Have you ever imagined yourself in 20 years, with dust gathering on your increasingly-obsolete B.A. diploma, a postdoc’s worth of publications printed out on your mom’s fridge, and the mounting dread that your boss doesn’t actually like you? With a decade of grueling work to secure an assistant professorship, this could be you!

Assistant professors across the nation are fucking around. What’s the worst that could happen — no one giving them money? There’s tens of thousands of old white men out there refusing to die anyway! The academic job market invited them out to lunch, clocked them over the head, and sequestered them in “starting” offices to wait out the advances of modern medicine in action. Surely there must be an academic out there sitting on the cure for cancer, because someone’s standing in the way of their promotion and indirect crime is preferable to hiring a bunch of undergrads to carry out a hit and run. 

Armed with Rate My Professor reviews and overworked grad students, the people teaching your intro classes are trapped in a Man vs. Tenure campaign that can only end with job security or total destruction. Can’t they have a little treat?

Students were alarmed and dismayed to find that the syllabus for Intro to Advanced Basic Abstract Deconstructed Composition has been upgraded to include requirements such as buying the instructor groceries and earnestly telling them that they’re “good enough, sweetie,” and extra-credit options, like breaking into Sarah Mangelsdorf’s house in the dead of night to threaten her and disappear, leaving behind only fear and the dreamlike scent of disillusion.

Other professors have taken a more whimsical approach to dealing with crushing despair. Dr. Kat Laidee, who teaches “Creative Writing, and whatever else those fuckers pawn off on me for the semester,” has decided on the tomfoolery route. Laidee sourced a rehomed ball pit from some Tumblr meetup and filled it with broken styrofoam. Students are encouraged to hang out in the pit at any point during lecture, and on Thursdays (or whenever Laidee feels like it), students who have clearly not even looked at the title of the reading are sent to the Bad Boi Pit, to which shards of broken glass have been added for a fun and interesting time. “It’s not like the administration pays attention to me anyway,” reasons Laidee.

Responses to these new initiatives have been mixed. “On the one hand, I totally get it,” shared one Bad Boi Pit victim. “Assistant professorship is its own circle of hell, but on top of that,I’m poor and Aetna sure won’t cover my lacerations from the glass, and there’s no way UCC has the capacity to start a new support group for us to deal with their antics.” 

It would appear that this conundrum has a solution waiting to happen. Wait, did you think I meant giving them tenure? Hey, everybody! Get a load of this guy! Nah, man. We’re gonna push back their final evaluations until they give up and go back into the private sector, and bring new bright-eyed lambs to the slaughter to take their place. Kids these days, amirite?

Tagged: Professors tenure


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