Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Life of the Mind: The Unreleased B-Sides

"Rate My Professor" has generally been quite kind to me. Aside from having my US survey class described as a "good GPA raiser" on two separate occasions, the commentary has so far refused to call attention to my glaring flaws, including my staggering ignorance of US history, my arbitrary and patently unfair grading policies, my unpredicable outbursts of verbal abuse (usually aimed at the weakest, most vulnerable students in the class), and my casual endorsement of suicide bombings and political assassinations as legitimate gestures of discontent with the status quo. I have also received an inexplicable chili pepper, even though I rarely shave and usually enter the classroom with my (always filthy) pants buckled around my ankles. It's only a matter of time before my university wakes up, smells the ammonia wafting from my urine-soaked knickers, and fires my ass tout de suite. For the time being, though, none of my online student evaluations have tipped the balance against me, so I carry no grudges.

But I really wish I had thought of this. Then again, the proprietor of "Rate Your Students" already has tenure. And I do not.

Here's brief sample of the archived delights:
I thought that, like a partner in an arranged marriage, I could learn to like, or at least tolerate, a well-paid, secure, unionized teaching position with excellent benefits. But no, not here. At the Wisconsin college where I teach, the collective density of our students creates an intellectual black hole where anything resembling brains is sucked away through a rip in space-time. By summer, I feel dumber. And to those who’ve contributed to my malaise (since I got a late start, some past transgressors included):

To E: As an English teacher, I’m not sure of the precise clinical term. You’re nutso. Barmy, daft, dotty, bats, loony, loopy, spooky-crazy, crackers, or bananas. Take your pick. If caught with you in my class again, I would chew my leg off to escape.
Density: Uranium.
Hotness: -20 (you could scare the maggots off a gut-wagon).
Your opinion of your abilities: 3 (to write a novel, you should first read one).

To G: My pity. I truly doubt that you could read this. In fact, I truly doubt that you have opposable thumbs.
Density: Off-scale; skull has its own gravitational field.
Hotness: -2.
Your opinion of your abilities: 1.

I couldn't have said it better, um, myself.