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Anonymous Professor: UProfessor Tells It Like It Is

January 13, 2013

“I am such a strange mélangé of good and evil that it would be difficult to describe me.”    —– Lord Byron

Yeah, it’s that time again. Time to teach “content” classes. Every couple of years I propose  to teach a course in Romantic literature and poetry. It usually turns into a class about the sex life  of Lord Byron, who seemed to have an early fixation upon a cousin, and then upon another cousin a few years later. When he was nine years old, a young household caretaker often visited him at his mother’s house and crawled into bed with him to get drunk  “play” with the lad. Then there was Lord Grey not long afterward. At first, the students pretend to be offended by the poet’s early sexual history. Interestingly, though, this is one of the few courses that I teach that actually prompts the students to go to the library and read the salacious details in books rather than sit at a computer and settle for the abridged account of his many sexual exploits.

It’s un-PC to criticize his later years when he developed a predilection for young boys. He was, after all, a pederast, but he was gay, and therefore, stays out of the PC sniper’s scope. If I gave a damn, I’d have a discussion with our resident, professionally gay professor to see what he thinks, but I really don’t care that much about what he thinks. He might get the wrong idea.

Almost everyone writes papers titled something like “The Many Perversions of Lord Byron”. Wordsworth is a major snoozer. Coleridge, Keats, and Blake perks them up for a few minutes, but the class conversations keep coming back around to Byron. It’s strange. It’s also funny.

I’m thinking of boring the hell out of the class with Wordsworth for several weeks, then when it’s time to make paper assignments, I’ll hit them with Byron. By that time, half of the class will have dropped out, and I won’t have to pretend to make fair evaluations of too many papers.


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