Friday, April 28, 2017

Monologue: Thad, the Worst Student in Your Intro Class, Has Something to Say (McSweeney's post dedicated to Sparrow)

This is hilarious but also frighteningly accurate in more ways than one. Tom S. is a fellow traveler on the professorial road (age, status, career trajectory, etc.), and like many of us I think he'd be able to verify the accuracy of this. Therefore, this post goes out to Tom.

Just a note: This is tongue in cheek and doesn't refer to anyone in particular. Also, visit the original if you can (I do not want to steal traffic), but do pass on if you think it is accurate or funny (or both!) ...

Monologue: Thad, the Worst Student in Your Intro Class, Has Something to Say
// McSweeney's

I want to begin with a quote from Winston Churchill, and no I will not cite it, because I don't understand how that works, and I never will. "Some people's idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, it's an outrage." You may say that Churchill engineered a famine in India during WWI (or one of however many world wars there were) and his legacy is forever tarnished by the cruelty of colonialism, but he is absolutely right here. Interrupting my idolization of the old white men my parents have busts of with some boring discussion of 'colonialism' is an outrage. I demand the right the right to say whatever I want, whenever I want, without nasty remarks like "I think there were only two world wars" or "please stop calling other religions plots of Satan."

What would I say were I freed from such fetters? Well, my loose network of political beliefs is largely just what my parents what my parents and Chaz think. Why Chaz/Chaz Monster/C-Man? First of all, he has really nice hair, plus he's the number one reason I usually show up to your class hungover. And Chaz's worldview centers on the belief that 1954 was the best year of America, ever, bar none. You may said that you and many other Americans did not have full civil rights in 1954, that maybe you couldn't even have taught here in 1954, to which I reply, your hair is not nearly as nice as Chaz's.

This is not to say that I haven't faced persecution in my own life, however. As I loudly shout over other students, some have the temerity — would you believe it? — to keep talking, even when I have so clearly already interrupted them. This is an unfair attempt to silence me, to say nothing of professors grading me down solely because of my beliefs. There can be no other reason, as my grammar are perfect. I try to never split an infinitive. I never don't use contractions or double negatives, and yet I so often find my GPA is barely above the number of world wars you claim there were (wasn't there another one in the 1860s, though? My dad has a flag from it, right next to the ghost costume he wears every month except in October, for some reason.)

My main persecutor is the professor who broke a pen in half when I complained that the gays were too violent at their uprising, Stonehenge or whatever. How was I supposed to know he's one of them! I am the victim here, as you can see for yourself. "What citation format even is this," "why would you capitalize that," "this isn't Latin, it's just very misspelled," "please for the love of God just plagiarize someone, anyone, I beg of you." These are just a few of the horrible things this man has said to me, clearly singling me out as part of his agenda. I even obtained a copy of this agenda, which he tried to pass off as a 'syllabus,' and he said something about "those were the class readings" and "you were supposed to read all these things, did you not understand — actually this explains a lot." Well, I may not know 'syllabus' means, but what I do know is it sounds suspiciously like 'syphilis.' Are these the Christian values we want at one of the top ten colleges in the nation for repressing the free speech of minorities? I think not.

As an able-bodied white Protestant who was once thrown out of the Junior Republicans for being "above the threshold of racism we tolerate," I know a lot about what it's like to be persecuted. I feel for the downtrodden, like us straight guys who 'sexually harass' women — they take catcalling as a compliment! Besides, it's just biology, people! It's not a choice, like with the gays — what? Why are you looking at me like that? I read part of The Importance of Being Earnest in seventh grade once, so I'm not homophobic! Besides, one of the girls in my dorm has short hair, and I only glare at her suspiciously when I think she's NOT looking.

My point is, professors need to start treating me with the respect I deserve, rather than nitpicking my 'ideas' and 'arguments.' This undue emphasis on 'logic' and 'context' has really hurt my grades! Just because you "have a Ph.D. in political science" is no reason to tell me I need better support for my political beliefs and, quite frankly, that's a prejudiced opinion. Much as professors may want to, I won't let college change me. I am taking a brave stand against these confusing readings in "Keynesian economics" and "critical race theory" and something called "misogynoir," which, I can only assume, is one of those weird colognes daddy buys me sometimes. You may want to enlist me in your sinister agenda, but I'm not buying it. I resist your elitist talk of "mixed metaphor." I resist the oppressive demand to stop shouting over that girl with short hair just because "she actually did the readings" (I know you're all friends anyway, let's be honest here).

Say what you want, but your marriage is a sin, and I will die never learning to format footnotes. The only professor I still like is that spicy little Spanish professor — she's from somewhere exotic, like New Jersey! What's that? I shouldn't call her — well, you just can't win these days.


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