Posted on

By Xanax Anaximander

“If you want a picture of the future of academia, imagine ChatGPT stamping on a professor’s inbox—forever.”

-Xanax Anaximander, 2024

I, Xanax Anaximander, have taught philosophy and politics for many years at Binghamton. Since 19-dickety-thrembo, students have always been grade-grubbing. By handwritten note, by email, by a rock thrown through my window at 3 am etc., students would invariably demand some absurd “round up” for their crappy grades. The notes at least used to be brief. A typical email in 2010 would look something like:


Subject: yo

mr. amander

i need this class to pass, but your teaching was ass. can u round up my C+ to an A-? 


Joe Freshman

That was back when the process had dignity. Five seconds to read it, five seconds to write “no thamks. -Sent from my iPad.” But now, the advent of ChatGPT has yielded grade-change requests like the following enormity. [All of my commentary on this email will be formatted like this.]

From: brofrosh18@binghamton.premier.public.ivy

Subject: A Comprehensive Appeal for Reevaluation of Academic Performance with Emphasis on Nuanced Considerations and Scholarly Integrity [I think this was the title of my dissertation]

Respected and Esteemed Professor/Instructor/Grader Analimander [Still spelled my name wrong. “Respected and esteemed” also seem like a stretch],

I trust this message reaches you in a state of scholarly equilibrium and intellectual fortitude, amidst the ceaseless cadence of academic deliberation and the pursuit of enlightenment [It sure has. *pops another Xanax*]

I am compelled to initiate a dialogue aimed at the reconsideration of the grade that has been bestowed upon my academic endeavors in PHIL 111 – “Why I’m Right and Your’e Wrong”. Permit me, if you will, to elucidate upon the factors that I believe warrant your discerning appraisal.

The genesis of this discourse is an acknowledgment of the profound investment of time [ha], effort [HA], and intellectual vigor [rigor?] that I have indefatigably [I don’t know what that word means] devoted to the course material. From the inaugural moments of the semester to the culminating crescendo of scholarly inquiry [Your handwritten final essay-exam, which ended up being two pages of poorly drawn anime pornography and a string of threats against me?], my engagement with each lecture [the one you attended in January?], assignment [Brightspace tells me you opened Assignment 3 – Feminism in the Sixties at 3:31 a.m. on February 6th, and have been signed out ever since], and supplementary reading [there were none] has been characterized by an unwavering commitment to comprehension and mastery.

The meticulous attention to detail that I have exhibited in the composition of essays [The ones that didn’t conclude with “Unfortunately, as a large language model, I do not have access to real-time data…”?], the formulation of analyses [You wrote in your essay that Spain was in Mexico], and the completion of assessments is emblematic of my steadfast resolve to uphold the highest standards of academic rigor and scholarly inquiry. [It sure is.]

It is with these considerations in mind that I humbly implore you to reconsider the grade that has been ascribed to my academic endeavors. [I certainly am.] While I hold in the highest regard the integrity of the grading process and the discernment exercised therein, I cannot help but feel that an reassessment of my grade would more accurately reflect the depth of my engagement [In the single class you attended, you raised your hand while I lectured about Konrad Adenauer and asked “Who?” After I explained who he was, you raised your hand again and said “Cares.” There were no laughs.], the rigor of my scholarship [Once again, consider your pornographic final essay. I still gave it a D—if only for my own amusement.], and the breadth of my intellectual growth over the duration of the course [The only growth I’ve noticed is the cirrhosis of your liver.]

In advocating for this reassessment, I do not seek to diminish the standards of excellence that underpin our academic institution, nor do I wish to impugn the authority vested in your capacity as an evaluator of scholarly achievement [I’m quite glad. It’s my only sense of authority in this institution]. Rather, my entreaty is rooted in a steadfast belief in the principles of fairness, equity, and meritocracy that form the bedrock of our academic community. [Your entreaty is rooted in the wild reefer you’ve been smoking if you think I believe a word of this. But you’re right, a reassessment would certainly yield a grade more reflective of your performance—even if it makes a pass-happy admin unhappy.]

In conclusion, I beseech you, dear Asalamander [Sic.], to adjudicate this plea with the same judiciousness and discernment that characterize your pedagogical approach [You mean half-drunk and wondering how I ever got tenure?]. I stand ready to engage in further discourse, provide supplementary evidence, or undertake any additional tasks that may facilitate a reconsideration of my grade. [That’s great, because the Xanax and Scotch I took earlier isn’t leaving me standing, much less ready.]

With sincerest regards and profound gratitude for your consideration,

Joe Freshman

Thanks, Large Language Models, for making this so damn tedious. At least I have my standby response: “Nah. -Ananminder —Sent from my Samsung Intensity E54.” 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *