Welcome to the Ivory Tower, Internet

My daughter shares this story:

Research is to English majors what coffee is to the general college student. Essays are ramen and reading material naps, if you’re curious. (Note that literal naps often overlap with these figurative ones.) So caught up in the glee of primary sources and minutia of MLA, we forget that not all of our academic brethren are blessed with this area of education.

Also, people are stupid.

So I’m sitting in my philosophy professor’s office, chatting breezily about feminist interpretations of Aristotle and (conventionally enough) existential crises in modern films. A flustered gentleman comes crashing through the doorway pleading for an audience. She invites him in, and he begins his protestations before I have a chance to vacate and thus offer privacy.

“Why did I get an F on this paper?” he whines, gesturing to the scarlet letter like it were the very knife Brutus plunged into Caesar’s back.

“Because it was a research paper,” she answers, “and you only had one source.”


“And it was Wikipedia.”


“And that’s not a credible source.”

“Nu-uh!” he cries, despondent in the face of life’s cold injustice. “I know it was! I posted the information myself.

Seated on the bridge of the Enterprise, Captain Picard does a pained face-palm

Seated on the bridge of the Enterprise, Captain Picard does a pained face-palm


  1. greg said,

    26 August 2009 at 12:48

    It’s amazing some people actually survive in the real world with logic like this. When I was in graduate school it always amazed me how lazy some people actually are….

  2. 20 August 2009 at 13:55

    This reminds me of a story told about my mother, who worked in a research lab at a huge hospital. She was having a heated argument with one of the hospital big-wigs about some obscure point of histology -or something (not sure what), and neither of them was backing down (because the guy was wrong, and my mother was… well, …my mother).

    Finally the guy said “If I show you my side, written in a book, THEN will you believe me?”.

    “Yes” said my mother

    So they went into his office, he took down a big book and rummaged through it until he hound his point, written there in black and white.

    He showed the page to my mother.

    My mother was flabbergasted because the book was clearly wrong.

    “*Who* wrote this book?” she exclaimed, angrily looking at the spine

    “I did.”

  3. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) said,

    20 August 2009 at 12:54

    oops. for every one that gets in but shouldn’t, there’s one doesn’t get in that should…

  4. Catana said,

    20 August 2009 at 12:12

    Oh. My… Yes, sometimes there just aren’t any words. How do people like that even get into college?

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