Mike Adams

*Stanley had a tendency to come to class listening to an iPod, which he did not turn off once the lecture began. He just kept his earplugs in and swayed to the music while I lectured on light topics such as first-degree murder and aggravated rape (I teach criminology, by the way). The syllabus clearly stated that he was not to do this (and allowed me to deduct a point from his final average for every transgression). I also reminded him of this by sending numerous e-mails. But since he did not read the syllabus and did not check his e-mail, he never figured out that he was risking failing the class until it was too late. In short, Stanley’s disregard for rules is exacerbated by his lack of common sense and his propensity to live in the moment without regard for the long-term consequences of his conduct.

*Stanley seemed to get confused in many of my lectures. I know this because once he took off his earplugs and started to listen to the lecture, he often made strange faces. When I saw these pained expressions, I always stopped and politely asked Stanley what was wrong. He then announced that he was “lost.” I just suggested that he should bring a pen and notebook to class, rather than his iPod. That usually made him even angrier. In short, Stanley seems to be more interested in broadcasting his problems to others than he is in pursuing common-sense solutions. He clings to his status as a victim because he has Attention Deficit Disorder – a pathological need to draw attention to himself, which, seemingly, can never be satisfied.

Stanley will probably be graduating this semester. But it has been a close call. He began his final semester on five waiting lists (to get into the last five classes he needs to graduate). This happened because he missed his final advising appointment and all the required courses were filled up by the time he came by my office. He had to personally track down all of these professors and beg to get into their classes. For two weeks, he called my office constantly (and consumed more of my time than all of my other advisees combined). I advised him patiently throughout the ordeal but, to date, I have received no thanks for doing so. In short, Stanley sees government officials as servants obligated to insulate him from the consequences of his own actions. At no point does he consider the possibility that the system would break down if everyone behaved the way that he does.

There is a chance that someday Stanley will grow up and stop living in accordance with the worldview espoused by his sociology professors. But I pity his first employer. If you hire Stanley, you can expect him to be late, inattentive, confused, angry, and in constant need of supervision.

Aside from these concerns, I have no other reservations.


Mike S. Adams

Stan, I know you might never read this e-mail because you rarely check your university e-mail account. So my words will probably never benefit you personally. That is why I have published your letter of recommendation on the internet. When others read it, they can benefit from your ill-considered decision to incorporate liberal ideas into a liberal lifestyle. Some day you might grow out of this and become a responsible and productive citizen. If that ever happens, and if you do eventually read this e-mail, I ask only one thing: Please share the attached letter with someone who needs it.

Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.