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Friday, May 1, 2009

Ethics, Shmethics -- this is why I'm not going to finish grad school, part two

OK, time for a direct quote from a student. I'm sick of protecting the guilty. And anyway, I'm not going to tell you this little fuck-tard's name. Lucky him! Because here is a prime sample of the shit that lands in an average public-university TA's e-mail every godforsaken day of the semester:

| Hello i am emailing you because of my last exam grade. It says i got a 27 but i dont know how i could of scored that low. I thought i knew evewrything. Would i be able to stop by and see my exam by any chance. Thank you for your time.

Uh huh. Are you going to thank me for my time by giving me some money to make up for the freelancing work I am not going to be able to do because I have to come in and deal with your bullshit on what's supposed to be my day 'off' (i.e. moonlighting day, since the state doesn't see fit to pay me enough to live on -- too busy subsidizing the FUCKING BREEDERS who go on creating more wastes of air like you)? Nah, I didn't think so. You're just going to show up in my office ten minutes before our appointment and bitch at me for worrying you because I was only five minutes early and oh goodness, you would have wasted your time if you'd left before I got there!

I don't know how I could of agreed to take this job. I thought i knew evewrything.

(My god, that e-mail is a lapidary treasure of hubris!)

At least it's almost over. I can go back to waiting tables, so I can have money left after the bills, some unadulterated free time to write, and customers who don't demand that I come in on my days off to discuss why they're so goddamned stupid.

Not a noble calling? Hey, I've already written my academia novel. Now we shall spy on the human race at large as it unwittingly struts its stuff before the servants. (The first time I tried this, my own ego hadn't fully congealed, and I spent more time licking my wounds than analyzing the data.) Any academic research I would do would be read by ten people, and the rest of my time would be spent torturing and being tortured by mouthbreathing adolescents.

So goodbye, undergraduates of the world, and here's a word of advice: either shut up and do your schoolwork, or shut up and go be half-assed somewhere else. Not all of the time and money you're wasting belongs to other people; this is your nasty surprise and my consolation.

Ah... but really... is there any consolation for wastes of life? When I think of how isolated and peerless and glum I have been since I left Chicago I feel afraid at how much it must have changed me. No one will even recognize me. In a week I'll be wandering around the city like a ghost, unable to speak through the wall to anyone, and not really giving a damn -- it's only more soul death, after all. If they recognized me they'd only want to break the glass cage around my heart, and the fragments would rattle around and kill me. In Carbondale, my prison till next week, it has been raining every day for what seems like decades. And I still have hundreds of undergraduate essays to go. I thought i knew evewrything.


  1. One time, when I was six or seven or eight?
    I got a big headache trying to read a book.
    Since then, I don't always get a headache when I try to read a book.
    What's wrong with being "bookish," anyway?
    Oh, never mind...

  2. Well, it's one thing to like books...
    Resembling one, however, clearly means you are a terrorist.

  3. "The Council Of Elders does not negotiate with terrorists."
    --John Cheever Burfresca
    a.k.a. Fat Guy


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