Monday, July 8, 2013

Sid from Santa Fe Tries the Academic Haiku, Short Enigmatic Free Verse Occasionally Referencing Snowflakes, Misery, and Margaritas.

I am untowardly
teaching summer school,
and hating it.

The snowflakes melt
at the faster pace
and the condensed limits.

I smile and wave
as their dreams dash on my desk.
I worry, too.

Am I doing enough?
Is there time?
Is my heart condensed like their time?

I make special options,
and make special visits in
to an empty office.

I wait. I'm willing.
Maybe a bit more disheveled
than a normal term.

But my brain is sharpened
and ready to offer assistance,
if they'd only come.

"No time, Professor Sid,"
they say, and I say back,
"What about this weekend?"

I was there on Saturday.
I know it seems like a weekend,
but in six weeks we must use every minute.

Or not.
And the not means
Cs and Ds.


  1. You're a regular Dick! Tingle, I mean.

    Love the desk line!

  2. There's a special circle of Hell reserved for students who insist on meeting at an unusual time and then fail to show up for the appointment. It's pretty crowded.

    1. Let's see, fraud is in the 8th circle, and treachery is in the 9th circle, some serious shit! How's about having them stand around in festering corruption waiting, forever? Particularly egregious cases get "Waiting for Godot" played as a sound track.

  3. That's an extremely accurate description of summer school. I draw the line at weekends on campus (save the occasional unadvertised quiet Sunday afternoon in my office, catching up), but I was certainly online (appropriate for an online class) all of Saturday. And I plan to go sit in my empty office tomorrow (when no one will come; then some student, having read my note about on-campus availability too late, will want to see me on Weds. or Thurs. or Fri., or perhaps even, yes, Saturday. I will say no. There are some advantages to online classes.)

  4. During the semester this year I switched to appointment-only office hours because I got sick of making myself available during posted hours only to have students drop by whenever they damn well felt like it. Now I warn them that if they must drop in unannounced, they can at least call ahead to perhaps spare themselves a useless march up the stairs. They seem pretty OK with just coming back later or emailing their question if they don't find me around, since there is still enough respect for hierarchy around here that they recognize the onus is on them to defer to us rather than the other way around.

    But making an appointment ON A SATURDAY and not showing up?? Grounds for...well, something memorable. What might a proffie get away with as retribution for such an offense?

  5. I taught summer school once. Never again.

    I'm ashamed to confess that, on multiple occasions, I did accept appointments at weird times with students who subsequently did not show up. That was when I was still a far-too-eager-to-please Accursed Visiting Assistant Professor/tenure-track Assistant Professor. It took much longer than it should have, but I have since learned to say NO.

    1. When I was 19 and serving in the U. S. Navy, I tried to make an appointment at the dental clinic on base for Saturday. They asked me if I was drunk, so that cured me of that.

      Still, I don't come down on students too hard when they try to make appointments for weird times, since people of this age are often naive enough to try this. Making an appointment for a weird time and then failing to show up is something else, however.