Wednesday, May 14, 2008

TAs I Know Who've Slept With Students, and The Grades They Gave

I know a guy named George who's slept with four of his students. He's a TA in my department, and he considers himself somewhat of a stud. It could be his hooves; it could be his tendency to mount three year olds. Either way he's a "lover."

Last year he slept with two of his students. Both were undergraduates in his American Novel class; both were thin, athletic, and ran a mile and a quarter in two flat. One was a roan, one was a chestnut brunette. Both were absolutely gorgeous.

I wanted to ask him how de did it, but, before I got a chance, he told me. "David," he said, "who are you screwing?"

"No one."

"Why not?"

"No one's asked."

He laughed at me. "But you're teaching that Canadian Mennonite, wheat and dirt class."

"Prairie fiction. Right, I am. So?"

"So what are you waiting for?"

"I haven't even handed back their first-term essays."

He paused. "Oh. You have to hand those back. But here's what you do: Take the essay of the prettiest girl in your class; give her an F."

"Why an F?" I asked.

"Because with a D she'll try to do better next time. She'll read; she'll study; she'll go to the Centre for Academic Writing and learn to write. But with an F she has to fuck you."

Gee...Flawless reasoning.

"I don't think so," I said. "I'm not taking advantage of anyone like that. It's awful."

"Don't be an asshole, David. They want it. Why do you think they take your class?"

"Because it's the only one on Monday that starts after eight a.m," I said.

"Because they want you to give it to them!" he yelled, jabbing me in the shoulder.

"George," I said, "they don't even want to sit beside me."

At that point George had to leave to go teach a class. He told me to meet him outside of the room in an hour, after the tutorial was over. I figured I'd take a thirty minutes and go for lunch. I was sitting outside, eating a turkey sandwich, when a student cornered me with his thoughts on Saul Bellow's childhood. By the time he got to Bellow's bar mitzvah an hour had passed and I was late for my meeting with George. "Fuck him," I thought, and walked to his classroom. When I walked through the door there he was, on his knees, smelling an empty chair.

"You just missed her," he said.

"Missed whom?"

"My lover."

"No, I think I saw her in the hall. Blue rayon pants? Gray hair?"

"She was sitting right here," he said, pointing to the chair beside which he was kneeling.

"And she dropped a contact lens?"

He got up. "We're meeting tonight. I'm going to help her with her term paper. Silly girl." George said things like that: Silly Girl. He was from Alberta. "She wants to go to law school. You can't do that with a D."

"A D?" I asked. "I thought you said an F worked the best?"

"First an F; then a D. Once they get the D, they don't ever want to go back."

I wish I could say that George got caught and was booted out of the programme. That's not the case; he's still there. And students seem to like him. I don't know why. Maybe it's because he has such long fingers.

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