Another week of institutionalized stupidity. The whole situation has been aggravated by my having to spend hours in front of my computer. The administration (and some wonky faculty committee) changed platforms for the fourth time. So, while those bastards will save a few bucks, those of us in the trenches reinventing the wheel, reformatting online quizzes, homework and handouts. After two weeks of work, I have a pinched nerve in my neck; I walk with a limp; I am deaf in one ear, and I have a mean case of vertigo. I’ve taken to lying on the floor with my eyes closed during my office hours just to regain my balance. Students freak out, but I am not breaking any rules.

I don’t know what I did to deserve it. I manage my Social Anxiety thing and I do my job. I just have to avoid crowds. I am still not sure why they changed online platforms. My online classes were raking in the dough. If you add up the tuition dollars, after salary, the university was clearing at least 200 grand a year. So, why mess it up?

On top of all this, I noticed I couldn’t access my web site from the campus network. The site had been blocked! “Those fuckers,” I said. All of my posts were gone, vanished. I checked my email to see who I’d pissed off. The only nasty message was from a Mexican who called me a “dumb shit” because of how I used the term “drug war.” I figured it wasn’t him, though. The IP address was from Brazil. This had to be an inside job. Someone here on campus actually read one of my posts, found it offensive, and requested the Department of Informational Systems to block the site.

What really ticked me off was the principle. The university is supposed to be in favor of academic freedom. The nut-job anarchists, conspiracy theorists, leftists, rightists, fundamentalists, neo-Nazis, Young Republicans, the Tea Baggers all have their sites. What was wrong with mine?

I called the Vice President for Technology in the Provost’s office, the same inveterate worm that changed the online platform.

“What’s the hell’s going on? Why the hell did you block my site? I didn’t say anything like the World Trade Center being an inside job! I’ve got half a mind to write to the Chronicle about this.”

“Hello? Excuse me? What’s this all about?”

“You know damn good and well what this is all about! You and your ‘Oversight Committee blocked my web site.”

“But, but, but the university doesn’t block sites. We…”

“Oh, don’t give me that bullshit.’ Do you know who you’re talking to?”

“Why, no, who is this?”

Oh, oh. I almost blew my cover.

“Just remember, one of these days you’re coming back to the general population and I’ll see you in the yard.”


To be continued…

Cross-posted at My Ongoing Struggle with Misanthropy:

About the Author

Jimmy Gabacho

Gabacho– according to the Dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy– is derived from an old Provençal word “gavach,” meaning a person from the foothills of the Pyrenees who spoke incorrectly. These days, it means “outsider,” somebody who just doesn’t fit in.

View All Articles