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Hope Is Not Yet Lost: My Professor Tells Me I Definitely Haven’t Found My Genius Yet

Core by AlexInMetal/CC 4.0 edits by Justine Orgel

It’s junior year and I haven’t passed the line yet. You may ask, “What is ‘the line'?” Great question, my compadre. This is a euphemism for my lamentable condition as a student on academic probation. I reached this sorry state or rather, I haven’t come out of this state, because I’ve never passed a class before. Now you understand, I’m basically an academic failure. “Resubmit,” “rethink,” “come in for office hours,” “do me a special favor” are all commonplace in my inbox and submission comments. I’ve started to call Canvas grade notifications UPENN QUARTER LIFE CRISIS ALERTS. I’m numb to being at the end of the whisker on the box-and-whisker plot. They’re all 10s to me. If the wealthy donors think Magill is a failure, they should meet me. I’ve been looking into alternative paths. Perhaps Oxford is my calling. I was just about ready to apply for an accelerated BA/PhD program when I received a most inspiring message from my RELS 0100: Descent into Hell professor. 

Dear Justine,

I read your essay entitled: “My Life” with interest. I lost interest at the first word. While it read like an utter failure and I had no choice but to give you a failing grade, it occurred to me that you are a student with a little bit of potential. You see, I don’t think you’ve found your genius yet. It takes all the greats a long time. Most people die without ever finding it. I think your genius is so far buried in the depths of the Earth–at the core, in fact, a region where we can only learn by inference–that no one will ever find it. But it certainly exists. Come see me at office hours and we can discuss a career in the military. 


Professor who swears a lot

Hope is not yet lost. My paradise, my genius, my means for a sex life are simply buried deep in the Earth. It’s not in Philadelphia that I will write my magnum opus or cure my own common cold, but in a place unknown to man. I have a plan to reach the place where I will. You see, as my MATH 1410 (a class I failed) professor taught me, the core is a single radius away. Therefore, if I walk long enough (REarth) at 0 elevation, I will reach my genius. Big Bang Theory, a new star has come to your set.