Leverett Butts - Musings of a Bored English Teacher

Occasional web log from Southern writer Leverett Butts.

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Location: Temple, Georgia, United States

English Professor in Georgia. Writer of Southern lit

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

My family has abandoned its grudge against me.

My sister made the President's List despite the dastardly "B" her bastardly brother gave her.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

When my sister lost her HOPE scholarship at West Georgia college because she'd much rather chase boys, hang out, and sleep in instead of study and attend class, I suggested she try to improve her GPA at the junior college at which I am employed. I knew that it could be potentially dangerous, but with the caveat that she not take any classes from me, I got her the paperwork and set up appointment with the director and dean for her.

At first everything went swimmingly. Her study habits improved, thus improving her grades. She'd stop by my office every once in a while to shoot the shit with me before her Spanish class. It was kind of nice. I've always been kind of aloof with my sister at family functions. She's over ten years younger than I am, and I'm by nature an introvert at social functions, so we've never really had a lot in common. So I was surprised to learn that I could spend time with my sister outside of family gatherings and not feel completely ill-at-ease.

Then the ethics professor for her weekend class had a family emergency (I think her mother was abducted or spontaneously combusted or something), and I was the only qualified professor with the weekend free. Even then, I made it clear that she would be treated just like any other student.

Treated just like any other student, here meant that if she was late I'd take off five points of her final grade for each day. It also meant she'd be expected to pass the tests if she hoped to pass the class.

So far, so good.

The class went fairly well. My sister was late the second day of class, and I diligently put her down for the -5 points, as I did for the other students.

She also scored a "C" on the first open-book test, bringing her grade to a 90, the -5 points, then, gave her a solid "B" for the class.

She got her report card a couple of weeks ago and wondered why she didn't have an "A" for the class. I told her she had lost points for being late.

Now my family is pissed at me. When I went to my grandparents house last week for Sunday dinner I was served a healthy portion cold shoulder with a side of guilt and a big ol' slice of humble pie for dessert.

My grandfather wouldn't even look at me except to yell at me for treating my sister so poorly.

"You've never been on time for a thing in your life, boy," he told me as he stared blankly at George W. on CNN, "except maybe when you're called to the feeding trough."

Then he told me he should have expected as much from a "typical English professor who only concerns himself with literature, which is to say he only cares about evaluating pretty lies."

This from a man who raised me on the idea that two wrongs don't make a right, everyone deserves a fair shake, and the good ol' boy system is a shitty way to do business.

I don't really know what he expected from me, but apparently not giving my sister preferential treatment in an ethics class didn't quite make the list.

What I do know is that it will be a pleasant day in Hell before I again allow my sister to take a class from me.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I'm out of my office much of the next eight weeks as I'm on summer break. I'll be in sporadically, but it may be a while before I can get a new article off. In the meantime keep checking in and read Scott Thompson's weblog, gecko tales (see my link on the sidebar).