Dear Grad Student: An Exchange

May 27, 2010

Dear Grad Student,

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

You can’t just slip an index card with that written on it under the door of my suite and then escape into the night.  No, of course I’m not surprised you know how to elude campus security, but I thought maybe we at least respected each other a little more than to play this game as if there weren’t any rules.

Man, you must be one hot commodity in the summer time.  One taste of the hot air hits your lungs and you’re just gone?  You must be so tired of undergrads clamoring on your office door–all those sexy co-eds dying for a chance to smell your breath or steal some more of your hair; all those dudes taking a break from push-up practice to wonder how they could one day even be a slice of how cool you are.

"You the man, grad student!" we'd always yell across the quad, unsarcastically.

But let’s back up just a second.  Alice Cooper has taught us many things, not just at which point school is in fact for the entire summer.  For instance:

You’ve been a waste since the day I took you in.”

And then he beats his son with a belt.  Also, his son in this case is a young Freddy Krueger.  I assume we’ve all seen enough Nightmare on Elm Street sequels for me to not have to explain myself.

Look, I realize the TA/undergrad dynamic can be a tough one.  You’re an anxious former study group organizer who is forced to shoulder more than your share of three ring binders; we’re a bunch of sex-crazed, nipple-tweaking gym rats just looking for a spot closer to the keg.  You attempt to recollect what it was like to be our age while we dream of being 21 enough to be yours.  Our youth isn’t enough for us, while your’s feels more and more like its slipping away.

We’re the children George W. Bush wouldn’t leave behind, and you’re our bridge between the naivety of first time college life and that scary professor who shows up with a sharp looking briefcase and speaks solely in vocabulary words.  There’s something to be said for someone who can relate with people on either side of a heavily contrasted spectrum.

And sometimes the bridge between two worlds can be scary.

But Jesus Christ. Do you have to be such a weirdo?

So thanks for a semester of tardiness and poor explanations and wrongly directed flirtations.  I’m sure some day you’ll burrow deep enough up a professor’s asshole to be close to his heart.



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