So Your TA Rejected Your Bribe

author-pic at University of Minnesota  

Money makes the world go round, except when it doesn’t. While you may have high hopes going into this semester, what you probably don’t have is a plan for when the last sixteen dollars in your wallet somehow isn’t good enough for a grad student with seven years worth of debt. There are times when not even cold, hard cash can calm your late night fever dream of a lab report. Here are the next steps to take after your TA rejected your bribe.

6.) Don’t panic:
There’s an old saying that goes, “Calm people live, panicked people die.” While you may not die from having to retake Physics II, will life really be worth living if you do? Take a deep breath and realize that everything will be A-OK. Drop down to Sally’s, knock back a few beers, and try not to let their abomination of a mascot induce any more panic than she already does.

5.) Up the ante:
Everyone has a price, and clearly, this TA is some kind of Saudi Prince who drives a hard bargain. That’s fine, all you have to do is sweeten the deal a little bit. If your good friend Mr. Lincoln isn’t enough, maybe you could introduce your “friends,” Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson. That adds up to a whopping twenty-seven dollars, for you historians out there. For good measure, throw in some Gopher football tickets too because TAs thrive off disappointment.

4.) Identity theft:
Still didn’t take the bribe, huh? Well just because you’re not smart or rich enough to pass this class that doesn’t mean somebody else isn’t. Admittedly this is harder to do when they already know who you are and what you look like, but this is about creativity, something those stuffy Physics II professors and their lab report deadlines would never understand. Kidnap Goldy and assume his identity. This is the only way. If you can’t humorously mime your way to a C- then there’s not much anyone can do for you. 

3.) Transfer to a worse school:
Madison anybody? But no, seriously, if you can’t hack it at this class all you need to do is find a different school with lower standards and dumber people. Like Madison. Hell, they’d probably make you a professor over there. The only downsides to this are the crippling alcoholism, embarrassing badger fixation, and a Chick-fil-A sized hole in your heart.

2.) Panic:
Okay, so you got rejected by Madison and at this point, your options are limited, so some mild hysterics could be forgiven. In fact, a full break-down on the steps of Coffman is even encouraged. The world isn’t kind and we all know that nobody ever got far in life without a solid, theoretical grasp of physics. If you can’t convince the TA with money, smarts, or criminal aptitude, you can at least get him to pity you. It’s not going to be pretty, but neither is kidnapping a man who thinks he’s a gopher, so get over yourself and start crying on the ground.

1.) Drop it:
Duh. This is the first thing you should have done. By the time the next semester rolls around you’ll be older, wiser, and most importantly, richer. So even if there is somehow another academic mishap, there is no way any TA could resist two birthdays’ worth of B-Loco drink tickets AKA a margarita aquarium. By the time they come to you’ll be the one in grad school, rejecting generous bribes from equally brilliant and desperate undergrads.

Sure, more often than not your TA will reject your bribe, but on the off-chance that they do accept it, your best bet is to keep on trying.