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… these are all not merely commendable gestures, but will, in certain American university classroom settings, count as credit-bearing assignments.

Over the course of writing this blog, UD has chronicled the many ways professors accomplish two things: Get multiple people to help the professors in their far-flung personal commitments and endeavors; and avoid reading student papers/exams.

It’s win-win, really. You get a captive audience to do your bidding, whatever it may be, and you give yourself a break in terms of academic labor. For the student it’s win-win too – just cough up the good-cause donation, or knock on a district door or two, or endure that initial little pinch as the Red Cross pokes you… and presto! No need to write your final paper (automatic A) or take the final exam (again, automatic A).

UD herself has wondered if she could interest her students in washing her dog. UD’s dog is water-phobic, and the only way UD has been able to wash her is to capture her in her little fenced-in yard and race after her all over the yard while squirting the garden hose at her. The dog runs madly about, and UD runs madly about. Once the dog’s all wet, UD must attempt to hold her still while applying dog shampoo, and then it’s another runabout for rinsing. If, in exchange for not having to write their final paper or take their final exam, one or two of my students would wash my dog…

But no, no. In all the cases UD has mentioned, professors paid a price for these transactions. The latest instance, at the University of Central Florida, involves a psych prof who just a couple years ago was getting praised for doing shit like hypnotizing his entire class, but who’s now catching hell because he’ll drop all sorts of class requirements for students who give their money to a charity poker game. (Maybe the hypnosis was part of the deal: You put them under and then … When I snap my fingers you will awaken and give all your money to Saint Jude’s Hospital…)

Such a classy idea. On top of taking their money (their parents’ money… our tax money…) in tuition, you take more of their money in exchange for making their university tuition meaningless. At least the University of North Carolina’s athletes were on scholarship when the university arranged for them to have meaningless classes.

But anyway. Someone called an ethics hotline on the dude and he’s out on his ass and will have to find a whole new universe of suckers.

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One Response to “Voting, Giving Blood, Making Charitable Gifts, Volunteering in a Political Campaign…”

  1. Greg Says:

    The dog washing idea is genius.

    Perhaps more justifiable for Canis Major[i]s than students in the English department.

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