I Love A Good Bribe

The tiny box was pink and crammed thick with airy tissue paper. A present? For me? You shouldn’t have. Correction. You can’t. That’s because I suspect this exchange, occurring a week before final exams, isn’t quite Kosher.

You give me a present and I give you an…….. “A”!

It’s a simple formula. Of course, I could make it even easier by creating an Amazon wish list. That way, we wouldn’t have to include the whole class in this awkward exchange. Then again, the public display of gifting is part of the game. You know I’m weak and I don’t want to offend, and the wrapping, it’s just so damn tempting!

Fact: I have succumbed each time a student offers me a present, which by my count, now totals a whopping six gifts over 28 semesters or 14 years. I have received two scarves, a small handmade purse, cookies, candy and dry erase markers. Apparently, I have a chicken neck that begs to be covered, a low sugar count and faint handwriting.

What has saved me from the moral abyss of accepting gifts is that all six students were already in the “A” range. Unless they had slept through their final exam, their grade was a foregone conclusion. This is an important point because cookies last about three seconds in my presence and can’t be returned half-eaten.

This brings me to my non-A, non-gifting students. I have had students cry, plead and curse when they realize they have not earned an A or a B or a C or alas a D. But, I have never been bribed and I hope to keep it this way. As evidence, I present my Amazon wish list which continues to grow, not shrink.

Comments on my moral meter are welcome.shutterstock_156736121






  • JackieDecker

    Although I am mainly an A-B student, being able to bribe a teacher might be a good option to help my grade, but morally this wouldn’t agree with me. I don’t think I would feel okay with bribing a teacher as I feel like I wouldn’t have earned the grade and therefore didn’t deserve to get an A with someone else who did earn the grade. I also feel that I wouldn’t have learned the necessary things I would need out of a class and therefore wouldn’t be prepared to move onto the next class. Even though I wish I could do this, morally I don’t think I could do it.

  • btrandolph

    maybe it was a math class. 😛

  • Hayley315

    Where exactly can i have access to maybe a “Deirder Verne Wish list” , I mean if by in fact there was one, what would be on it ? 😉

    • Deirdre Verne

      My only wish is that my students pass!

      • Hayley315

        Of course I was kidding. But thanks for taking my comment lightly 🙂

  • dreynolds1

    In regards to the gifts you received from your former students, they appear to be merely tokens of appreciation and gratitude. In college, the majority of students do not give gifts to their professors as opposed to those in grade school who do and usually if they do, the gifts are coming from the students’ parents. I do not believe many in the college environment use gifts as a bribe. Like you mentioned, the students who were struggling will usually plead to their professors nearing the end of the course, hoping for an extra credit opportunity or at least an increased level of leniency upon grade submission. I feel regardless of their grades in the course, a gift should not be viewed as a bribe. The student may genuinely appreciate the presence of a truly great professor, out of the many not-so-good ones. The only scenario that I would view as being a bribe would be if the gift given was of great monetary value. The smaller gifts you received seem fairly appropriate.

  • corona914

    Only once have I gifted a professor in the past and it was not with the intention of bribing him but rather because I really appreciated all the fun times I had in his class. My grade should have been an F but he gave me a C but that was before I gave him the present which automatically takes the possibility of it being a bribe out of the equation. Many of my friends did in fact think that it was a bribe. To this day the professor still remembers that in his 30+ years of teaching I was the only student who ever gave him a present. Has anyone else here ever gifted a professor with no intention for it to be a bribe but was taken otherwise by friends or acquaintances? It would be interesting to hear about it if so.

  • nickessernow

    I believe that it is acceptable for a teacher to bring in gifts for the student in the form of snacks or prizes to get students involved. I also believe it is acceptable for students to do the same for teachers. I am a good student and I like to think and my gift to my professors is that I am activly particpating in class and on time. I have thought about bringing in snacks to a class before for a few reasons. One would be because I enjoy the class and its early in the morning or late at night. Or that I enjoy the teacher. My bringing in these things I wouldn’t consider a bribe but more of a thank you. I appreciate some of my teachers more than others. And there are some teachers I love to talk with after class where there are others I can’t wait to get to the door as soon as that clock ticks 2:50. As for if my grade is ever in the B range and I want and A. Or even worse if I ever had a C and needed it to be higher. I would do anything in my power from mowing your lawn, washing your car or making you a big batch of blueberry muffins. There is nothing wrong with the student doing these things in my opinion. But I would rather just pay attention and not have to worry about kissing the professors butt at the end of the semester and just know what I am getting the grade I deserve. All this being said. I like to write my professors that I enjoy a very nice email after the last day of class thanking them for all their work and telling them I enjoyed the class. I only do this to the teachers that I connect with. And hey it never hurts to get in one last round of brownie points before grades are posted.