Sunday, September 28, 2008

Nobody Can Suffer Poor Charlie.

  • In response to Chicago Charlie: good God, grow a pair. You've got 40 years till you retire? So you're, what, 25, and you've already consigned yourself to forty years of hating yourself, your job, your students, and your life? Gee, THAT'll show those slacker students, won't it! Do yourself and everyone you know a favour, and quit now. Get a job in construction; if you start now as a day labourer, you'll be a general contractor by the time you're 35 with a little application. You'll make more money, work in the great outdoors, be in better shape, enjoy life more, and you won't put your family and friends through hell with your constant whining.Leave academe for those of us, poor benighted souls all I grant you, who actually like it. I bet you my students are as dead-eyed as yours. I teach to the two or three that can actually stay awake. It makes my life a lot more fun to concentrate on the ones that respond. But if you can't do that, stop now. You've already put in too much time to get any other job? Honey, you haven't STARTED to waste your life yet. Get out before you do.

  • Resign. Quit. Find something else to do with your life. With 40 years to go until retirement, you're still young enough. Seriously: you are a danger to those rare bright-eyed students who every now and then do find themselves in your class. You've become so dead, you're no longer capable of recognizing them. I know: I had professors like this, and they did me great harm. I might not have seemed promising when I was an undergraduate, particularly not since I was entering a field that still is among the most competitive in academia (astrophysics), but I prevailed. It sure wasn't easy. I can't help but wonder how much further I might have gotten if I'd had someone other than that old deadwood who clearly didn't give a fig about me, our field, or anything else, even themselves.

  • Charlie's a baby. I see it often in my colleagues, this all or nothing bullshit. Charlie's had a bad class is all. His romantic notion about being a proffie has blown up in his face because it's not as easy and wonderful as he imagined. Classic response of a snowflake who finds out he has to teach comp. Comp is not easy. Comp is the anti-fun class in many ways. I taught it as a younger man, and students have hated comp forever. Welcome to the NFL, Charlie. I'd like to work up some sorrow on his behalf, but his posing is annoying. All his hard work was for naught? Cracks me up. It is awfully dramatic, however, especially that killing line, "Nothing. Numbness." Couldn't you guys have just turned that into a haiku? Charlie, have a Tums, honey, and take a nap.