Friday, December 30, 2011

RANT: bad words to follow

TO my student complaining that another student slighted her in class.

First of all, I need you to grow the fuck up and not stay silent so you can bother me later with your cries of how someone was insulting you in class and it's my problem that you didn't say anything.

But second of all, you need to recognize that as a fully-formed adult with online access it is not my job to explain to you that "supersede" is NOT AN INSULT. As in "Susie, I think your comment superseded all the others." As in, the dude was telling you that he enjoyed your contribution. NOT accusing you of plagiarism or being stupid. Why you immediately went to insult, I have no idea, since he was being all smiley when he said it. So what the fuck.

TO the new administrator who offers me classes and then takes them away less than a week before they begin because of a paperwork glitch that she never spoke to me about.

A phone call would have fixed this. I preface this with nice things, to give you the benefit of the doubt, but that is impossible. Since you stepped in to take over scheduling, I've gotten the impression that you are just spinning a bottle to assign classes. Why am I teaching underwater basket weaving while the underwater basket weaving instructor is teaching hamster care (my specialty)?? Clearly you got them switched, or you're just using darts to assign courses. And you need to answer emails before someone blows up your computer.

This last offense on the paperwork leaves me months of preparation gone. You are single-handedly raising my blood pressure. I don't know what to do to reduce the violent feelings I'm experiencing right now, short of chopping down a tree. Fuck. You.

TO my current book project.

When I started you, I thought this was going to be such a fun time. The topic matter is so fun to talk about and even now, 3 years in, I still delight in giving an overview of the ins and outs of the particular subject.

So why did the writing come out so bad? Have I had a stroke? What is wrong with Chapter Four? Who wrote you? I have no memory of making such odd sentence structure. And these obvious argumentative holes? How did this stream out of my head? These arguments look written by a 9th grader. What the hell happened?

I know that I have to delete this entire chapter to start again, writing more clearly this time, but fuck I don't want to do that, even though these few weeks away from teaching are the best time of all to embark on such a project. And so I go to CM instead of pushing through the writer's block. Screw you, book.

TO last semester's students.

STOP EMAILING ME. I HATE YOU. You got a B- or C because you were foolish. You skipped a bunch of class, maybe, or you bombed the final exam, or you thought the homework was optional. This is why you got a low grade. But I don't want to hear it from you any more!! You were a terrible collection of students who failed to make the easiest of connections. The fact that you were graduating seniors enticed me into the false belief that teaching you would be a wonderful learning experience. But it wasn't. It was an identical experience to teaching a freshman class. I had to teach you how to craft an argument, how to cite your sources, how to find the library, and how to analyze information. HOW HAVE YOU GOTTEN THIS FAR??? No, I will not give you a recommendation.

FFS. Stop emailing me. Or I'll go ahead and adjust your grades to a flat F. As in "FUCK YOU."

rant over


  1. New vacation message:

    "Professor Terguson is away from Dec 20th - Jan 3rd. STOP EMAILING ME. I HATE YOU."

    I guess I can say at least my horrible students were only freshman and sophomores. However, they'll end up taking the class with some pushover, as well as other classes, and then I guess they'll be fucking up as seniors. I tried to teach them...then I tried to stop them. I'm sorry, but it's all I can do!

  2. Why are graduating seniors emailing you? I'm a graduating senior (with a job offer) and I could give a fuck about my grades so long as I pass with a D.

  3. They all want to go to law school with prestine grades and somehow I'm the first person to call them on their terrible, terrible bull shit.

  4. To the people: mail pipe bombs to all of them. The ones you truly hate, put nails in the black powder so they're not just blind/deaf and flesh-seared, they have metal bits sticking out of their bodies as well. Use brads, not roofing nails, and a liberal amount.

    To the book: Print off a copy, take it down to the gun range, nail the wad of papers to a target, and just shoot it to ribbons. Take along any other hate objects (pictures of Hitler, that old shitty laptop, Heyek's "Road to Serfdom", etc.) and shoot them as well. Don't use a shotgun, make them suffer - shoot them with a .22 target pistol.

  5. @StockStalker

    First of all, there are often students who aren't even sure whether they will manage a D. There are many such students at universities all over the country. You may be one of those rare geniuses who sailed through college getting D's or better in every class, but not everyone manages to maintain such lofty standards.

    Secondly, at my university and at many others, getting a D doesn't cut it, at least for some subjects. If the course is in your major, or if it is a required course of some sort, then a C is generally the minimum grade required.

  6. I hope it felt as good writing it as it did reading it. Very nice smack with a little snark and violence thrown in. Happy New Year!

  7. @Monkey: Book projects do have a way of taking on a life of their own, don't they? Mine reminded me of how it feels to be the protagonist of the short story, "Love is a Fallacy," by Max Shulman. "I was not Pygmalion; I was Frankenstein, and my monster had me by the throat..."

    @StockStalker: I sure hope you're not going into a field that requires real skill or knowledge based on known facts and right answers, such as health care or engineering. People could die because of what you "don't give a fuck" about learning.

  8. Why does seemingly every jackass with a BA in English Lit or a BS in "Political Science" consider law school? Apparently, these poor suckers are ignorant of the fact that law schools do not teach people how to practice law or to run a business/small office. Furthermore, non-legal employers typically do not want to hire a JD. In their mind, such applicants are idiots for not using their law degree to "rake in the big bucks" or they must have failed the bar exam - meaning that they must not be very smart, after all.

    Also, non-law employers and HR departments typically do not want to hire people they consider combative, or likely to initiate litigation upon being fired or written up. In sum, JD equates to scarlet letters on many applications, resumes and cover letters.

  9. Strel, your advice is so, so good. I might have an enormous bonfire tonight at midnight and slowly burn each page one torturous strip at a time.

    (The bombs went out this morning.)

    Nando, I have tried my best to discourage the poor dears, but when you have something cross-listed with Legal Studies, the proto-law school drop-outs flock to your courses. Nothing will dissuade them from their lawyer dreams. Even reality. They'll end up on the streets, offering piss-poor legal advice to strangers for quarters.

    And Adjunct Slave, writing this just about saved my sanity. Long Live CM!!

  10. "Nothing will dissuade them from their [insert practically anything] dreams. Even reality."

    Yup. That reality. She's a cruel taskmaster. Don't you wish there was some way we could invoke her in our classes?

  11. Just wanted to say "hi". I have been reading many of the posts and it's quite eye-opening to see it from the perspective of the professor. Teaching sounds quite adventurous to say the least.

  12. I have tried so hard to explain to my students that you have a shot to a high-pay job as a lawyer only if you are in the top 10% of a top 10% school. So their chances to land one are about 1% ... But I am evil if I try to keep them away from their dreams.

  13. In my day, "C" was an average grade and "B-" was pretty decent.


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