February 15, 2005

The Inequities of Academe: Part

The Inequities of Academe: Part the First—Student E-Mails

These days it seems as if college professors simply can’t do anything right. Journalists are always carping on their sins; students are busy ranting about their shortcomings.

And academic freedom? Forget it: Modern college professors can’t even criticize the victims of 9/11 as “little Eichmanns” and pray for another attack against America without getting in some kind of trouble. It’s patently unfair.

As far as we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are concerned, a gig as a tenured radical must surely be one of the most horrific jobs in the history of occupations. We’d collectively prefer to slave away in a peanut factory.

In order to do our part to right these wrongs, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have initiated a new intermittent series for our humble “weblog”: “The Inequities of Academe.”

We aim to hone in on some of the hardships associated with being a university professor. This way, faculty members all across these here United States of America can treat “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” as a kind of journalistic oasis. Sure, they may get criticized at The Wall Street Journal. And, sure, The New Criterion may never let up on them. But here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” we aim to please unfairly maligned professors, and soothe their souls (if they have them).

In today’s humble edition of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” we tackle one of the most unfortunate features of university life: Students. As far as we’re concerned, if it weren’t for students, academia would be fairly tolerable.

More specifically, we are devoting the inaugural edition of our “Inequities of Academe” series to a particular aspect of student-professor relationships. No, dear reader, not sleeping with students. That’s one of the few fringe benefits of life as an academic. (The other one is use of a free Xerox machine, which hardly seems as enticing.) In today’s humble post, we discuss the topic of the ineluctably horrendous student e-mails.

The Iniquities of Academe: Student E-Mails

Some of our superannuated readers may recall a time when students needed to attend a given professor’s office hours in order to present phony excuses for their academic indiscretions. No longer. Thanks to Al Gore’s World-Wide Web, today’s savvy slacker is a few short mouse clicks away from instant sub-literate communication. As a result, professors are routinely inundated with e-mails such as:

To: Professor Cohen
From: Ed Smith
Subject: Sorry, Dude

Hey, prof. So sorry I flaked on the last eigth [sic] weeks of class. My pet iguana got super sick, if you know what I mean :^)

If I get a chance, dude, I will probably sea [sic] you in clas [sic]. Do I still have to take the final? Also, itd [sic] be really cool if you forgot about my midterm.

Peace out,
“Steady” Eddie

Posted at February 15, 2005 12:01 AM | TrackBack