Should I…?

Should I add these paragraphs to any of my self-descriptions, or are they too frivolous?

“Professor Zero teaches at Vichy State University, an R-2 institution in Louisiana. Her departments and programs include, but are not limited to Spanish and Portuguese, Comparative Literature, and Latin American Studies. She has resigned her affiliation with Women’s Studies because that department is the whitest, and is comprised of what one student terms “Fireside Feminists.” Her Top Friends live in the department of Art, the Honors College, and the Division of Interdisciplinary and General Studies. Additional Friends reside in Anthropology and Geography. She once had Friends in History, but that department has been abolished.

“The state of Louisiana formerly had four university systems, each governed by its own set of Regents or Supervisors. After Hurricane Zoraida, Governor Bobby Jindal privatized the universities and sold them to France, which believes in centralization. The current consolidated system is governed by an entity known colloquially as the Superboard. The President of the Superboard is Philippe Pétain. He is embattled. He lives in a district of Baton Rouge known as Sigmaringen Lane. Most university faculty in Louisiana support for the presidency the insurgent Charles de Gaulle, but Professor Zero is concerned that de Gaulle might morph at any moment into Nicolas Sarkozy. She may vote for Daniel Cohn-Bendit despite his German citizenship. We really need Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but Bobby Jindal will not allow this. Georges Marchais is angry at Professor Zero and trolls this blog. We have banned him from commenting.

“The mascot of Vichy State University was originally a rooster named Mitch, and there was cockfighting during halftime at football games. When Mitch died after a particularly vicious fight, cockfighting was outlawed in Louisiana and Mitch was replaced with a Maine lobster. Although the Alumni Association would have preferred escargots or frog legs, the University really wanted a crawfish. It could have requested that the Art department create one, but it did not trust its faculty and students with this endeavor. The job was outsourced to a Los Angeles consulting firm, which delivered a Maine lobster costing $20,000.”


12 thoughts on “Should I…?

  1. Note: while Vichy State University is at one level a composite of several institutions in Louisiana, it is more importantly Everyuniversity, where Everyuniversity is a public research institution in the 21st century U.S. academic industrial complex.

    Note today: in Academic Senate we were discussing our possible irrelevance, now that governance is outsourced to professional administrators who are not faculty, and formerly academic matters such as curriculum development to professional curriculum developers who do not have graduate degrees.

  2. And Mitch enabled us to win many football games. I have less faith in this lobster, especially since he is not now, nor has he ever been a living lobster.

    Meanwhile, I have decided this description of Professor Zero’s circumstances is actually too silly for my sidebar – it ruins its tone. This is too bad, as I think the Louisianians would laugh. 😉

  3. More comments–I love your choice of poems. I’d visit your blog every day if it had a short, beautiful postings of Spanish and Portuguese literature fragments (short attention span & time crushing responsibilities obviate more) –what about more Brazilian/Portuguese things– both Elizabeth Bishop and Fernando Pessoa have a foot planted in both languages. I want to know more about Spanish-language poetry–intro to lit for wandering strangers in the electronic desert. I’ll take Dylan Thomas any day any ways, even if he’s from the other hemisphere.

  4. Meia Oito, that’s a great blog idea – perhaps you should do it – I would link! My class blogs are more like the kind of thing you describe, and they attract general readers (not just my students). I love Pessoa and relate less to Bishop, and although I do sometimes post work by classics like them, in this blog I try to post less well known things.

    I’ll be posting more poetry later on. Originally this blog was intended to fight a toxic work environment with poetry. Then as I got braver, I used it to work myself out of various toxic situations. At the moment most of the blog writing energy goes into that but: yes, we need more poetry!

  5. I wish I had the knowledge or the time to do it…meanwhile, is there a link to your class blogs? or is that for tuition-payers only? I’d love to know some more recent authors. Latin American/Spanish/Portuguese lit is totally invisible in NYC area where I live.

    It is so sad that multiple toxic environments, real and metaphorical, seem to be seeping into our lives from underfoot, overhead, from every side. I applaud your response to do something positive, instead of letting the crap suck you under.

    I spent a year at Tulane in MA program in Latin American Studies in 1983/1984. I really miss Nawlins and continue to mourn the unimaginable loss and devastation it has suffered since the storm. Because of that, I was thrilled to find and really enjoy your Louisiana jokes–it’s like the spirit of what I remember is still flickering there, somehow–add a new thread–you’re extremely good at funny writing!! It could go in the Onion.

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