Dating teachers

Having no textbooks of my own, I needed a better way to learn. So in college, I dated my college professors.

Not “dated” as in romantically, but “dated” as in set up a time and place to meet to talk. And most importantly, to show off.

I got at least two As in college directly because of this and probably improved my grades in a couple other classes as well.

Now some people will likely complain that the school system shouldn’t work this way, that I shouldn’t do better in a class simply because the professor favors me.

I’m not going to argue (much) whether it should or shouldn’t work that way. The reality is this: it does work that way.

If I was trying to argue for this I’d say that real life works that way too. In anything we do, doing a good job means making someone happy, getting someone to like you and what you do.

For example, if you work at Target, your job is to make your boss happy and your customers happy. Do that well, and you will do well at your job. It doesn’t matter how well you count change or work with Photoshop or carve horses out of soap. It only matters if someone wants you to do that.

In other words, we’re in the business of pleasing people. If you’re not doing that, you’re missing it.

Back to dating though.

I’d meet the professor after class on the first day of the semester. “Hey,” I’d say, “I’m looking forward to your class this semester (which was true in the beginning of most classes). I’m going to stop by during your office hours today. Is that okay?”

During office hours, I’d meet the professor again, explain that I’m shooting for an “A” in the class, and ask what I could do to achieve that grade. Sure, they knew I was just trying to get on their good side. But hey, that’s the point.

The key rested in the follow up. One meeting worked well, but multiple meetings, like dating, worked wonders.

The professor realized my interest because of all the questions I asked and work I showed. I stayed motivated to get stuff done to show the professor and discover more questions to ask.

It’s win-win. Dating teachers is always win-win.

And it’s not just for college. Keith Ferrazzi encourages us to never eat alone, and Ramit Sethi argues it’s the best $20 we can ever spend. And they’re writing from a business perspective.

What surprises me is how rarely anyone tries it. But hey, it only allows those of us who do try it more attention.