Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Visit from the Not-So-Sainted Greta

'Twas four days after Christmas, and all up in my grill
My students were stirring up messages shrill.
The grades were in days ago, calculated with care
In hopes that my students would find them all fair.

My critters were nestled all snug in my bed
While visions of contraband--you know, like forbidden human food and unattended toilet paper rolls--danced in their heads.
I was happy in jammies, in my hand a nightcap
To help counter another late afternoon nap.

When drawn to my desk, I admit epic fail.
I booted the computer to access email. 
(I cursed my old Windows; it was slow as molasses.
Hey! When did I start needing to use reading glasses?)

First I cruised Facebook to see funny photos,
Then Reddit, then Cake Wrecks, then over to Pogo.
Then finally email, and what did I find?
Many student emails, each one of them unkind.

With a small bit of vitriol, none lively, no wit,
Each student threw miniature nuclear fits.
More rapid than eagles their hatred it came,
Some hooted, some hollered, some called me rude names!

"You're terrible! Stupid! You're mean and you hate me!"
Said one student, "What gives you the license to rate me?"
"I worked so hard! How did I fail?" asked another.
Yet another one chimed, "I've complained to my mother!"

As dry leaves that before wild hurricanes fly,
These student complaints irritated my eyes.
As I fumed in my head, and I thought what to do,
Another note came in, quite out of the blue.

It arrived slightly later than all of the others,
And I almost deleted it, along with its brothers.
I cringed at the name; I remembered the lad.
His countenance always looked snarky and mad.

His eyes never twinkled, his face was so sour.
He looked like he'd never survive our one hour.
He thought that his writing was perfect and droll;
He never did smile; I lamented his soul.

The cap of a pen he chewed throughout class,
And when he spoke, spoke as though talking through glass.
He had a hard face and was trendy and skinny,
The one time he laughed, it resembled a whinny.

He looked like he needed to eat more than junk food,
And I wondered how much sugar and carbs tanked his mood.
A roll of his eye and a shake of his head,
The first day of class warned me what was ahead.

This email was vile, full of personal insults,
Ignoring his own lack of effort and results.
And laying a finger on top of one key
I jettisoned it, him, and all the other student-based tea-partying crap that cluttered my inbox, along with        several useless messages from various offices around campus and some spam--with glee.

I rose to my feet and remembered my wine,
Thought fondly of bed and hot bath and time--
Time between now and next term, time I'll take,
So Happy New Year to me, and to all, a good semester break!


  1. Brilliant! POW (even though I haven't yet caught up on a week's worth).

    1. Greta, I envy your critters!

      Anytime I get personal insults in e-mail from students, I just shake my head, especially when they still clearly expect me to change their grades. These kids are in for some surprises when they reach the real world, aren't they?

  2. Worthy of printing and posting on my door, alongside your brilliant haiku. Well stated!

  3. Thanks, everyone! I was inspired by that one truly vile email. I need to get my rants out in verse, sometimes, to help put things in perspective and to exercise my creative muscles to exorcise those pesky academic demons.

    Froderick, you are incorrigible.

    Happy New Year, everyone!

  4. I was waiting for that "visit" all weekend! It finally came today. That was so nice Greta.


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