Dear (Name Deleted): I want to take the time to thank you for turning in your paper assignment on time and for conforming to the minimum word requirement. Unfortunately, I have some bad news: You turned in the paper assignment for your political science class. I am not your political science professor and my name is not Dr. Johnson. The mistake was understandable as you are only a senior. I am certain that such errors will be less commonplace by the time you get your doctorate. In the meantime, the good news is that I went ahead and graded your paper. The bad news is that you got a zero. It really had nothing to do with the requirements of the class you are taking under me. I hope you understand.
Please note that I am aware that you suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder. I know this because you have told me in writing, over the phone, and in person. There is no need for you to repeat yourself. I generally pay attention when people speak to me. But I am giving you the zero – not in spite of your ADD, but because of your ADD. I really think that attaching a consequence to your conduct will help you grow out of it.
Dear (Name Deleted): Thank you for your concerns over the content of our last murder lecture. These lectures can be tough and sometimes offensive – although I am rarely able to predict just what will offend students these days. In your case, you have been very specific with the basis of your personal offense. Regrettably, however, I will be unable to act upon your request. Let me explain.
When you asked me to refrain from using the term “pit bull” (when I discuss the People v. Berry dog mauling case) you were simply asking too much. I understand your concerns that “pit bulls will be unfairly stereotyped as dangerous” if (after they kill someone) we refer to their specific breed. But what you fail to understand is that the dog’s breed was a relevant fact in the murder trial. Berry chose the dog on the basis of its reputation in the hopes that it would keep people away from the illicit drug business he was operating out of his back yard. He had a pit bull but no fence. That is how the little child ended up being mauled to death.
Generally speaking, I have more concern for the lives of small children than for the reputations of dogs who cannot ever know the status of their reputations. I think if you reflect upon this you will understand that people may speak badly of pit bulls without them actually knowing it.
On a positive note, I have taken your concerns to heart. The next time a Yorkie or a Poodle mauls a small child to death I will make sure to emphasize their specific breed. That way, people will understand that pit bulls are really deeply misunderstood creatures.
Dear (Name deleted): I hope you don’t mind this unsolicited email concerning your status in my criminology class. As you know, I have a policy against coming into class late. You are always in your seat before class begins. But, recently, you have been getting up and walking out during the middle of my lectures. In fact, you do it every class period at about the same time. As you walk out of class, you generally reach into your right hand pocket. I suspect that is because you’re reaching for your cell phone in order to call your girlfriend.
Ever since I banned cell phones, guys have been getting up and leaving class to “go potty” with some regularity (no pun intended). But we all know that my cell phone policy did not really cause grown men to go potty more often. Instead, it began to interfere with their girlfriends’ rule that they must either call or text them at least once every half-hour. Since I am aware of what’s going on, I am going to implement a rule you will not like: I am hereby declaring that upon re-entry into my class, you are officially considered late. This means you will lose a point from your final average every time you step out and then step back in during my lecture.
This may seem harsh, but it will be of tremendous benefit to you. It means you will now be forced to act like a man, take charge of your relationship, and stop letting your girlfriend monitor you like a suspected terrorist. Furthermore, it may actually save your relationship. When a woman monitors you she is most likely cheating on you. She is making sure you are not nearby so she will not get caught in the process. If she isn’t cheating on you, she is very close to dumping you for someone she cannot control. Women love a challenge more than having a lapdog. Please think about what I have told you.
Dear (Name deleted): This is just a quick note to remind you of my policy concerning cell phones in the classroom. At no time am I to see or hear one of these annoying devices during one of my lectures.
I know that when your cell phone went off during our last class that it was a complete accident. I appreciate how quickly you reached into your pocket to turn it off as I was answering a student question on the topic of aggravated rape. This brings us to another issue. Please hear me out.
I know that I have not established any rules concerning the content of cell phone interruptions in my class. But I am considering a new policy in light of the nature of the incident with your cell phone.
Please, don’t get me wrong. I certainly support your right to listen to rap music celebrating the joys slapping a “booty.” I mean, DAT is your right if you’re really into booty slapping. However, (especially given that we sometimes forget to turn off our cell phones) it is perhaps unwise to program the ringer in such a way as to celebrate booty slapping every time someone calls. Know what I’m saying?
Anyway, I just thought I would share my insights with you. I wasn’t really offended. But the sensitive topic of rape should be discussed free from unanticipated celebrations of booty slapping. After all, the women might not share your love of booty slapping. And they might turn on you faster than a Yorkshire terrier.