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Volume 2, Number 2, Feb 2002

Mock Mediation Roleplay #6 (continued)

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Joan and David

David (student)
As a major in international studies, you took Joan's seminar because you have a deep interest in international politics, and Joan is a highly regarded teacher and expert in the field. She only came to campus a year ago, and until now you hadn't been able to study with her.
You felt that Joan has been out to make an example of you in front of the other students. From the first class she had called on you frequently to address an issue under discussion. And then she engaged you in debates, challenging every assumption and argument you offered. You've felt frustrated and angry. And so you decided that if she wanted to argue, you'd give her things to argue about, and you deliberately took provocative stances just to piss her off.

Then, near the end of the quarter you went to her office to ask for an extension of 5 days on the research paper she assigned. You had a good reason, the opportunity to attend an important 4-day student conference in Baltimore. As a student leader, you've been involved in other meetings and conferences on student leadership. Because of that involvement, you'd been asked to attend this meeting. When you went to her office to ask her for the extension, she didn't want to hear your reasons, and said that you'd better have it in on the deadline. You began to argue with her and tell her that her treatment of you the whole quarter has been unfair. You did raise your voice, and began to move around the desk to talk with her more directly. She came around the desk and met you. Putting her hands on your chest, she told you to get back, or something like that. She had no right to touch you, and so you pushed her arms away and told her to "Leave me alone." She then told you to leave her office and you did.

What a lousy way to end your college career. You had high hopes that Joan would become a mentor this year, help you with decisions about graduate schools, and perhaps even support your application for the fellowship in international studies which she once held at Oxford. Now, instead you've got to deal with this stupid complaint, and any hope of her support has gone up in smoke.
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