Press "Enter" to skip to content


photo by flickr user scul3asteveo

Dear Mikaela,


I put a lot of pressure on myself (like, a lot a lot) to get straight A’s, but I have one teacher who just hates me. I absolutely will not scrape by with anything better than a B+ in her class, and it’s one of those classes with a participation grade, so I know there’s some subjectivity in there.  What do I do?


Straight A

Dear Straight A,

There is a simple solution to your dilemma; so simple in fact that I’m shocked you didn’t think of it yourself. You go to the teacher’s house, take their favorite puppy/kitty/child hostage, and demand a ransom of an A in exchange for their loved one back unscathed.  See? Easy, breezy, beautiful. What? Like you’ve never considered that.  Fine, just in case you have some kind of “moral issue” with hostage situations, I do have some other suggestions.  First, you should try to make the most of that participation grade.  Do you talk in class?  Like, the good kind of talking that teachers appreciate (inserting thoughtful insights to further discussion:“I think the white in her dress represents purity and naïveté”), not the interrupting kind (screaming out “GIRAFFE SPOTS!” while the class is discussing what white represents).  You also might want to consider making a meeting with this teacher to talk about what you could do to improve.  Teachers love it when you make meetings about their class, because it shows that you care enough to take extra time. Meetings are to teachers as curly fries are to students (delicious, fattening, and wait, what was I talking about?).  Try to show your teacher that you care about her class, and hopefully she’ll come around. And one more thing: even if you don’t get that A, there’s always more to life (like this.)



Have a question?  Email it to (so I’ll get the letters all anonymously).