Trigger Warnings

WARNING: William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Contains graphic murder scenes and mentions suicide, which may trigger thoughts of suicide, murder, or fear of being murdered in the reader. And has a really icky, scary scene where Hamlet is dragging a dead body around a dark, scary castle.  (OMG, right?? Lots of people have nightmares from that shit). Readers are encouraged to snip offending passages out before reading. Or leaving the room every time “murder” is mentioned. Or offering their personal experience with suicide as a topic for an all-class group therapy session, culminating in a big group hug.

Fuck it, we’ll read Winnie the Pooh instead.

Additional triggers: pirates, thrones, wimpy girls, swords, skulls

WARNING: William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily.”

Contains the most evil, awful, horrible, terrible unspeakable word ever, known only by its initial, the “N” word, THREE TIMES. As it is a proven fact that saying the “N word” will cause the speaker’s tongue to turn black and fall to the ground, and the viewer’s eyes to bleed, we will take a Sharpie and eradicate it. Those who feel they are unable to cross out the “N Word” without falling into an existential crisis may sit in the hallway and hug their “comfort animals” real hard and try not to cry. That’s more important than discussing social change in the South, right?

Additional triggers: old ladies, scary houses, sex with dead bodies.

WARNING: Mid Term Exams

These may cover trigger material from literary works involving sex, murder, death, abuse, and all other aspects of the entire human condition reflected in said literary works. Since the entirety of humanity is a known trigger for sensitive individuals, we will all stay home on exam day and read the comics. Don’t forget to feed your “comfort animal.”

Additional triggers: I think that covers them all

 

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Kashi, How Could You?

Dear Kashi Corporation:

First, let me congratulate you on your new, improved, and aesthetically pleasing design for your Kashi Chewy Granola Bars. In these difficult times, to see a company so concerned with making a food package appealing is indeed heartening. I do take great pleasure in your colorful, playful container, the green and white tones of which suggests the nature and purity long associated with granola bars, and how well it brings a touch of wholesomeness and whimsy to my snack cupboard.

However, I do have a small issue to address. While opening one of your new, adorably wrapped (and nigh delicious) Kashi Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars, I was delighted to see it was unchanged. (What is a product if not identical and uniform to all others of its type? Life offers few such consistencies). Imagine, then, my chagrin upon taking the first bite, to have a large portion crumble into small, albeit delicious, pieces. Taking heart that Kashi would not fail me again, I bit again. And again I relived the trauma, as did my computer keyboard which had bits of oatmeal felled in between the “J,” “K,” and “I” keys. With subsequent bites, I relived the anguish and horror of the first. My Kashi, my sweet, beloved Kashi, kind friend of the morning, had failed me

Undeterred, I reassured myself that this was a rare exception, and I had merely encountered a defective Granola Bar. And yet, the terrible scene came again with the next Kashi Chewy Granola Bar out of the package, and the next, and the next. Finally, in despair, I had no choice but to assume something had gone wrong at Kashi Headquarters, and some short-sighted executive had ascertained that the public truly desired wads of crumbs for granola bars. This wanton act of product violence is, needless to say, a grievous error on Kashi’s behalf. Would you challenge the truism that when a consumer purchases a granola bar, they do not expect a pack of granola crumbs?

I cannot presume to speak for my Kashi Chewy Granola Bad compatriots, but I can urge you to hastily restore Kashi Chewy Granola Bars to their original, unmolested state. I haven’t the heart to renew my Kashi relationship, although it is so difficult to let go. Please consider, also, changing the Kashi Chewy Granola Bar name to reflect the accuracy of its current incarnation to Kashi Sticky Mess in My Keyboard.

I trust you will contact me if and when there is significant modification to the granola bar status.

 

 

Yours in deepest regret,

 

“Araby” and Plagiarism

In Lit class, discussing James Joyce’s “Araby.”:

Student: What’s a bazaar?

