A group of college professors met this week to solve a crucial problem facing academia: why they can’t just teach anymore.
“We gave them trigger warnings on syllabi, safe spaces for disagreeable speakers, and emotional support animals in the classroom,” one professor sobbed. “Now they roam the campus in golf carts, wielding baseball bats to attack us when we don’t cater to their every whim!”
Another looked nervously out a window before adding, “It would’ve been nice if we didn’t have to write a statement each year affirming diversity and inclusion in our classrooms. What the hell does diversity and inclusion have to do with physics?”
“How in the world is teaching Plato racist?” a worried voice cried from another corner of the room. “I try teaching the Allegory of the Cave, and I get shouted down because it doesn’t adequately depict the lived experiences of people of color? What the hell does that even mean?”
“And the pronoun nonsense!” exclaimed another academic. “We try to be nice and call them what they want, but one of those little shits has me calling him ‘Your Highness’ when I call on him in class.”
All eyes fell on a teaching assistant who had managed to sneak coffee and doughnuts to the isolated teachers. “Did you come to report us for a microagression?” one professor asked.
“No, I just thought you’d like some food since the students are currently sacking the cafeteria for not serving culturally accurate Banh Mi,” the TA replied. “By the way, did any of you consider maybe telling your classes they were students, present to learn, and that while in your classroom, you were in charge?”
The assembled academics politely thanked the teaching assistant for the food, reminded her they had PhDs and she didn’t, then showed her the door.
“You know, she might have a point,” remarked a mathematics professor after wolfing down three toasted coconut doughnuts. “We could’ve told the student government we didn’t give a shit whether they disbanded or not, but we didn’t. All of us wanted to make sure they felt validated and that our students were living their truth.”
“You’ve gone and swallowed the Kool-Aid now, Stacey,” a philosophy professor retorted. “There is no such thing as “their truth.” There’s just “the truth.”
The other professors defenestrated the philosophy teacher through the quad-facing window, where he was shortly torn apart by a student Bias Response team for such an open display of hate speech.
“We should have seen this coming.” a voice piped up in another part of the room. “Oberlin, Evergreen State, Mizzou, Middlebury, Sarah Lawrence, DePaul—all of these were incredible places of learning until the student outrage mobs took over.”
“You think maybe they’re not really outraged?” asked another professor. “Is there a possibility they figured out if they acted upset as a collective group, they could get whatever crazy demand they wanted from us?”
“No way,” replied the head of the Gender Studies department. “It’s our duty as teachers to validate their experiences and recognize the real trauma some of our disciplines inflict on the bodies of persons of color and LGBTQIAAP2+ people.”
“Wait a second,” the head of the English department roused. “None of this foolishness happened before we actually opened up a Gender Studies department.”
“Don’t foist your bigotry on me!” the non-binary, gender fluid professor returned.
“Well, I guess we might as well try to get back to class,” a biology professor said dejectedly after reading an email on his iPhone. “They’ve gone and shot the Dean. Three students are now claiming ownership of all departments, and we’ve been informed if we don’t return to our classrooms we’ll be replaced by more inclusive academics.”
And just like that, all the professors filed out of their hiding place, telling themselves this was part and parcel of an academic career these days.