I don’t what your thoughts are on grade-grubbers, but I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I guess it’s good that they care about the grade so much, and are willing to work hard to get what they want, but more often than not… well you know what I’m talking about.

“Is there extra credit on this assignment?”

“What if I write more than a thousand words for 600 words? How much extra credit will I get?”

“If SSI people have to do definitions for vocabulary, is it extra credit if you don’t have SSI and do them anyway?”

“What if I write two pages for KBAR? (the requirement is one) DO I get extra credit? What about three?”

“Can I rewrite the essay and get 75/75 instead of 73?”

It can kind of wear you down after awhile.

This year I have another true-blue grade-grubber. I have a couple wannabes too, but only “A-Rod” makes it his mission to be #1. To keep his overall percentage over 100. To finish first on every test and quiz. To take advantage of every opportunity and loophole in the system.

Last year, I had to change some extra credit and exemption policies because I had a grade-grubber who also had, as Napoleon Dynamite would say, mad skills. I had to institute a few “David” rules last year, and put caps on some extra credit opportunities, because I had never had anyone diligent and smart enough (together) to work it. The incentive system is solid now.

A-Rod’s technique is different. He not only takes full advantage of all the bonus opportunities I offer (vocabulary sentences, extra words for 600 words, etc.), he is also the consummate answer-mooch.

I’m sure you’ve had more than a few of these. I have a whole herd of them this year. But he’s the best in a while. When they get to a question/problem they aren’t sure of, they hit you with a barrage of questions, with various answers “cleverly” embedded to test your reaction.

“Now, on #6, do you mean that…?”

“Read the question.”

“I did, but I think there are two that would work… choice A looks like it could be right, but…On D, do you mean…?”

“Stop mooching answers.”

“Now…on a true/false, the whole statement has to be true or…”

“Would you stop?”

“Like… #7 looks like it could be two answers. Do you use any words more than once on the vocab?”

“Let’s see. Ten words. Twelve blanks. Hmmm. You tell me.”

“I was just making sure.”

“Uh huh.”

You see what I mean. It just wears you out.

Finally I just couldn’t cope any more the other day. He had interrupted me to ask about some +1/2 I was awarding for some sort of trivia knowledge.

“Join me at break. You can sit with the crims for awhile. See how the other half lives. Some of them would kill for that +1/2 you ain’t gettin’ no mo’.”


He received another day of detention ten minutes later for doing it again. It’s in the DNA.

He shows up the next day and sits it out. (I’ll devote a whole post one of these days to my zoo at break detention.)

After I “release the hounds” at the end of break, he hangs back to ask me another “very important” question.

“Does detention go on your record?”

I shake my head sadly, and resist the urge to say,