I spent my birthday yesterday working on a paper for my experimental psychology class. It was originally due Wednesday, so I made an appointment to meet with my professor today before I put the finishing touches on it.
Outside his office, I ran into a classmate. Didn’t I get the e-mail he sent to the class, she asked. The due date was pushed to noon on Friday. Fair enough, I think. I would have gone out for my birthday if only I had checked my e-mail yesterday afternoon, but it’s no great loss.
When I came home, I checked my e-mail. Apparently, this is why the due date was pushed back:
The ambiguity is maddening. I think I could hold a meaningful scientific conversation with a professor in the relevant field, but how the fuck can I be certain? Go visit a random sample of professors, speak to them about the paper topic, have them fill out a questionnaire about my performance and analyze the results with an SPSS spreadsheet? Grab every evolutionary and social psychologist on campus, herd them into a conference room and ask them to explain their respective theories so I can see if I get them? As interesting as that would be, it’s too late for that.
I would rather be told straightout that “Your paper is a sucking black hole of mediocrity and we are all dumber for having read it” than wonder whether or not I’m amongst the happy few. Hand out dunce caps, set my paper on fire in front of me, just let me know!