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Pleading My Case
Published on September 12, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about my recent court appearance.

Here's an excerpt:

"I know people who contest every traffic ticket they receive.

I’m not one of those people.

I’ve always had a difficult time explaining why I should get out of a ticket I know I deserve.

This reluctance to plead my case stems from something I first became aware of in childhood, when I observed classmates shamelessly lobbying for better grades on tests. Now, I can totally understand asking for your grade to be changed if you uncover a mistake — if the teacher erred when correcting your exam.

But that’s not what was going on here. These students weren’t pointing out mistakes. They were arguing that because they really wanted a higher grade, they should get one.

My few attempts to engage in this sort of behavior were abject failures.
During tests, I observed that my classmates were sometimes able to summon the teacher, ask for clarification about a question, and receive helpful hints. I decided I should try this, too, and requested some extra guidance during a chemistry exam. My teacher simply stared at me. 'I can’t just tell you the answer,' she said.

Perhaps this experience explains my lack of confidence at pleading my case."

 

Click here to read the whole thing.

User Comments
Jon Daley | September 13, 2013 03:20

For speeding tickets, I'm told that if you show up to contest it, you almost always get half off at least, and sometimes a lot more.

I have a friend who got out of a ticket for running a stop sign because the office wrote down the wrong address. The judge didn't bother to ask him if he had run a stop sign when the office pulled him over.

As far as grades go, in college, I had a friend who studied with me and we generally were on the same level of understanding. He argued points on every test and always got more points added on for partial credit, etc. At the end of four years, it did add up and he got a couple tenths of a point higher on his GPA. That was a lot of time spent in TAs' and professors' offices...

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