Here I am, enjoying another round of office hours. Thankfully the cheerful chirping of the crickets echoing from the windowless, cinderblock-walled cavern that is my office keep me company, or is that just the delirium from the crushing boredom? No, no, there cannot be boredom, because we all know what office hours are good for: getting work done. I can sit here and grade papers, I can read journal articles, I can type up nifty abstracts to submit to this year’s Giant Haughty Academic Conference. I think I’ll write about… biochemistry and… poststructuralism (see, I have a “conference paper topic” dartboard!). You know what I won’t do, though? See any students walk through that door, unless one condition is met: it is the day before a major assignment or test, and Sam Snowflake needs to have everything, absolutely everything, explained to him. But Sam, I say, how did you possibly understand anything in the last three weeks of class without understanding Basic Concept Q, which we went over so many times in class that even the dust mites in our cheap carpeting learned it? Oh, you were confused about it? Well, that’s ok, when I ask in class if everyone understands, and I offer to answer questions after class, and I repeat time and again to feel free to send me emails, of course I prefer the delightful chorus of crickets to, you know, students actually asking questions about concepts they don’t understand. Of course, the snowflakes only appear in my office about two or three times a semester. All those other hours when I’m stuck in the office when I’d rather be at home with the kids, or in the library, or in a bar with a pint of beer, well, not a soul drifts by. Office hours feel like an archaic, vestigial practice of academia the need for which was soundly obliterated by email. I’d be happy with “by appointment only” office hours, which of course requires a commitment from the snowflakes that never ever materializes, but of course the department has to cater to the wonderful little tuition-payers, our customers. So here I am, feeling like I should be scrawling hieroglyphs on some fresh sheets of papyrus, or pressing little triangular rods into a clay tablet, but instead I shake off my daydreams and realize that, yes, this is the 21st century, and yes, here I am stuck in my office hours for no reason.