Obligated To Help

The last few weeks have been busy with a constant stream of homework and helping my classmates with their homework. I probably do every assignment at least three times because I explain the solutions to so many people over the week.

A girl in one of my classes sent me over 40 emails this week (split over two nights) asking questions about homework. A lot of the questions were extremely basic (for someone in a graduate level statistics course, she really should know what a p-value is). Being a business major, she obviously hasn’t had the quantitative or programming background that I have, so I felt bad enough for her to keep replying to her emails. After a while, though, it was difficult not to be short in my answers. When did it become my responsibility to hold her hand through the homework?

The worst part is that she never thanked me once. When it comes to tutoring or teaching others, I’m completely willing to help, but I do hope to receive some amount of gratitude. After all, I’m not the TA for the class, yet I spend far more time helping other students in the class than the TAs do. I don’t get paid, and I don’t ask for anything in return. The least my “students” can do is thank me. When this girl sent me 40 emails without a single “thank you,” she made it seem like I was expected or obligated to help her. That’s not how helping people is supposed to work.

The last email she sent me was asking what score I got on the previous homework, because she somehow got points taken off and is “curious” what I got. Why does it matter what I got? Shouldn’t she just figure out what she got wrong, rather than try to compare with someone else (who actually understands the material)? I didn’t reply.

Needless to say, I’m glad the term is almost over. All that’s left before spring break are two finals (on the same day) and a take-home final. Even during this weekend of cramming for exams, I still get emails asking for help. Unbelievable.

On a completely different note, the ten-year anniversary of the day I came out is Monday (March 14)! My two finals are on that day (starting at 8:30am, which is such an unholy time of day), but once those are over, I’m going to have an extra fabulous evening. Yay!

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One Response to “Obligated To Help”

  1. Amy Says:

    Happy Anniversary (a day late… ) Yay Normal Boy!!


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