It appears that our days of sliding through Russian Lit with a Nalgene of vodka in hand are coming to an end. In an unprecedented lame duck appointment, President Simmons has hired a new faculty member to teach the much-maligned literature course. The replacement prof? Nigel Charles Ratburn, formerly of Lakewood Elementary in Boston.
“I understand that hiring a professor with no university-level teaching experience is a gamble,” Simmons said when asked about Ratburn’s credentials. “However, Mr. Ratburn’s motivational track record is unbelievable, and I really think he’s the person we need to revolutionize how Brown teaches Russian literature.”
Lakewood Elementary is located in Boston’s Elwood City suburb, whose school district recently rebounded from an educational crisis similar to the one gripping Central Falls, Rhode Island. Part of Simmons’ rationale behind Ratburn’s hiring was the role he played in bringing the district’s failing students up to par with national averages in test scores. “I spoke with Lakewood principal Herbert Haney, and he told me that Mr. Ratburn’s alternative teaching methods and firm belief in the power of diligent labor really made an impression on his students. I had the pleasure of sitting in on a few of his classes, and while there were the requisite number of groans during every pop quiz, his students were some of the brightest I’ve ever seen at the elementary level. I found it hard to believe that just a few years ago these same kids were getting teardrop tattoos and lobbying to lower the age of consent!”
When asked if she planned on hiring new faculty to lend much-needed credibility to the MCM department, Simmons’ only response was a laugh.