.  

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