Dear Mom, How often is too often for someone to ask you for your notes and how do you politely tell them no? Generally, I don’t mind sharing my notes but the person has asked that I copy my notes into an e-mail. When I give them the opportunity to copy my hand written notes they will still ask me to e-mail them. Sincerely, In a quandary
Dear Quandary, I have faced this particular situation as well. On the one hand you feel terrible, like you’re not a true friend if you don’t share your notes. On the other hand, the person who doesn’t want to work and just wants the notes isn’t really learning anything by having you dole them out. After a few weeks of doing a similar thing for a class member, I decided it was worth losing a friendship in favor of keeping my integrity and giving the person an opportunity to learn. The next time the person asked for help I told them I could no longer share my work unless they were willing to share some of their own notes with me. They agreed. The next time notes became available, this person said they had forgotten to do them and asked if I could bail them out just this one last time. I said no. I explained that I’d spent a lot of time on my notes and I didn’t think it was fair that they wanted mine free and clear without doing anything. It was hard. I didn’t talk to this person for a long time. They eventually dropped the class. When I saw them months later they explained that they’d decided on another class. I still have no idea if they were mad at me about the situation, but I still feel good about what I did. There is nothing worse than feeling like a doormat, and I do believe there are students out there who will use others to get through school, even if, in their mind, they are just asking for “help.” Mom
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