What Professors Do in July


Most of the public assumes I don’t work at all during the summer. They’re absolutely right. I haven’t gone to campus since June 8. For the past two months, I’ve been starting my day with a pitcher of frozen margaritas on my back patio. I have limes flown in from Cuba every morning. After my third margarita, I go for a swim. All professors have Olympic-size pools in their yards. People tell you it’s dangerous to swim while drunk. But I’m a professor. I’m smarter than you, so me drunk is more like an average person sober.

Next, I have sex with my pool boy. I don’t know his name, but I call him Jacques because he’s very tan and muscular. Our foreplay involves him giving me an hour-long massage while I read Foucault in the original French. Then we make love in my home spa. Our love leads us upstairs to my boudoir, with French windows that offer an excellent view of the lake. Our love is slow, but intense. Jacques has scars on his back that he calls mementos of me.

After sex, we lounge. As we lie tangled in a love knot, Jacques muses about becoming an intellectual like me one day. He dreams aloud, while I stare wistfully out into the blue sky, resting my head on his chest. I tell him anything is possible, but academia has costs. It drains your soul. I stroke his hair and ask him if he’s ready to relinquish his innocence. After all, he’s only 18. “All of this,” I say, gesturing broadly at my French decor, “it comes at a steep price.”

For lunch, only a handful of eateries in the city cater to my whims. You may not know this, but all professors are required to give up meat, dairy, gluten, sugar, and processed foods. Academia calls on us to become vegans. We’re never allowed to smile, either.

My driver takes me to a little French place on the river, where I eat snails and drink espresso while dictating my thoughts on post-structuralism to my secretary, Madeline, who gasps at my insights into the nature of language. I say things like, “Language is a prison house, but one made of glass.” Sometimes, even I don’t know what I mean. It’s better that way. Make the reader do the work, we say.

Every Friday, Madeline compiles my thoughts into an article and sends it to a prestigious journal. I love Madeline, even if I constantly berate her taste in clothing. She handles all the minor details like formatting and references. She also does most of the correspondence with my editors. When I’m away at conferences, she teaches my students. So far this summer, I’ve published five articles because of Madeline. Mostly because I’m brilliant, but 30 percent thanks to her.

On the first day of the month, my driver takes me to city hall where I collect your tax money to cover my monthly expenses. A staffer brings the cash out in a handbag by Louboutin. I always insist on keeping the bag. Sometimes, I gift them to my graduate students. After all, I only need three or four designer handbags.

They used to roll the cash out in wheelbarrows, but I and some other professors thought that looked obscene. So we had the rules changed.

My driver counts the money to make sure it’s all there, and then we go buy drugs. Not cocaine. I’m no animal. I only do ecstasy, and sometimes marijuana, but always from a pipe. Some professors grow their own, because we’re exempt from state and federal laws.

Early evenings are reserved for reflective walks and online social activism. With Madeline’s assistance, I compose strongly-worded stances on sexism, climate change, and cyber-bullying to post on Facebook and Twitter. This summer, I’m heading up an MLA committee. We plan to pass a resolution condemning Donald Trump. It’s very serious, selfless work.

For dinner, I go to the faculty club. It’s near campus, but technically not on campus — at least not anymore. One time, a professor saw a student during the summer and fainted. After that, we relocated the club one street over, put up a gate, and installed a high-tech security system. We’ve also hired a door man who resembles Colin Firth. If you must know, I’ve made love with him twice. The password to the faculty club is Fidelio. If you’re curious about our dinner soirees, just watch “Eyes Wide Shut” by Stanley Kubrick. The film is entirely based on the lifestyles of professors.


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