Me: It’s like a…um..like those stores, like those people who sell rugs in the Target parking lot, under the tents. Kinda.

Student: But they’re not in a tent in “Araby”

Me: No, bazaars were different back then.

Student: That makes sense.

 

Student: Is the boy in the story named Jack?

Me: No, he’s never given a name.

Student: But his Uncle says “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Me: Um, no, that’s just a saying.

Student: Really? I never head of it.

Me: It means that if you make someone do work all the time, they’ll become boring. Any chance of that with you guys?

Student group: NO

 

Student: What does “pee-oos” mean?

Me: Pee-oos? I don’t know that word.

(Student shows me the word. Which is “pious.”

Me: Very religious.

Student: Oh, yeah, I’m not religious.

 

Composition Sorrow:

After class…

Student: Can I talk to you about my grade on the first essay?

Me: Sure.

Student: I mean, I’m not going to argue with you, even though I disagree with the “F,” but could you tell me why I got it?

Me: Yes. As it says on the last page of your paper, you put in a bunch of source information, throughout your entire paper, which I said on the handout and, I don’t know, five times or so in class, was prohibited. And as it was uncited, it was also plagiarism. And I’m fairly sure I mentioned that plagiarism results in an “F.”

Student: But I put it into my own words.

Me: You put the statistics into your own words?

Student: Oh, no, not that part. So I really get an “F?”

Me: Yes. And take with it the reminder to never, ever do this again.

Student: Ok, so other than the plagiarism, how was my paper?

Me: Right, let’s take a look at the last page. See, it says that your argument was logical and well-constructed and that your writing style was decent.

Student: Oh, ok. So it was good except for the plagiarism?

Me: (Lying) It’s not bad.

After Returning Papers….

Student email:

Dear Professor,
We just received our speeding ticket papers back today. Even though I made an absolutely terrible grade I would just like to take a moment to thank you for your constructive criticism. All of my previous teachers throughout high school would simply tell me that my paper “sucked” but would not explain what was wrong with it. You explained the good and bad which is something I greatly appreciate and will take to heart. Now that I know what I seriously need to work on in my future papers I feel that I will be able to make the grades the I am seeking to achieve. Thank you again.

My response:

Hi Student,
I am sure your paper did not suck completely. “D” grades usually mean you went way off track in something (or several things) related to the requirements. Why don’t you come see me about it? Many “bad” writers tend to make the same two or three mistakes over and over again in their writing, and once these are identified and worked on, the writing improves greatly. We can make your essays suck way less.
Best,

Your Prof

House for Sale

 

Features:

  • Fabulous San Carlos Park location. If you like swamp buggies, ATVs, fireworks, and crystal meth.
  • 3 BD/ 2BA
  • 1800 Sq Ft
  • Great room concept
  • New plumbing, electrical, water heater, appliances, faucets, and well tank. I have repaired or replaced everything in this dumb house, so you get to enjoy the fruit of my despair.
  • Free home exorcism included.
  • New garage door. (Seriously? Who has to replace a garage door? ME. They are held up by huge springs and when they break makes it clear why the “boing” sound is associated with springs.)
  • Most tiles are grouted on correctly. Well, maybe “some tiles” is more accurate.
  • Whirlpool tub which is cracked and falling apart. But it works!
  • AC three years old. Hopefully will be fixed after eighth AC repair trips.
  • Roof vents replaced. $800.
  • Unpermitted roof. Still insurable!
  • Roach problem all taken care of. (Except for the one that was hanging out in my necklaces the other night, but I threw four cups of Borax at it so is probably dead. The ants must have carried away the corpse).
  • But ants are clean, right?
  • No toilet frogs recently
  • Some landscaping is still alive.
  • Some parts of fence not falling over
  • Some grass in backyard. Less to mow!
  • Water heater kind of works. If you’re not picky about water that smells like iron.
  • Garbage disposal. However, septic system negates value of.
  • Front windows are decorative only; do not open unless you prefer your windows on your lawn.
  • French doors, which when opened are nigh impossible to relock.
  • Some gutters
  • New paint!

