Having learned the importance of public confession from my colleague Ashley Thorne’s investigation of anonymously posted secrets, I have been quietly encouraging NAS members to share some of theirs. Care to add your own?
I am a rugged individualist. I like Atlas Shrugged. But I’m afraid to tell anybody.
I got my office designated a “safe space” just so I could get tenure.
I hide my copies of Academic Questions inside copies of Mother Jones.
My husband doesn’t know that I like phonics.
I’m glad Burr shot Hamilton.
None of my department colleagues know I read Latin.
I teach Shakespeare’s The Tempest without making it into an allegory of colonial domination of Third World peoples.
Virginia Woolf scares me. Edward Albee too.
I told the head of the women’s studies center new cutting edge French theorist is named Pissoir and she believed me. The next day she gave a talk in which she invoked the insights of Cixous, Irigaray, Kristeva, and Pissoir. Nobody laughed. She later asked me what she should read by Pissoir and I told her none of it had been translated yet.
When my department insisted that I teach Morrison in freshman English, I taught Melville instead but made the whole class listen to Van (“Moondance,” “Brown-Eyed Girl”) and Jim (“Touch Me,” “Break on Through”). I reported back truthfully at a department meeting that my students all seemed to think Morrison was old and not relevant to their lives.
I gave my students an extra reading assignment the night Ward Churchill spoke on campus.
I donated my son’s “lost” mouse to animal research.
I’m an Argus volunteer.
At sexual harassment training, I feigned a faint and got to leave.
One of my colleagues and I burned A People’s History of the United States in my living room fireplace.
I give F’s.