Young, fresh-faced colleagues (YFFCs) propel themselves into my office, bearing stories from “the front”—that is, an arduous series of committee meetings initiated by the administration created in order to find logical solutions to university problems. These YFFCs are too naive to have yet realized that their endless research and efforts will be for naught, because 99% of committees created by administrators to solve university problems are only initiated so that the administration can appear to be “proactive”.
When the initial solution, which costs money, is rejected, the administration will ask those same YFFCs to “reconfigure another solution” over the summer, off contract. The administration will want the solution to cost nothing, yet solve everything. And the YFFCs will be shocked, shocked, at this turn of events. Just shocked. But they will learn. They will learn.
Congratulations, YFFC. You are now a line on an administrator’s cv, having served on the Committee to Effect Changes that the Vice President Thinks are Vitally Important but Will Eventually Refuse to Fund.
|plural, just in case|
One student stands sullenly in my office, trying to defend his thesis statement that we ought to be able to euthanize people if they don’t seem to be enjoying their lives. I try to explain delicately that if this were the case I ought to be able to euthanize him, but he still doesn’t get it. He might if I actually attempted to euthanize him, but then I ask myself "What would Jesus do?" And I decide that Jesus would take a Xanax, and I do that instead.
Another student turns in a paper using a PowerPoint presentation created by seventh-graders as a scholarly source. She also refuses to use quotation marks to indicate direct quotes, and consistently repeats “in lament’s terms” instead of “layman’s terms,” which I find so appropriate that I the mistake stand.
In the worst case of all, a student does a happy dance of sheer joy at finding out she earned a perfect score on her final, after which she does a crying shamble of abject sorrow at finding out that she’s getting an F in the course for plagiarizing her final paper.
Lament’s terms, indeed.