Dear Future World Leaders,
Hey. You’re in my Tuesday class, or maybe Friday. I have over a hundred students this semester, but I will treat each of you like you’re the only one. I promise. So, if you have questions, email me anytime. I’ll probably be awake.
Speaking of being awake, the whole lot of you fell asleep with your eyes open during the first five minutes of class last week and missed a very funny story about my thirteen-year-old and her new ventriloquist dummy. (“I have a teenager, and she has a dummy. At least now she knows how I feel,” etc., etc. The jokes practically wrote themselves.) Ask our TA. It was straight fire. You also missed, or so it would seem, all the questions I preemptively asked and answered regarding the syllabus. It really feels like no one read it. Or that no one listened to me while I read it. Twice. Sure, some parts resonate like the Burning Man of boring—my grading criteria, course objectives, attendance policy, and office location, which is also included in my email signature, so you can find me anytime, Tuesdays and Fridays, 10:50-11:50 a.m. But there’s some good stuff in there, too. Like a detailed description of what we’re doing every class period for fifteen weeks, including when projects are due and how to submit them, links to all assigned readings, and cutesy lecture titles to help you remember why you took my class in the first place: I know how to have a good time.
In the syllabus, as in life, there is something for everyone. And in this case, there is everything for you, my dear students, so you don’t have to clack out a one-line email that begins with Hey and ends with the foreboding of absent punctuation. Or listen as I read the syllabus aloud during class. Twice.
Due to technological advances heaped upon us during These COVID Times, your calls to my office phone now go straight to my cell phone, which is my home phone, which is my only phone. So, if you have a question about what you missed in class last week, or what you fully intend to miss next week, just call me. Again, I’ll be awake.
Speaking of being awake, some of you were asleep again today when I discussed the upcoming assignment. But don’t worry, I posted the project sheet to eLearning, and it’s a PDF this time rather than a Word doc so it won’t open in a new window, which you all said was annoying. I hope you read it. The formatting was off the chain.
Listen, you are good students. Hell, you’re adults. But I can’t keep doing this. Although, to be honest, I will—like my health insurance depends on it. I do love my job, though—shaping the success of tomorrow with the security of a nine-month contract today—so I promise to stop quoting Ted Lasso if you all will just read the goddamn syllabus. I toiled over every word for weeks, didn’t use wingdings for my own entertainment, and actually refer to its stapleless pages like the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook that it is. You can, too.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. One of your classmates.
But also, it’s on the syllabus