November 30, 2014

· Politics · Sociology


BONASENIOR: … But the Associate Dean said it was out of his hands. And then my Mom texted me and said, “For extra credit opportunities, we must go to Professor Corleone.”

PROF. CORLEONE: Why did you go to the Associate Dean? Why didn’t you come to me first?

BONASENIOR: What do you want of me? Tell me anything. But do what I beg you to do.

PROF. CORLEONE: What is that?

[BONASENIOR whispers his request into PROF. CORLEONE’S ear.]

PROF. CORLEONE: That I cannot do.

BONASENIOR: I’ll give you anything you ask.

PROF. CORLEONE: We’ve known each other all semester, but this is the first time you came to me for an appointment, for help. I can’t remember the last time that you asked a question in class, even though you said you were really interested in the material when you wanted me to take you off the waitlist. But let’s be frank here: you never wanted to do the work. And you didn’t bother to turn in the assignment.

BONASENIOR: I didn’t always have a chance to do the reading.

PROF. CORLEONE: I understand. You found paradise in Senior Year. The Associate Dean protected you, and you didn’t need a friend like me. But now you come to me and say, “Prof Corleone, give me extra credit”. But you don’t read the syllabus. You don’t turn in assignments. You don’t even think to email me using capital letters or the rudiments of punctuation. Instead, you come to my office on the last day of the semester, and you ask me to commit a do-over, because you are “disappointed with your grade”.

BONASENIOR: I ask you for justice. I’m applying to Med School!

PROF. CORLEONE: That is not justice; right now thanks to me your future patients are still alive.

BONASENIOR: They can suffer then, as I suffer. Do you know how much I pay to go here?

PROF. CORLEONE: Bonasenior … Bonasenior … Had you come to me during regular Office Hours, then the TA that ruined your grade would be suffering this very day. And if an honest man such as yourself were to have written an outline in advance, then it would have received my comments. And then your TA would fear you.

BONASENIOR: Let me rewrite the paper …. Professor?

PROF. CORLEONE: Some day, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to write a paper for me. But until that d—Well, actually, let’s say it’s due Friday.

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.



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