gender class, even though you would only be a sophomore. I said, “Yes. However, it is going to be reading and theory intensive, so you are going to have to do more reading then most, because you don’t have the background in theory you will need.” You promised that if you got added to my class, you would read over the summer to make sure you were prepared. You even took the list of books I gave to you read, laughing and smiling as you said, “Thank you! Thank you!” I NEVER learn! You never read any of those books over the summer. You never read any of the books for class either. You don’t know the difference between a theory and a method. My ferret writes a better literature review than you. Yet you keep on laughing and smiling. I hope your jolliness gets you through the winter break, because your grade in my class won’t. This grade will be the coal in your stocking.
Carefree Caylee: Of course I understand the implosion with your group of peers wasn’t your fault. Yes, I know that when the first group imploded that was Tom’s fault, not yours. After all, he’s task-oriented, a goal-setter, a go-getter and is meticulously organized. I know it was too much for him to ask that you remain on campus one weekend so your group could meet to make arrangements to do research in a local nonprofit organization. Yes, I know all these things, because you went to the chair of the department and had a crying fit in his office. Of course, then I had to sit in his office. I had to rearrange the entire class around the fact that you are a whiney, privileged, little “My daddy’s a doctor” contessa. I needed to do this because you told the chair you were afraid of Tom. So I rearranged the groups – separating you and Tom as if you were on the kindergarten playground. Guess what? Your new group was no better. Gasp! They wanted to meet on weekends. You told them, “I can’t meet on weekends, because my daddy wants to see me on weekends and he is paying for school, so I have to do what he wants.” I hope daddy the doctor is impressed with your failing grade and the fact you won't graduate, because if there is one class you must pass, it is this one - the capstone. Of course you and he know that too isn’t your fault. Happy Holidays!
Ryan the Recluse: Holy shit you came to the final exam! It is the seventh time I’ve seen you all semester. You showed up the first day of class. You showed up and gave your first speech. You took the midterm. You took the final. You also showed up for each of the three days you were supposed to give speeches in class. Unfortunately when you showed up you didn’t give them. You got full credit for the first speech. You got an A- on the midterm and an A on the final. While I am thrilled by the fact that you read the book and studied for the two tests, I am afraid that you are getting 0 for participation, and three 0s for the three speeches you missed. You see Ryan, the point of a speech class is that you come to class and give speeches. Let’s see, that’s 225 points out of 950. You should be grateful I bothered to grade your final. Consider it your Christmas present. I hope you aren’t shocked when you realize that 24% is an F.
Sanctimonious Sandy: While I realize your closed-minded religiosity (I don’t dare call it Christianity this close to Christmas: that would be sacrilegious) is a definite part of your identity, bringing up conservative religious beliefs is not appropriate for every topic in our class on gender. Worse still, while you believe all opinions are equal, there are some opinions more equal than others. Those are called informed opinions. You have succeeded brilliantly in keeping your opinions uninformed. If you don’t think that is a good idea that women should vote, express it by not voting. Teena Brandon’s sexuality did not prove she was demon possessed and needed an exorcism. That’s some empathy you have. It really reminds me of the Jesus that hung out with prostitutes, cripples and other ‘undesirables.’ Queer theory is not an attempt by academics to “turn everyone homosexual.” If you had read the Butler and Foucault, you would understand that. I know you don’t want to get gainful employment when you graduate, since you are only here for your Mrs. Degree. Hopefully, you will find your Mr. Right for Christmas, because given your knee-jerk reactions to everything that offends your religious sensibilities, you are not going to make it on your own, unless you can warp the space-time continuum and go back to 1840.
Hysterical Hannah: You gave one speech and came to my office crying, snot running down your nose, tears streaming down your face, body hitching and trembling as if you were having a stroke. School is too much. You have never not gotten an ‘A’ throughout high school. Welcome to the university! You had this speech. You have a test tomorrow and another one the following day. Plus you have to pick a major and figure out your schedule for the next three and a half years. Um. No you don’t. You are a first semester freshman. You don’t have to pick a major immediately. You don’t have to have the next three years of your life planned out. Who the hell is putting all this pressure on you? I’m no counselor, but damn, you need to take one day at a time. Learning how to deal with pressure may be the most useful thing you learn in college, because if you can’t deal with this, I have no idea how the hell you are going to survive when you have work and life commitments that will undoubtedly pull you in different directions. Get your shit together. And no more crying. I’ll be out of tissues before you are out of issues. As I said, I’m no counselor, but if you bring a bottle of 21 year old Glenlivet for the holidays, I’ll pretend to listen.
Erroneous Eric: No. It states on the syllabus that there is one opportunity for extra-credit in this class. Hell, if it wasn’t part of the department’s culture that students get to partake in studies for extra-credit, I wouldn’t even do that bullshit. Part of being a good citizen, I suppose. Oh. I’m sorry you didn’t get the chance to play on the Wii for two hours for 20 points of extra credit. No, I don’t round up grades. You earn what you earn. Yes, the extra credit would have bumped you up to an A- from a B+, but you missed your chance. You decided to skip the class when the extra-credit was originally announced and the sign-up sheet went around. Why don’t I give more extra credit? Extra credit for you means extra work for me. After dealing with you and the other point grubbers for 15 weeks, I need this holiday break more than you.