Not once, during the first 41 years of my life did I ever entertain the notion of shirking my responsibilities simply because I “didn’t feel like” doing something. But that’s all changed this semester. Despite the fact that I am paid to give and grade exams, I have decided to follow a philosophy of life modeled by several of you this semester. And I’d like to thank you all before I explain how my new philosophy of life is going to affect you between now and the end of the semester.
First of all, thanks to the young lady who comes to class on time on Mondays, late on Wednesdays, then skips on Fridays.
And thanks to the young man who sits on the back row and chats with the guy sitting on his right every Monday. When his friend skips (every Wednesday and Friday) he talks to the girl seated on his left. Thanks also for not bothering to bring something to write with or write on for most of the semester.
Thanks to the young lady who just now decided to ask me how many tests we have this semester. Thanks for not reading the syllabus once during the last three months of class.
Thanks to the young lady whose cell phone went off during class last week.
Thanks to the young man whose cell phone went off in class two weeks ago.
Thanks to the guy who wore his MP3 player during our last exam. I know it didn’t say anything in the syllabus about not listening to electronic devices – especially ones that can both record and play – while you’re taking a test. But thanks for not jumping up on the desk, pulling down your pants, and defecating during the exam. I didn’t ban that in the syllabus, either.
Thanks to the gentleman who came late to the exam without a pen or paper.
Thanks to the woman who spent our entire review session asking me what was going to be on the test by repeating terms and asking “Is this important?” The answer is “yes.” Being a chronic pain in the ass is important. It means your co-workers will probably hate you as much as your professors – that is, if you ever graduate from college.
And, finally, thanks to the young man who frantically shoves his cell phone in his pocket every day at the exact moment I walk in to class. Sure, cell phones are banned in my class but you really need yours because you can’t go for one hour without text messaging your girlfriend. You figure if you keep sending her twenty messages per hour, she’ll never figure out that you’re in it for the sex. You’re in for a long life, buddy.
But at least all of you have shown me that personal needs are more important than the rules that help us live in a little thing call “society.” Since, I am now joining you in basing my decisions on my personal feelings – as opposed to objective rules – I may well get promoted to the Office of Campus Diversity where all the ground-breaking intellectual work is done.
But, of course, I first have to let you all know how this new philosophy will affect my conduct. Listen carefully as some of these changes may affect you personally:
I will no longer resend you a copy of the syllabus via email after you come to class late or walk in with your cell phone. Instead, I will just take a letter grade off your final average without bothering to inform you. Why? Well, I simply feel like doing it that way. And nothing else matters but my feelings.
I will no longer grade exams and pass them back. If you manage to refrain from making me angry (anger is a feeling, too) for the rest of the semester, I will give you the grade that I feel you deserve. The rest of you will simply fail. Why? Well, I simply feel like doing it that way. You know that nothing else matters but my personal feelings.
For those of you who are my advisees, I have decided to stop doing that, too. Advising is boring and I simply don’t feel like doing it anymore.
I’ll also be coming to class late and answering calls and text messaging during lectures. Some may call it unprofessional but I really don’t feel that way.
All of the complicated and boring cases I discuss in class will simply be skipped from now on. You will still be tested on the material but I won’t explain it. It just takes too much effort. And effort makes me tired. And, of course, tired doesn’t feel good. Some may say I’m lazy but that’s too bad. Nothing matters but my feelings. I don’t like to be inconvenienced.
Oh yes! Before I forget, all of you who have missed appointments this semester please sign up for another one at your convenience. This time, I’m going to stand you up for a meeting. That’s called revenge. Revenge feels good.
If anything I have said today is confusing I promise to send an email reminder later when I feel like it. It may be rambling and it may contain misspellings. I just don’t feel like editing and spell-checking anymore. Living without any rules or any vision is just so damned liberating.
Thank God I never have to leave college! And thank God for tenure!
10 Tips to Survive Today's College Campus, or: Everything You Need to Know About College Microaggressions | Larry Elder