1. It’s my classroom and you’re just living in it. Keep your feet off the furniture, sit the fuck up, and when I say “get into groups,” you say “with whom?” Got it? Great.
2. If you text, I will not only take your phone, I will take your thumbs. You might get them back after class if you’re lucky.
3. There are no As for effort. Despite what your lame-ass t-ball league taught you, not everyone gets a goddamned trophy. So the only time I want to hear “I worked so haaard on this,” is when it is followed by the phrase “I guess I’ll just have to work harder next time.”
4. There is no excuse for ever writing ‘u’ for the real, English word “you” in your paper. I threw up a little just having to write it now. Just. Don’t.
5. There are stupid questions. “What page is the reading on?”—totally stupid, lazy question. Look it the fuck up. “What’s the assignment for Monday?”—so many layers of stupid. It starts with an ‘s’ and ends with an ‘yllabus,’ and I’ve just taken ten points off of your grade, so I wouldn’t ask again.
6. If you are going to make excuses, you had better make them really fucking entertaining. That whole “grandma died” thing is so, so tired. Now, if you come up with something about how your grandma died and you were delayed because you and your intensely dysfunctional family had to transport her decaying corpse via wagon to the burial plot—that’s interesting and an homage to one of my favorite novels. I’ll like you a lot more when I give you your zero.
7. My concern about your learning is directly proportional to your own concern about your learning.
8. If ever during the course of the semester you feel the urge to utter some permutation of the phrase “I pay your salary,” know that you would be better off clamping your hand over your mouth and hurling yourself out of the classroom via nearest door or window. I will gather your things and return them to you at the next class.
9. Don’t complain. It will do you no good, but it will make you sound like an absolute brat.
10. The best thing you can do for yourself is—for two hours a day, two times a week—try. Try at the work. Try to act like a thinking, engaged human being. Try not to be a huge pain in the ass. Just fucking try.