Well, it’s that time of year again in colleges and universities across America. Finals week is fast approaching, and on the heels of that will come graduation day. Almost all seniors and other degree candidates will graduate. For some of them, though, that is not a guarantee.
I can’t help imagining the following exchange between a hopeful senior and a not-so-hopeful professor.
STUDENT: You wanted to see me, Professor Hardline?
PROFESSOR: Yes, Bob. Come in.
The student timidly enters the professor’s office and sits on the hardback chair on the other side of the desk.
PROFESSOR: Bob, I wanted to discuss your work in my class. I have been a little disappointed.
STUDENT: Why, Professor? I came to class most of the time.
PROFESSOR: Yes, you were in class most of the time, with your head down on your desk, pretending to be taking notes while you were listening to your iPod. I even confiscated it once, remember?
STUDENT: Yeah. You made me pay you $5 to get it back. You said you deserved extra pay for the pain and emotional anguish involved in teaching me.
PROFESSOR: Yes. When you weren’t listening to your iPod you were dozing off. It’s hard to teach a student whose brain cells are busy having dreams.
STUDENT: I’m sorry, Professor. It isn’t anything personal. You’re a brilliant teacher and all that. It’s just hard to concentrate on Sociology at 8:45 in the morning when you were mixing wine and beer and hitting on the hottest girl on campus the night before. And I have a whole bunch of other classes, too. It’s really hard to do all that work and keep up with my social life.
PROFESSOR: The hottest girl on campus? Who?
STUDENT: Kara, over at Alpha Alpha Phi.
PROFESSOR: You made it with her?
STUDENT: Not really. She gave me her cell phone number, though. It’s not a fake number, either. I tried it. It really rings.
PROFESSOR: Okay. Let’s not get off the subject. What about all that homework you never turned in?
STUDENT: I almost always turned in something, right?
PROFESSOR: Yes, but most of the time all you turned in was your excuse for why you didn’t do the work. Your excuses were so original that I actually made a list:
(1) I did the assignment, but it was raining and there was a hole in my backpack. The paper got soaked. I will buy a new backpack tomorrow.
(2) There was a power outage in my half of my dorm room and my computer crashed. There was no other power outage anywhere else on campus. It must have been a poltergeist.
(3) I spilled beer on it. I would have printed it out again, but my computer ran out of ink and the bookstore wouldn’t take my maxed-out credit card.
Shall I go on?
STUDENT: No. That’s okay.
STUDENT: Hey, Professor. I just thought of something. If you flunk me and I don’t graduate I’ll have to come back next fall and take your class again, right?
The professor stares at the student and his face gradually begins to turn white.
PROFESSOR: Bob, that’s blackmail.
STUDENT: I’m just telling you the truth, Professor.
PROFESSOR: Alright. You win. I’ll pass you. But you don’t get anything above a D+ and that’s final.
STUDENT: You couldn’t see your way to giving me a C?
PROFESSOR: Don’t push your luck, Dumbo.
STUDENT: Okay. Thanks, Professor. See you at graduation.