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August 12, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Fixing Your Life (Because Ours Are Written Off)

“Is it inappropriate to want to sleep with your tutor? Even if he is your age and rather attractive? How does one go about initiating such a rendezvous?”


Well, isn’t this a pretty picture.

Sounds pretty normal to me: like Daniel Radcliffe once said on Rove, “intelligence is sexy”. Regrettably, whether something is commonplace almost never indicates whether it’s appropriate. I like to think of myself as a facilitator. Who better for me to forward this to than some conventionally attractive tutors? One of them is probably the object of lust about which this letter was written—doesn’t that just get you going. Anyway, I asked them to tell me what they thought of your question. Don’t blame me if you don’t like the answer.

They all started off with professional disclaimers, like “I’ve never been attracted to my students”, “feelings are for outside the classroom”, and “I get changed into damp underwear for tutorials specifically to avoid erections”. How’s that for integrity?

Regrettably, when I asked them to “dig it in, muppets”, they gave me the following suggestions on how to pull your tutor. Go to office hours and warm up to them. Do the readings. Participate in tutorials. Do well in your assignments. Avoid staring into middle distance. Regularly (high standards much?!?) demonstrate cutting insight with an air of nonchalance.

The inevitable and somewhat sad conclusion is this. All of the above are just ploys to get you to do better in your courses. Read those ‘tips’ again. They genuinely care about your education. It really doesn’t sound as though they want to sleep with you. One of them half-heartedly said you might “engineer some kind of social contact”, but even that sounds like a fob-off to me. I’ve got to admit, I’m pretty pissed off. I thought I’d get some decent stories and all I’ve done is expose the stringent professionalism of tutors at Victoria University.

“When considering trying to pull your tutor,” said one of the aforementioned sages, “assuming you have the necessary smarts, looks and personal hygiene to succeed, think to yourself, ‘do I want my name to be involved when my tutor declares a conflict of interest when marking my work?’” As arguments go, this is the king-hit. Tutors are not RAs, you know—they have to declare it. And the answer is no. You don’t. Of course, you can go for them, and you’re probably going to do so regardless of all the groundbreaking research I put into this column. Just wait. Wait until after they’ve stopped being your tutor. Wait until you’re not going to put them in an awkward position. Wait until you’ve had five drinks and they’ve had eight.




Hey champ.

Look, Janet’s given you some pretty sound reasons as to why you shouldn’t go ahead with this. Frankly, if you’re attracted to someone who has the requisite lame-itude and lack of social graces to actually become a tutor, then in my opinion you’re beyond hope. Just kidding, I’m not an anti-intellectual—many of my friends are tutors, and I’m not even a member of Overheard @ Vic. Honest!

Still, if you want to pash your tutor, and you just can’t wait until the end of the semester (which, incidentally, is Good Advice), then here are some things you could try. First, if they give you a bad mark, you can always play the sympathy card. We’ve all heard rumours. Second, remember that they’re probably not going to be interested in a sober hook-up, the first time around at least. There are just way too many negatives to that decision for a rationally acting tutor to willingly go through with it. Besides, this is New Zealand. Nobody hooks up sober. So, based on their demographic, work out which bars they will be frequenting and get your prowl on.

If you’re in GeoSoc, you probably have a fairly strong relationship with them already. Sneak some conversation-starting granulite rocks into the next keg party and wait for the funnel to come out. If you’re of the Arts persuasion, all you have to do is attempt to out-hipster them in the corridors of Fairlie Tce. Are The Shins still a thing? Even if they aren’t, the Film Festival is usually lousy with those Honours types, so happy hunting. If they’re a Law or Commerce tutor then I can’t help you. Most of them are either far too maternal or sexually disinterested to be worth chasing.

If all else fails, just assume an air of intellectual superiority and exchange knowing glances when your classmates give terrible answers. Worst-case scenario, you end up as the subject of their Facebook status which gets 24 likes.

Your commitment to chasing only the unattainable worries me,


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