Thursday, September 20, 2007

Self-Proclaimed Meanest Prof Ever Offers the Latest Smackdown on Pollyanna-dom.

Dear Poor, Pissed Off, etc.

How much Kool-Aid have you been drinking?

I am sick to death of dopey-ass Pollyannas like you who think that anyone who DARES to have a complaint about the job of college professorship should quit because that will give you a better shot at getting their job.

While Professor Somber may indeed have a stick up his butt because he didn't get the R1 job he wanted, you should consider that many grad students at R1 universities are TOLD BY THEIR MENTORS that they are failures if they don't get similar positions. Maybe Somber wasn't told this blatantly, but it's clear he feels inferior because the job he got is beneath the R1 mentorship model. That's problem #1.

Now let's add in problem #2: his lame-ass students. As you yourself admit, everyone who teaches college seems to experience the ubiquitous, everpresent, infinitely common 13th-graders who populate America's colleges and universities. Instead of sympathizing and offering support or suggestions, what was your response? "Quit." Who are you to judge that? If not for your admission that your MFA only got you a Freshman Comp position [which, let's face it, seems to be the most thankless bitch-job in all college professordom], we both know that when you say "You're taking away a valuable career spot from someone who doesn't resent well-paid positions at piddly 'flyover' schools," you're really thinking that job should go to someone who enjoys the little snowflakes…such as yourself.

Guess what…ain't gonna happen cuz you ain't got the alphabets, dude! While you [and I for that matter] may get term contracts and year-long contracts, we'll never get tenure with a Master's degree [unless we're REALLY lucky]. In fact, at some places, your MFA in poetry wouldn't even get you a Composition class. But you still love teaching. Yeah, cuz mebbe it's either teaching or working at Starbuck's, Mr. MFA? You're "grateful at all for a job, any job…every damn day, for the opportunity to be in the classroom" because it means you don't have to flip burgers or get Professor Somber his Lo-Fat Decaf Latte when he visits your coffee bar. I know it cuz I have those options too.

This is not to dismiss your critique of Professor Somber, who probably really does need to invoke some more energy, if not for himself but for those 3 students in every class who actually care. But then again, I remember reading in his post that he DOES give his all to those precious few; in fact, they may very well be the reason he doesn't join his predecessor's corpse stashed under the desk […cuz, ya know, it's prolly what's causing the smell. Dude, get some Lysol and Mr. Clean and put up a funky poster or some shit.].

And let's dispel the continuation of that tired myth that college professors must love the teaching aspect of the job. Get real and grow up. Just because you bought into this country's myth about the self-sacrificing teacher who gives everything for your students doesn't mean everyone else must. In my experience, and that of *MANY* contributors at RYS, today's college students don't deserve our all because most students don't hold up their end of the bargain. Many of them do NOTHING and then make our lives Hell because we dared to call them on their bullshit. How do you know if a bunch of Somber's 13th-graders haven't intellectually beaten all his energy out of him by now? Be prepared for your little snowflakes to do the same to you soon. Better stock up on Kool-Aid, dude, cuz you'll need a stash while you're finding your next Freshman Comp job after the place you're currently working for decides to hire a PhD to replace you.

Hugs & Kisses,
The Meanest Professor Ever
[at least according to last Spring's 13th-graders]