Friday, February 15, 2008

Listen. We Just Work Here. If We Were Really Responsible for Weepy Wayne, We'd Be On a Lot More Medication.

Dear Wombat of the Copier,

Here's a stapler. Now go staple your dome to a fact. For 75 minutes, that classroom is my kingdom. End of discussion. That means no jackboot SWAT-Team wannabes harassing my students for ticky-tack parking violations. Bust out a crayon and write a ticket, Kojak. No visits from Dean PastyPuss shepherding some Oscar-toting crybaby into my den. My guess is that it's the first classroom either has seen in a while. And no knock-and-announce visits from some self-important stooge who has no respect for the learning of others.

When the room empties, you are free to enter. Until then, hold up the wall in the hallway. That tuition-burping Nostradamus doesn't need my schedule to figure that out. He left his book behind? Tough. And it's always the book. They never forget cell phones or iPods. Books are an afterthought. So is Johnny Memento.

And how exactly did we make the logical spelunk to textbook theft? Where the fuck did that come from? Hey, Professor Pinball, do all your lectures ricochet in arbitrary directions when you plant a flag in the sandbox? Everyone's a thief! Everyone's a victim! Everyone stand back! I'm making copies! I don't give a rat's pink rim what you think a student is before entering this institution. But I have every concern about what that individual becomes as a result of attending a university where rules of individual responsibility apply. The goal here (in theory, seldom in practice) is to produce adults who are responsible, respectful, and mature individuals who will go out into the world and not reduce themselves to blaming others for their individual problems. That way, their rent gets paid, and my institution isn't reduced to a joke.

Why do you insist on planting excuses on students like a note pinned on their vest from mommy? That's not your role. And one more thing. Before I'm accused of cruelly popping the soap-bubble dreams of doe-eyed freshman, let me say that I'm the one they come back and thank. No one in that classroom loves you while it's going down. But I get more former students stopping by my office to say thanks than thumbsuckers in Abercrombie and Fitch diapers looking to play some prof whose head appears as soft as his heart.

Now step aside, you're hogging all the good toner.