A Student Maliciously Complied With Their Teacher and Got Some Sweet, Petty Revenge
by Matthew Gilligan
Are you ready for another glorious story of malicious compliance from the pages of Reddit?
You bet you are, or else you wouldn’t be here right now!
And this one is a real doozy, my friends…buckle up and check out how this student got some solid revenge on a teacher.
Refuse to teach? I’ll make you rewrite your whole class.
“So, back in college, i was getting a degree in journalism, and i only had a few classes left. One of the classes was mass comm, which was taught primarily by a professor i cordially detested. Let’s call her Jen.
Jen was a longtime media professional who believed that the best was to teach was to tell us anecdotes about her experiences in radio. The problem being that she did this at the expense of teaching the material, and then tested us on the material.
So she’d spend three hours a week bragging, then expect us to study the material on our own asking her about the material led to tangents about her professional life, and if you could catch her in office hours, she’d do the same.
So, with no choice but to take yet another class with her, i signed up for mass comm and settled in
Now, there immediately was a problem. There was no book for this course. There was no handouts. It was just Jen and power point. The format of the class was Jen would click next slide, tell us a story about her life, and if we were really lucky she’d read the slide and the story would correlate to what was on the slide.
There was also only two graded assignments: the midterm essay, and the final exam.
Now, i can write 1,000 words about anything, so the midterm didn’t concern me. But the final was going to be a test over the slides she was so glibly glossing over.
About a week before the final, she tells us the rules: we can have one sheet of notes, and she’ll allow anyone who asks a copy of her powerpoint to study.
My dad had told me a story once of a student gaming an open notes test, and I had nothing to lose, so i raise my hand
“Can the notes be front and back?”
Jen says that’s fine.
“Do they have to be our own notes?”
No, Jen says, we can get together, swap notes, all that jazz.
“Handwritten or typed?”
Well now she’s getting annoyed and says either is fine.
Going for broke, I have one last question: “Are there any formatting restriction?”
No, she says, and then i thank her and let her get back to bragging.
Naturally, I asked for her powerpoint, went home, and spent 3 hours copy and pasting every single slides worth of text onto a five column, 4pt font single sheet of paper front and back. These are god’s own notes, the be all end all, the entire semesters worth of class material all on one page.
Then i printed 30 copies and gave one to everyone.
The class tested half one week, half the next. After the first test, Jen came back and held up the exams and said, “whose notes are these?”
I raised my hand.
“And you just thought you’d share with thirty of your best friends?”
“Well, you did say that we didn’t have to use our own notes.”
For the first time in years, according to other professors i was frineds with, Jen’s mass comm class had a 100% pass rate.
But the story doesn’t end there. Next semester, an acquaintance, lets call her Lara, approaches me and asked if i still had the god notes. I said yes and sent them to her. Now, Jen had gotten wise to this and restricted notes to a pair of index cards.
Lara, the absolute mad woman, managed to fit the god notes on two index cards. For the second time in as many semesters, there was a 100% passing rate.
The next semester, I’m approached by a girl named Ellen came up to me and asked about the god notes. I emailed them to her on the spot (I kept them on Google Drive) and asked her about the restrictions on the notes this semester. Turns out Jen had said they had to be hand written, but we were back to a standard sheet of printer paper.
Ellen assured me this would be no issue.
Three days later she comes in and shows me that she can apparently HAND WRITE IN 4pt FONT. And apparently, scanning and duplicating them was allowed as long as they were hand written.
100% pass rate.
The next semester Jen ordered textbooks and rewrote the curriculum. And in the last two classes I had with her, she was very careful to stick to the material, and as far as I know, she never gave out her powerpoints as a study guude again.”
Here’s what folks had to say on Reddit.
One person said this was a good move and had a good question about professors.
Another reader made a good point about professors with tenure.
And this Reddit user shared their own college experience with professors like this.