From College Misery, November 19, 2010.
I am nothing if not optimistic about my young charges and their ability to succeed here at my college.
But at times, even I, Yaro, find myself in a drift of snowflakes, much as many of you also report through these pages.
Yesterday, in my general studies course - which if you remember from earlier missives is populated by and large by freshers - I told a small group which was working toward a presentation about marijuana legalization, that the most recent issue of Time magazine had a spectacular and useful pair of pieces about the topic.
Now, I want to be clear that I did not merely drop this information casually. I am quite aware of the work my young friends are doing, and in fact have been a part of their research processes. I have even reviewed the sources they have unearthed for themselves via laborious EBSCO searches in one of our fine computer rooms.
So, when I noted the issue and date of this particular newsweekly, it was with the whispered proviso that it was a better source to augment their claim than anything else I had seen in their packets.
The troika looked up at me, old Yaro, kind Yaro, befuddled and balding, and they said: "No, we are good, Professor Yaro. We have located the requisite number of sources, and we have decided to plow forward with what we have already obtained through our methods."
"But," said I, Yaro, "I can assure you that the material I mention might indeed be more on point, more useful, and therefore my noting of its availability, up to and including the universal resource locator for the online version, has not been made without some forethought."
"Indeed," the troika replied (and I resist telling you their names or even attributing from which the comments came, for they were all one on this matter), "but since we are only required through your presentation assignment and supplementary documents to use three outside sources, we fear that adding this new source will increase the amount of ideas and notions which we would need to conquer, assimilate, and then present."
I stuttered. I stammered. I held the paper with the universal resource locator in my meaty hand. I proffered it to the closest of the three, but she just grinned and shook her head.
"We are good with what we are currently negotiating," this one said.
Now, to be clear, I am affable, the affable Yaro I am sometimes called, yet even I thought seriously of balling up the paper I held in my hand - though it was indeed just a half sheet, and not likely to require much balling - and tossing it at one of their foreheads in protestation.
Instead I went back to the chair I occupy near the front of the room, and let them carry on in their own manner.
And with that, I take my leave and wish you well,