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UProf and Student CVs

February 16, 2013

We get some doozies in with the applications to our department’s program. One year we had two guys who claimed to have religious backgrounds, and one who supposedly lived half of his life in South Africa with his missionary parents.

Two of them were older students in their late thirties or early forties. One merely mentioned that he was a deacon in his church. No more was ever said about it until he was ordained. The announcement appeared in the newspaper.

The other guy went the whole nine yards and claimed to have been a monk for a number of years. He was quite a hoot. When I asked him about it, he told me that he’d never been an altar boy and he professed to have no real religious inclination. (This part is wholly believable. I once heard him swear up a storm outside the building while engaged in conversation with another student). He knew no Latin, and his transcripts indicated that he had attended a private Catholic college for a short time, but he graduated from a public college).

The third one was a real scream. In his application, he claimed to be fluent in French and Zulu. He said that he lived half of his life in South Africa and several years in France. Fair enough. He didn’t say much. He was, in fact, so tight-lipped that most people who dealt with him suspected him to be autistic or just antisocial. His cover was blown three times, twice at a faculty party (he was somebody’s darling Graduate Assistant, so he was invited to a few parties). It was a double whammy.  The kid just about cr@pped in his pants when a member of the African American Studies program (who was from South Africa) addressed him in Zulu. Then, someone from the Foreign Languages program addressed him in French. She said that his French was just rudimentary, probably just good enough to help him find a toilet. He had just submitted his thesis proposal, and he proposed to write something about Albert Camus and existentialism based upon manuscripts published in French. Library records indicated that he had indeed checked out several French language books written by Camus, but he blew it when he accidentally left copies of Spark Notes and Cliff’s notes on Camus in the teachers’ lounge. Despite that gaffe, the department hired him for two or three contracts after he was awarded his MA. The Spark Notes and the Cliff’s Notes are still in the teachers’ lounge, untouched and unclaimed (with his handwriting in them).

In one or two of my previous posts, I mentioned one of my former students named Isabella. She dropped by my office this week with a rose and a box of candy for me for Valentine’s Day. She was with a kid who (I suppose) is her boyfriend. I hope that she drops him fast or at least stays out of the department when she visits. Both of their majors are in my department, and the guy is on a couple of profs’ fail lists. He’s from Texas and (therefore) suspected of having ultra-conservative inclinations. He made the fatal mistake of asking why there’s no Hemingway being taught. If she’s seen with this kid, she’ll be guilty of ultra-conservatism by association.

I can’t let that happen. She told me that she was fired from McDonald’s for incompetence the day before. Her future lies in academia. It’s imperative that she stay off the Feminazi fail lists. The next time that she asks me to be her counselor, I’ll agree. She’s too nice to succumb to the wasps in this department.

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