I have a prof who notes (in red) on the seating chart who wasn't prepared when she cold-called them. I live in terror of receiving a red mark, b/c she told us she reserves the right to adjust our grade up or down slightly depending on our level of preparedness in class. This has resulted in my spending lots of time making sure I know the cases in the readings. I stopped briefing and started doing book briefs, but now that I've realized that she likes to ask for specific language from the cases, I'm questioning my decision. My jaw has been permanently clenched for a month. I know I'm prepared, but I feel like it's never enough. The fact that LRW is so time-intensive is not helping my stress levels.
Any tips sealocust? Like, just settle down and accept that I'm prepared when all evidence indicates such?
Yep, psychological warfare. By all means, do your reading and arrive for class prepared, but remember it's not the ultimate goal.
The whole purpose of this is to make you scared, to make you feel unprepared, to ask for things you aren't likely to know. You'll do your best and work with what you have and it will be fine. The whole point of cold calling and the Socratic method is to make it kind of an impossible challenge for you.
Basically, you should relax your jaw a bit because you're just mired in a system that's set up to be painful. So there's nothing to fear, even if you can't stop the pain and all of the anxiety, because you're supposed to be struggling and confused. Par for the course, everyone goes through it. The prof, if looking for anything, is looking for tenacity and the ability to work through the harshness - not instant perfection.
As to the end results, professors are lazy and blind grading is sacred; you'll see almost every prof "reserve the right" to adjust grades and very few do it in practice, even fewer in a way that you'd ever even know about. When they say unprepared, they really do mean didn't show / didn't do the reading, not "couldn't get the exact right answer in the exact right amount of time." If you did the work, you won't ever hurt yourself by being wrong in class.