Thursday, December 13, 2007

Someone Goes Old School With the Smackdown, And Gets RYS-Cred Points For Getting In a Zombie Reference.

K: I've received your final paper, and I just want you to know that it is truly adorable of you to turn it in. On its own, it's a fine piece of work: the 17-point font really shows off your flair for the whimsical, and the lack of any citation or a bibliography demonstrates a true knack for simplicity and spareness. As the final assignment of the semester, this paper represents the culmination of all your hard work. Indeed, I imagine you busily typing away at this masterpiece since the end of September, which was the last time you turned in any work for this class. And your mastery of the material beautifully reflects your attendance record: those three weeks of missed class really enhanced your ability to think about what we've read. But most of all I'm impressed that you went to all this work at the end of the semester to show me just how much you've learned in my class. That you turned a paper in at all shows that you still believe you have some hope of passing this course. And that is just precious.

D: You've achieved this semester what no other student has ever achieved: you've managed to get caught plagiarizing in my class not just once, but twice. No other student has ever managed to do this because no other student has managed to stay in my class after having been caught once. But after catching you the first time, your belligerent attitude and your completely incoherent protestations that you knew not what you did convinced me, in a moment of weakness, to cut you just the tiniest amount of slack. Like the hard worker you are, you took that slack, promptly fashioned the world's tiniest noose with it, and somehow managed to squeeze your over-inflated head into it. Bravo!

To my morning class: Six or seven of you are great: you care about the material, you do the work, you talk in class. I love you, I love you, I love you. The rest of you, however, may actually be in comas and simply not realize it. When I came to this school, I was warned that some of our students are under the mistaken impression that they are actually auditioning for "Dawn of the Dead." If this is indeed what you are up to, you need to work on your acting—zombies *want* brains, remember? Your glassy-eyed stares, total lack of response to stimuli,and ability to remain completely mute and motionless for extended periods of time would make you much better suited to roles as vegetative patients in hospital dramas. Of course, at some point during your four years here, you might consider stretching your dramatic repertoire to include the part of "student at a university," too.