Here’s the Deal

As this academic year limps across the finish line I am reflecting on what I’ve learned, what things I must change, what things that should be apparent but must be made explicit.  Today these reflections resulted in articulation of a new principle:  The Implied Covenant of Continued Performance.  It’s simple.  If I write a recommendation for you–for law school, for an academic award, for employment–then you promise to continue to perform at nothing less than the same level as your pre-recommendation performance.  To put it another way, you promise not to do anything after I write the recommendation that makes me want to rescind it.  You promise to continue to prepare for class, engage with the course material, contribute materially to discussions, research and write to the best of your ability, and act like the type of student you hope I described in the recommendation.

Or, to put it yet another way, you conduct yourself as if you want me to recommend you again.

Understood?

5 thoughts on “Here’s the Deal”

  1. Professor Randall,

    Year after year, I find myself wiser, smarter, and more intuitive than the year before. That being said, not only would it make sense to continue the same performance level as your pre-recommendation performance, but in essence we should strive to up our level of performance year after year to correlate with our ever developing abilities. Abraham Lincoln once said "Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." This creates a lens through which one can see that it is important to strive to a higher degree of performance and to go up and beyond one's call to order.

    It was my pleasure to be your student this semester in LA 245 and I am motivated to surpass my level of performance, engagement, and contribution to discussion in college year after year.

  2. That is a great tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very precise information… Thank you for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

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