DYSTOPIA–Adjunct English instructors are staging a unique protest against the unavailability of books at Dystopia College this semester. They have cancelled all their classes and sent their students on a massive scavenger hunt for twenty-five actual physical copies of any course-appropriate text.
“I can coast a whole semester on Oedipus the King, The Bell Jar or even a graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, but I need something,” said Will Bardly, who teaches several sections of English 102.
Des Peratphurjhob, who teaches 101, concurred. “We’re really not picky. Any old anthology of essays and something that covers MLA style and we’re set.”
But without something to assign for students to not read, they agreed, the adjuncts are at a loss for what to do with a bunch of restless teenagers for three hours a week.
Bardly said he got through the first couple of days by having students Google the weirdest poems of e. e. cummings on their smart phones, but that was “just awkward because the college’s wifi network is so damn slow.”
Peratphurjhob said she tried to show an essay to students one page at a time on the projection screen, but her classroom doesn’t have a document camera, and the projector bulb exploded during the first class meeting and still hasn’t been replaced.
They said they were headed to the Dead Albatross to “drink it out” while students scavenge. And if the students aren’t successful? “We’ll just have to schedule individual conferences with the students instead of having class and read them the essays we want them to write about, since we aren’t allowed to make multiple copies.”
T. Allen Culpepper