Dear students in my summer online composition course:
You should know that I haven’t had a raise in five years and I’m fucking bitter as hell. Nevertheless, or perhaps because of it, I am determined to do the job they are paying me to do. That is your first bit of bad news.
The second bit of bad news is that I know what you all are up to. I know because the face-to-face version of this course this summer still languishes with a handful of students, while my online version closed out within three days of the start of registration. As is the case with online courses offered during the fall and spring semesters, most of you are going to be on campus anyway. Why do you want my course instead?
Because where at all possible, most of you simply would prefer not to come to class. If you have any interest in learning at all, you prefer to learn in your underpants, while texting and answering your phone and watching television and looking at porn. You don’t want to be bothered with waking up early, getting dressed, and sitting in a chair you can’t get out of for a whole fucking hour. You can’t even tweet in that chair. You have to listen to the professor. Or pretend to. And you would rather not.
But if you think it’s going to be easier, let me give you your third bit of bad news: you are fucked. My syllabus for this course is like the will of a rich and fickle uncle. It’s twenty pages long, single-spaced, and loaded with caveats and clauses specially designed to evade the excuses of lazy and incompetent students. You know, the students that perpetually profess internet difficulties and have four sets of chronically tubercular grandparents. Students like many of you. And your first assignment is an electronically signed statement that you have read the entire syllabus and you acknowledge that you are responsible for the requirements contained therein, including the plagiarism policy. I’ll be saving that acknowledgement for future reference, when you tell me you accidentally turned in your notes for the paper instead of the paper itself, and that’s why it’s made up mostly of internet sources you didn’t cite. Ha ha! I will say, and then I will fail your lying ass and see if I can get you expelled.
So, make yourself a nice little fire. Then, take off your flip-flops and put your toes to it. Stay there for the entire summer because I expect 12 hours of work per week out of each of you little fucks, and you have homework assignments and papers and web discussions to complete on time or else, and take that stupid phone off your head and stop constantly texting your bff because you need to pay attention and keep on top of things or you will fail. If you let things slide, by the time you realize and accept what you have gotten yourself into, which is nothing like what you hoped or expected, my struggling school will have your tuition, I will have my summer pay, and you will need to take this course again.
Your fourth bit of bad news: This is a small school and you may even end up having to take the course again with me. And I won’t get sick of you, no. I can fail you as many times as you need to be failed. That’s why God made antidepressants and Ambien.
As for the rest of you, the poor sops that for one reason or another could not get into the class at all…you are now shitting yourselves at the thought that the “easier” version of the course has been denied to you. And you are calling me. You are coming into my office hours. You are emailing me. And according to all of you, if you don’t get into my class you will never be able to graduate and what's left of your sad little life will be ruined.
Do you think I don’t have access to transcripts? Well I do. So when you, some student I’ve never heard of, email me, a professor, and tell me you neeeeeed entry to my summer online comp course that’s already closed, and you have time to do it because it’s the only class you’re taking, and you’re really motivated and a good student, and you’ll be in Pittsburgh for the summer so you can’t be on-campus, and you neeeeeeed to get in please please pleeeeeease…
Well, I can check on that. Yup, I can. Because I know stuff. I’ve been teaching since you were shitting into your pull-ups, Ms. Pittsburgh. And what I don’t know, I can look up. Why do all you students assume that I know the work schedule and office hours of every other professor on campus, but that you yourselves are hiding in some sort of cone of silence?
You ain’t. So, Ms. Pittsburgh, a few clicks and I can see that you are a liar, because you have a GPA of 1.75 and you’ve already failed the class twice. I can see that you’re registered in two other summer courses already. So no, Ms. Pittsburgh, you do not have permission to take my course. Just on principle because you’d end up being more trouble than you’re worth. Also, because I don’t know you the fuck from Adam, I already have 20 students to worry about, and I am not going to take on hours and hours and hours of extra work gratis for a clueless, lying moron.
And to any other lazy bastards that want me to bump the cap for my online comp course: go fuck yourselves. Then, when you’re finished fucking yourselves, put on your pajama pants and get your ass to school and take it face-to-face. I won’t be teaching it, but there will be some other nice professor standing there, who also hasn’t had a raise. And my guess is that they will be equally dedicated to earning their meager pay, and thus making your life a living hell.