At the beginning of the year, I gave my yearbook staff a very simple syllabus.  It said something along the lines of:

50 points will be deducted from any any pages turned in late.

It’s quite a threat, and it worked…for a while.  If I ever had any intentions of enforcing it, though, they’ve evaporated now that reality has presented itself.  My kids are dropping the ball.  They deserve those 50s, but I just can’t bring myself to give them out.  Here’s why:

1. Retention

I need these kids next year.  Yearbook’s an elective, and electives are supposed to be GPA-padding easy A’s.  Shelling out even one 50 for an assignment doesn’t guarantee failure, but it does make getting an A impossible and the chances of me getting them back next year slim.

2. Morale

 Yearbook only has 14  students.  And four of them deserve that 50.  When almost 30% of staff is hit with a failing grade, I can only see mutiny on the horizon.  When we made our first deadline, I bought the gang some candy and sodas; we took a day to celebrate.  When we missed our second by a few days, there was no celebration.  Lesson learned, I thought.  Our third deadline showed up two weeks ago, and I’m still short 8 pages.  I feel like someone owes me candy (and 8 pages).

3. It’s Gotta Be My Fault

I’m not a long-term thinker.  I can’t plan months in advance.  I’ve gotta take some of the blame for these kids dropping the ball.  They had no daily accountability.  I saw them just sitting there a few times and said nothing.  One kid simply didn’t know she was assigned to one spread.  I could have easily solved that with a What Pages Are You Responsible For Quiz two months ago.

So I’m not sure what to do.  I can dole out those 50’s–be the bad guy and suffer the consequences.  I can play the sucker and keep letting dire mistakes slip by unpunished until the consequences become financial.  Or I can search out a more reasonable middle ground.  Any ideas?


4 responses to “DEADlines

  1. Hi,
    I’m the creator of the comic “Prometheus” that you wrote a post about way back on Feb 2, 2008. I’m getting ready to publish a book collecting some of the comics and I’d like to use the title of your post, “Tear out liver. Repeat” as the subtitle of my book. Would that be OK? I’d gladly mention you in the acknowledgments as the source of the title.
    M. Weinstein

  2. sonnyharding

    Hey, congratulations on putting a book out! That’s fantastic. Yeah, feel free to use that–seems like a good fit. Let me know when it’s out–I’ll pick up a copy.

  3. Thanks! I’ll credit the title to “Sonny Harding”

  4. p.s. If that’s not right please let me know–(you’ll find my email on the “contact me” page on my Prometheus site.)

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