Heidi Klum is Chair of Your Tenure Committee
Tenure Candidate: Dr. Sylvia Gattis, Dept. of English
Dr. Klum: “Sylvia, tell us about your tenure packet.”
Dr. Gattis: “Well, I think the packet as a whole really speaks to my aesthetic as an educator, but I'm particularly proud of how the sample lectures turned out.
Dr. Klum: "Really. That's interesting because I felt the sample lectures you offered us were derivative, poorly constructed, and quite honestly, made us question your taste level. The raw edges on your conclusions are clearly visible, and this digression into deconstruction over here! What was that all about?! It's like you ran out of time and thought, 'Oh well, I'll just throw some Derrida over this and everything will be all right.' But it's not all right, Sylvia.”
Dr. Gattis: “I had an idea that I'd hand make a special set of binders for my packet and decoupage them with the best of my student evaluations, but the hot glue I chose kept wrinkling the Scantrons, and I lost so much time that maybe my list of professional activities suffered. I know it's not my best work.”
Dr. Klum: “It's a hot mess, Sylvia. And I feel like we've seen these professional activities a hundred times before (murmurs of assent from the committee). I mean, you actually included a conference paper that, where is it...oh yes, “Dance of Joy or Dance of Sorrow?: Balki Bartokomous Navigates the Post-Colonial Mypos Diaspora?” You KNOW I love 80's retro, but this isn't the good 80's, Sylvia. This is the shoulder pad and jellies 80's. And where was it presented, uh here, “Ou-a-CHI-ta Baptist University? Is that even a real place?”
Dr. Gattis: “It's pronounced WASH-i-taw. I actually got a lot of great feedback on that paper.”
Dr. Zac Posen: “Who from?! Bronson Pinchot's agent? Post-Colonialism is dead, Sylvia. Over. It's like the mullet of critical theory—I hated it then, and it has not improved with age.”
Dr. Nina Garcia: “I actually don't mind the Post-Colonialism (Dr. Posen rolls eyes). In confident hands with a creative vision, it's perfectly serviceable. But this paper wasn't confident, Sylvia, or creative, or even serviceable. Why not Latka? Why not Mork? There you'd at least have room to stretch out. But Perfect Strangers? No. It shows me nothing.”
Dr. Klum: “And these student evaluations. You must have known these were going to be a problem.”
Dr. Gattis: “I'm not trying to win any popularity contest...”
Dr. Klum: “OBVIOUSLY. No, these make that very clear. And even if we pull out all the students who expected to fail or get a D in your class, the picture doesn't get much rosier. I mean look, this B student actually took the time to write out “BORING! BORING!! BORING!!!” three times with six exclamation marks.
Dr. Gattis: “I just don't feel like you've yet seen my best work, the work I know I could do if I had the chance.”
Dr. Garcia: “Well you've been here seven years now, and you've never been in the top of the department. I just don't see that—poof–there's going to be a magical transformation to some great work you think you can do.
Dr. Klum: “And seriously? That holey sweater you teach in every day is what you picked to wear tonight? With those worn-out flats? I'm sorry Sylvia, but you're out."
Dr. Tim Gunn: “I'm so sorry, Sylvia, but I'm going to have to ask you to pack up your office. We are so going to miss you around here!”