Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hilly from Honey Acres With Some Snowflake E-Mail.


My name is Well-meaning William. I took your 1865 to present history class my freshmen year, which I thoroughly enjoyed by the way. I'm currently in ENG 200 English Literature and composition and have been assigned to write a 3 page paper for which I am taking a stand on a particular topic of my choosing. I have chosen to write why Theodore Roosevelt was one of the best and most macho president in our country's history. 

The reason I am emailing you is that I have been required by Professor Oldschool to acquire 8 sources with only 2 being from websites and the other 6 should be from books or personal references, either by email or interview. It would be a tremendous help to me if I could set up a time to meet or come in during office hours to get a little bit of your insight, knowledge, and opinion about President Theodore Roosevelt. If an interview is not possible, a simple email with a little bit of information about him would be much appreciated, as well as leads to sources for more information on Roosevelt. The final paper isn't due until next Thursday but i would appreciate meeting at your earliest convenience, at a time that is good for you. I would greatly appreciate any help you can give me for this project. Thank you so much. Hope all is well!

W-m Wm.


He's a nice enough kid, but how on earth does he think I'm an appropriate source on TR? (I am an American historian, but no authority of any kind on Mr. Roosevelt) I feel like I should meet with him and just spout off a bunch of utter bullshit about good ol' Teddy. "Didntcha know he was a secret transvestite? Had a hemp plantation in Panama?" Any other suggestions are welcome; this kid will never know, as he plans to do no actual research. And just what does Prof. Oldschool mean by "personal references?" I'm really glad I'm on sabbatical right now...


  1. Ha. That's just hysterical. "Hi! I took your class a couple of years ago! Would you mind doing all the research for a paper I have due in a week? KTHNXBAI."

    Ignore. Ignore. Ignore. Even if you weren't on sabbatical. If he writes you again, write back on Wednesday night and say "Oh, I'm on sabbatical and I haven't been checking my school email as much. Sorry. Good luck with your paper."

    If you weren't on sabbatical, I would still ignore him until at least the third email. Then I'd simply state my office hours. By then it would be too late anyway. Ha ha ha. Idiot.

  2. That's friggin' hilarious! He's actually asking YOU to do all the leg work for him. And you're quite right...should you be generous enough to share any of your keen insight and wisdom, Teddy might very well have been a dope growin' tranny in his off-hours.

    I think that Professor Oldschool is making one hell of a concession by letting them throw in 2 internet sources rather than 100% properly adjudicated works. And personal references, whatever that might be.

  3. Send him the reference librarian's e-mail address.

  4. I am bothered that your response was "I'm not enough of an expert" instead of "Fuck off, kid, you're the student and you are required to learn these skills outside of making other people do your work for you."

  5. email him a short reading list of books on Teddy. You can copy the one from the ANB or Wikipedia.

  6. TR was named after his favorite stuffed animal, the teddy bear and his favorite president, Eleanor Roosevelt.

    Or, send him a list of TR references, each no shorter than 800 pages.

  7. @Academic Monkey -- that pretty much WAS my response. I told him that I was on sabbatical, so there's no way he was going to see me, and that even if he did, he needed to get off his ass and get to the LIBRARY. Where there are ACTUAL BOOKS.

  8. If Hilly were an expert on Teddy then the student's email would have been a great idea.

    I suspect that this student isn't being lazy he just has no idea that a history prof isn't an anything history expert.

    I think that an email indicating that Hilly isn't an expert on Teddy and knows next to nothing about him so Hilly isn't a good source. Then indicate that the library is really the best place to start his research. He might be able to find out who is the Teddy expert and email that person.

  9. It's possible that the assignment was intended to get students to speak with professors about subject matter.

    I'd e-mail with some statements about my opinion of Teddy and Machismo, being sure to minimize facts, and doing absolutely zero research to enhance my factual understanding. I don't think that is out of line to ask for, nor do I think it's "doing the research" for the student.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.