Wednesday, December 24, 2014

'Twas the Night Before Christmas in Academia

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the college,
not a student was stirring, their heads full of knowledge,
the grades were all posted through the portal, with care,
in the hopes that professors were kind and were fair,

with a tablet in one hand, I sat up in bed,
and visions of theses still danced in my head,
the freshman class papers I asked to review,
would wait until next week, perhaps even two,

when up from my inbox there rose such a clatter
I turned to my tablet to see what’s the matter,
Was my little ‘puter about to go crash
Or was it a pop-up to upgrade the Flash?

Ah, the expected messages, urgent and scared,
Hoping to find a professor who cared,
The names so familiar, the desperate tweet
Begging at last for one more Incomplete,

But there were still more; inquiring faces
From adjuncts still working out plagiarism cases,
automated requests from all over the nation
Grad schools seeking letters of recommendation,

Reminders from the Dean: the schedule’s due
For the Fall semester – 2032!
Another request, from someone named “whiner,”
Who wants to declare film and media minor,

And if all that stuff wasn’t enough enjoyment,
cv’s of teachers seeking employment,
some with their master’s, some with PhD,
and some without even an English degree,

then: please go to surveymonkey, we must vote
on whether we can keep your program afloat,
I looked at my watch, it was 10:59,
I wondered, what classes we could offer on-line!

I replied, I clicked links, I said yes, I said no,
I said maybe to some, and to others “I don’t know”
Some students were sincere, others just lazy
But then I hit TILT, I was going quite crazy

I screamed at the screen: “go get you out, Johnny!
Go Jacob, Go Jimmy, Go Bertha and Bonnie!
Dash away, dash away, dash away all!”
And I threw my hot tablet against my green wall!

I woke with a start (you saw this one coming)
On my couch, with the lights of my Christmas tree humming,
The children were dressing, and getting their wish:
Christmas Eve at Grandma’s with nine courses of fish,

And turned off my tablet, not in need of repair,
And forgot the dreams of an Associate Chair,
But not before mailing my family’s cheer,
To my colleagues: happy holidays, and happy new year!

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