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Deeply Lonely Professor Makes Attendance Mandatory


Photo by Patrick Doheny / CC BY 2.0

Burt Aspland has been having a rough semester. While his pioneering work in Art History may have brought him national fame, no award has ever managed to soothe the deep ache of loneliness he’s felt since his wife left him five years ago.

Aspland’s students have picked up on his misery. “My older brother took [Aspland’s] classes when he was a student here six years ago,” commented Sarah Parkson (C ‘21), “but it feels like I have a completely different teacher. He just sort of goes on in a monotone, barely making eye contact. It’s hard to believe this guy won the Dean’s teaching award three times in a row.”

Sarah isn’t alone. Aspland’s classes suffer depressingly low attendance rates, something that makes the professor on edge. 

That's all set to change this semester. After radically revising his syllabus, Aspland has set attendance to a whopping 70% of the term grade.

“The chairs are slowly filling up,” noted Aspland through a watery smile. “By the way, class, validating my worth as a human being gets you plus five points on the next midterm!”