Monday, April 11, 2011

An Open Letter to my Ethics Professor

Ethics class isn’t going too well.  I’m struggling to submit papers that meet the high standards of my professor.  I’m hanging on to an A at this time with a .1.  This is not a comfortable position going into the final push of the semester.  The final paper is worth 1/3 of my grade, and I have no reason to think it’s going to go that well.   

Last month I wrote a paper (Paper #1) that was not well received.  My professor sent me a nice (scathing) note that indicated he did not appreciate my writing style.  Because of his note, I completely researched how to write paper #2, and then constructed it using the dry unappealing writing style he indicated that would most please him.

But… I have reason to believe that I did not execute fully.

Take this latest e-mail to me, from him. 

“Dear Virginia,

Thank you for your timely submission of (Ethics Paper #2).  While I appreciate the content of your paper, as well as your willingness to think critically on the topic of (Kant’s Categorical Imperative), your paper was lacking in technical writing proficiency.  I know I had previously indicated to you that your writing is weak (uh, yea, THAT’s what I thought he said).  I also know I directed you to a page that would help you write a better academic paper, and so I do not need to tell you where to find this helpful resource again (oh no, he didn’t…).  Please review these guidelines before submitting your next paper.

Again, I appreciate your efforts,
Ethics Professor”

And my response… it’s still a rough draft…

“Dear Professor of Ethics,

Thank you for your critique of my paper exploring Kant’s Categorical Imperative.  I’m sorry you find my writing unacceptable for your high standards.  I reviewed the guidelines you set forth before submitting my paper.  I will further consider your submission requirements before writing my next paper.

By the way, you f*cking suck.

Thank you again for your critique,


It’s still rough though, so I’m trying to figure out how to add, “I’m sorry your academic writing skillz were too weak to score you a job at a university and that you are trapped in a position as an associate professor teaching online classes at a community college”… and do you think it’s too over the top if I also include a post script with, “Oh by the F*cking way, I’m a published author.”

Yes?  No? Maybe some of the language is weak?  Do you think the message of general suckage is fully communicated?


Pam said...

I think I just fell in love with you a little bit.

Rene' said...

Love you! That is great!
PS....seriously as your editor I think that you are a great writer!

Holly said...

While I have no idea what your writing style is outside of the blog, there is a certain way that academic papers are to be written. While I may not always agree with the writing style, it is there for a reason. I hated my graduate ethics class (it was online) and so I can sympothesize there. Good luck. Don't know his credentials either, some very well educated people choose to do online teaching instead.

RunHapi13 said...

Perfect, but totally sign it with a "Hell Yeah!" - thatwill seal the message! A-hole! :-)

Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS said...

Wow, are you freaking serious? What a jerk!

Anonymous said...


Jen said...

Um.... take it from me, you GAIN nothing from telling him what a dick he is. He is arrogant and is using you as his doormat. RISE ABOVE, princess! He isn't worth your time.

Write the 3rd paper as close to his standards as possible, and be DONE!

I may even consider taking my papers to the department head to seek additional advice.

LOVE you.... seriously don't sweat this. And seriously, get his address, I GOT YO BACK!

Katie said...

You are too funny!

Anonymous said...

While I appreciate Holly's attempt to justify this sucker...I hate teachers like this. as in the one's that want a super boring, painful, death march of a paper. I happen to adore your writing and think he needs to something inappropriate to himself.

fancy nancy said...

Perfect!!!! I love it! I have had some profs that I would love to send that too!!!

Kc said...

Love it! And he is an idiot! Jus' sayin'.....

Julie D. said...

i can't believe he sent you that email. Seriously. Professors with egos like that need to take a long walk off a short bridge.