Benjamin Franklin: Genius and Horndog

    First, I found some comments in the spam folder.  I’ll release them and respond when I get to the office.

     I woke up early this morning so that I could grade papers.  I require my students to turn in a paper every week, 2-3 pages.  I don’t know if this was a wise decision.  The essays sometimes fill me with despair.  They can also make me laugh, as when a creative teenage scholar (who is doing well, by the way) described our beloved Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, thusly: “He was a genius and a horndog, a man of many talents.”  

     While Teenaged Scholar’s description of Franklin’s libido was not inaccurate, I felt it necessary to cross out that charming colloquialism and suggest a more formal replacement.  lol

     Here, I’ll tell you a secret, gentle reader: sometimes I save the very worst student papers for my private library.  I make copies of them store them in a special manilla folder underneath my bed.  I’ve been doing this for years.  I do it because they amuse me, and when it comes to this line of work, you take whatever you can get.

      On that note, in case you were wondering, have I told you about the state of the academic job market..?  I haven’t…?  

       IT SUCKS!  It sucks shit through Hefty Bags!  Forget tenure, I’ve long given up on that!  I’m competing with scholars from rich-kid schools for 4-semester contracts at training-wheels colleges out in the boondocks!  It’s a disgrace!   All these geezers who have had tenure for 40 years are still around, hogging all the jobs and teaching off the same yellowed notes they’ve been using since the Clinton presidency!  

          Well, I’m not teaching high school.  Especially in this town.  

        I’m thinking about applying to a few internships in the practical area of my field.  Something short.  Get my feet wet.  It just might be time for a career change.  Hmmm.

        My friend wrote a book and wants to hire me to edit it for her. She is going to pay me.  I don’t know whether it’s appropriate to charge her the going rate for editing services or give her a discount because she is a friend.  I guess I’ll make up my mind after I see the book…because the last time I signed up to edit a book sight-unseen, I was clobbered with the shittiest book ever published by a university press.  It read like it was written by a bunch of ESL students high on crack.  I ended up having to re-write large parts of it, and it still sucked.  In fact, I specifically requested that my name not be put on the new edition.  I didn’t want credit for that resume stain. 

         Spring is here.  The flowers have bloomed.


4 thoughts on “Benjamin Franklin: Genius and Horndog”

  1. “a bunch of ELS students on crack.”

    sounds exactly like a recent hospital visit.

    you are a gifted writer with an unusual. have you considered writing about it? under another name of course.

  2. Anon: I did not write that article. I do agree with many of her sentiments, however.

    Unless I could attend a Tier-1 university without incurring significant debt and was utterly confident in my ability to produce competitive and meaningful peer-reviewed research on, an minimum, an annual basis, there is no way in hell I would ever get a Ph.D. in the Humanities for the purpose of entering academia.

    Including English Lit, the author’s field.

    Our civilization needs culture, but them’s the breaks…

    My discipline is more practical.

    Thanks, though. I enjoyed the article.

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