 

The First Day of Class

  1. Give much serious thought to redecorating office. Consider a fridge, Keurig, microwave, and comfortable chair. Or new Pokemon posters.
  1. Enjoy satisfying gossip sessions with everyone in sight. Which is the best part of the day.
  1. Have serious nicotine fits. Sneak out to parking lot, duck down in car, crack window, and smoke covertly. Just like being in high school again.
  1. Read the same goddamn class policies on the syllabus four times in a row. Promise to follow through with syllabus threats.
  1. Watch looks of horror when students discover the zero tolerance for cell phones policy.
  1. Watch other students giggle over mean policies. These students are the ones who understand how to behave.
  1. Make student cry out of fear of failing the course after she hears assignments are not graded on effort. Apparently, student would dictate “papers” while high school teacher would type what she said.
  1. Inform student this will not happen in this class.
  1. Wonder why some students come up and introduce themselves after class. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but will most likely forget their names within five minutes.
  1. Laugh inwardly at confused Freshman questions:

Q: Are there printers I can use on campus?

Q: Wait, this isn’t History 101?

Q: Is this the right book? (Student holds up Sociology textbook)

Q: Where do I buy books?

Q: How long until the next class?

Q: Is room 154 over there?

A: There is no room 154. You’re in the wrong building.

  1. Yell at students sitting in hallway with legs out, forming a ten inch space for people to get through. Wonder why they think this is a good idea.
  1. Four left-handed students request left-handed desks. Wonder why in twenty years of teaching this issue has never come up.
  1. Announce to Lit class that registering for Introduction to Literature does not automatically guarantee an “A” in the course. See five students mentally dropping the class.
  1. Return to office to find twenty more emails from various entities within the University. Wonder if they really think anyone reads them. Expect someday to find that Campus Safety arrests me for not saving storm warning sites on my phone.

 

The Beginning of the School Year

To do:

  1. Update course syllabi in all classes to reflect the 28 additional pieces of information the University would now like us to include. Among them is the location of bike racks, bus stops, and head shops in town.
  2. Sort through fifty emails.
  3. Print a bunch of bullshit people email me. Email repeatedly. When none of it really needs to be saved for any reason whatsoever.
  4. Email stupid shit to people, such as my weekly schedule of classes and office hours, which is also REQUIRED to be posted on my office door. As if any students care. And if they did care, they could find this information on the syllabus, which they can pull up on their phones, which leads me to believe this is the University’s way of tracking how much face time faculty is putting in each week. Which also leads me to wonder what would happen if I didn’t do it. Would I be lead away in handcuffs, or is that reserved for people with delinquent book orders?
  5. Sign shit.
  6. Copy more shit to prove (“provide evidence for”) more shit. I often wonder if a photograph of me completing whatever activity would be sufficient proof.
  7. Sort through twenty emails sent by four people who really, really love to demonstrate the importance of their committee/project/initiative (Thanks for your help with Poodles for Students!!!!!) by sending multiple, virtually identical emails with four attachments: A. Poodle Mission Statement B. Poodle training schedule that has nothing to do with you. C. List of every person remotely involved with Poodles for no reason whatsoever. D. Detailed schedule of every Poodle event up to 2018 . Said people will be annoyed when I tell them I never read said emails. I don’t care. At all.
  8. Respond to emails for student athletes telling me the inspiring story of their rise to student athletedom and asking them to give me their schedule on the first day of class. Student athletes are shocked as their coaches apparently sent out 17 emails detailing every athlete’s schedule, every away game, and every sport.
  9. Prove a bunch more crap while thinking how nice it would be to think about ways to improve classes instead of how to use the scanner and assorted secretarial duties to prove crap.
  10. Leave campus and get drinks. Happy school year.