When his daughter showed him the results of her exams from that trimester, he broke into a cold sweat. He was proud of her, no doubt; but the news also meant a few thousand less in his pocket.
It had been going on for months now. And it was such a sudden shift in his daughter’s academic performance that it made him have second thoughts about what was going on. But eventually, he found out the ugly truth.
Molly had never been an outstanding student. She did just alright in English, but her Science and Maths grades had always been on the side of mediocre to terrible.
Still, she was fiercely convinced that she wanted to study something related to medicine after she was done with high school. Given her performance in Science subjects, not many people around her quite understood why that was.
Molly’s parents had voiced their concerns in conversations with her: with those marks, she would have slim chances of getting into a decent program in health studies.
But still, they supported their daughter’s ambitions, all the while reminding her that she would have to apply herself more to get the results she wanted. But it seemed like Molly had some other things to worry about.
Molly would spend her time partying and hanging out with friends. She was a charmer, and everyone in school liked her bubbly and cheerful personality; she was really popular among her peers as well as the teachers.
Her parents agreed that having a good social life and the ability to network were important things. But they also believed that sometimes Molly dedicated too much time to those activities, and her effort would be better spent elsewhere. Or that’s what they thought.
So at one point, Molly’s dad, Andrew, decided to give her an incentive to make her focus more on her studies. He would give her $100 for every A she scored.
It may sound like a risky initiative; how much money would that be at the end of the trimester? However, Molly’s family was well off; and Andrew didn’t expect his daughter to get all As anyway, but he thought that his promise would help her perform at least a little better.
Molly was glad to accept his dad’s offer. Her mantra was that she was smart but just lazy. She had the confidence that she could get straight As if she applied herself.
So she saw the deal as a good opportunity to raise some money. And soon enough, Molly’s family started to see some results.
At the start, it was an amazing surprise for Andrew: for the first time ever, Molly had gotten an A in a Science exam! He was glad to give her her first $100, just as promised.
When this happened, Andrew felt really proud of his daughter’s dedication and intelligence, but also of his authority and influence as a father. He spent the following days raving and telling about it to anyone who would listen to him. But it didn’t stop there.
Molly started coming home with more and more As almost every week! And of course, this made her parents really proud and happy at the beginning. However, they were still a little bit puzzled.
Molly didn’t even seem to be spending more time studying in her room. She was still going out just as often as before, sometimes not coming home until late at night. But after all, they couldn’t complain: she was excelling in her studies and doing so fair and square, right?
So they just thought that Molly deserved to keep cultivating her social life as much as she wanted, as long as it didn’t interfere with her studies.
But still, they found this new situation to be really strange: now Molly was scoring As in pretty much every exam she took, all the while she kept partying and dedicating little to no time to sit down in her room with a book. And there was another problem.
With all those As, Andrew started having a hard time keeping up with the promised payments: it got to a point where he owed his daughter $2,000. He just couldn’t afford the cost of his daughter’s sudden academic improvement.
He was starting to wonder if it had actually been the best idea to make that deal with his daughter. Sure, he wanted Molly to get better marks; but wasn’t ready for it to become a $1,000 monthly expense. So he decided to do something about it.
He would renegotiate the arrangement with Molly. He thought that by now, the girl would be motivated and driven enough to keep scoring As without any economic incentive. She had proved that she didn’t need to limit her social life to do so.
Also, the grades were important for her and her future; it wasn’t something that her parents should have to pay for. Andrew trusted that his authority and influence would be enough to make his daughter respect his decision. But would it really work out fine?
And while Andrew was considering all this and thinking of how to break down the news to Molly, he received a phone call. It was late at night. Who could be calling at that time?
It was someone he didn’t expect: Molly’s Science teacher. He asked if that was Molly’s house. Confused, Andrew answered that it was. He noticed that the teacher sounded quite upset. He was wondering what could be the issue when the teacher hit him with a revelation
Molly’s teacher had a confession to make: Molly’s Science results hadn’t been as fair and square as they seemed. She had been bribing him to give her As regardless of what she actually wrote in the exams!
For every A the teacher was giving Molly, she gave him $50. It may not seem much; but the teacher, sobbing and blubbing, complained that his salary was very low and barely allowed him to pay his bills.
Every A in Science that Molly had gotten since the start of the year was the result of bribing. However, Molly’s teacher felt really remorseful about what he had done and had communicated to the school his decision to resign.
When Andrew asked whether other teachers had been involved in this situation, the Science teacher said he couldn’t speak for his other colleagues. All he knew was that he really regretted his actions. After hearing this confession, Andrew knew what to do.
For the rest of the year, Molly wasn’t allowed to hang out with her friends, and she had to give back the money she had made with her unlawful As. She was forced to stay home and study; she kept scoring As, but this time for the right reasons.
However, Andrew still didn’t know if more teachers besides the Science one had been involved in Molly’s shenanigans. What do you think? Could Molly have been bribing the whole teaching staff?