Written by Eoin Salmondaughter, Staff Writer.
“Crazy” Dave, winner of the recent graduate literary conference at one local Illinois university for his riveting discussion of “liberal ideological vision and how it relates to Derridean notions of Space/Time continuum,” has been hired on as sole faculty member of the university’s philosophy department. In lieu of the recent state and local budgetary crises, a large number of faculty have been cut to accommodate the substantial financial demands of the upcoming fiscal year. In response to the recent cuts, Dave’s new position represents what University President Doug Snider calls “a last-ditch effort” to preserve the existence of the department which would have otherwise been eliminated indefinitely.
President Snider, who attended the graduate literary conference last month, revealed he had been impressed and engaged in deep connection with the ideas presented in Dave’s paper, stating “I did not understand what he was talking about, but I could feel the importance of it vibrating the room.” It was on these terms that Dave was hired.
Despite not holding any academic credentials, Crazy Dave gladly accepted his ascribed role as sole Professor of Philosophy, Secretary, Department Chair, and building Janitor: literally every position once filled by recently fired faculty and staff. Crazy Dave agreed full-heartedly to the generous allotment of three free all-you-can-eat tickets to the local Asian buffet per week and an unlimited supply of complimentary passes to the coffee room and personal e-mails from the university president praising his “impassioned charisma” and “supreme smarts.”
In his mere weeks of employment, students have already described Dave’s teaching style as more than a little controversial. One student, requesting to remain unnamed for fear that “he would go bat-s*#t if he found out!,” stated Professor “Crazy,” as he stressed to be called, is often “erratic… like a squirrel on acid… and slightly racist.” Upon further discussion, the student disclosed a particular instance where Dave closed his eyes suddenly during a lecture and then re-opened them in a wild, confounded state, shouting “The Chinese! They’ve taken over! Run for your lives!” Luckily, such outbursts were common, and the students knew to remain in their seats until the moment had passed and Professor Crazy was back to writing profound philosophical questions on the chalkboard. A few students of Asian descent have reported the incident to the University Board of Directors, but as many of its members were recently affected by the budget dilemma, only Dave himself received confirmation of their discomfort, to which he replied in a one-line e-mail: “Différence! It is all about Derrida and différence!” The report has since been discussed by top University Administrators and dismissed with “inconclusive evidence that any racial injustice actually occurred.”
The philosophy students have also shown dismay for receiving assignments on topics including “The Philosophical underpinnings of one’s escape from the penitentiary of one’s mind” and “Your ideological notions toward barbarity and the intellect of Saussurian terminological definition,” for which they have not received any further clarification. Even more challenging is the fact that questions often lead Professor Crazy on inappropriate tangents or simply prod him to uncontrollable rage. Students have long since learned the dangers of such questions , most significantly a student who on the first day of Dave’s employment asked “What can I call you?”and received a wild-eyed scowl and the reference to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings: “Crazy! Otherwise… You shall not pass!” On the matter of grades, Dave has himself commented that the students “will get what they deserve. If they work hard and break the ideological boundaries of the mind, in doing so killing the human they were and accepting another human inside like an alien or parasite infesting a wounded vampire… then they will be dead because it is impossible, and thus… they all get F’s!!!”
When asked what fuels him as a professor of philosophy, Dave replied, “I am a professor? Don’t lie to me, harlot!” He then turned to the chalkboard and began writing feverishly in some indecipherable language, muttering repeatedly under his breath: “The futility of man is man the futility of.” Later in the day, Dave, eating coffee from a can in the coffee room with his bare hands, finally provided an adequate response. Between mouthfuls he said teaching was “like fencing… some lived for it, some died a #*&@^!* failure.”
It will be interesting to see how this teaching philosophy plays into Crazy Dave’s experiences as he navigates the world of academia in the upcoming months. Stay tuned, and stay sane.
Eoin Salmondaughter is a writer, but most importantly a human being. She is one with the world and all that inhabit it. Her native tongue is Australian, but she learned English at an early age with the help of a little elf she has since discovered was a leaf stuck in her childhood bedroom window. Salmondaughter is most well-known for her recent investigative work on the Crazy Dave case: “Discovering the Ingenious Insane.” She is also a poet, however, and has dedicated many afternoons to writing long verses about the love shared between various coniferous trees.