Friday, July 6, 2018

The Adjunct, by Cassandra Rose Clarke

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Lovecraftian Humor) An adjunct professor at Misketonic university struggles to get her students to learn their arcane citation system. A system so convoluted it seems to have come from Hell itself. (4,667 words; Time: 15m)

"The Adjunct," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 07-08|18, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The best thing about this story is the copious funny lines. My favorite:
The only thing keeping Dr. Nerezza from bringing some inter-dimensional beastie into our world is the complete inability of eighteen-year-olds to follow directions.
Dr. Bouvet is a burned out adjunct who just goes through the motions, but she really does want her students to learn—even if she doesn’t like them very much. That makes her likeable though.

It’s particularly amusing that once she learns what CFSR is really about, the main thing she wants is health coverage. I can't remember anyone in any other story willing to help destroy the world if only they could get better health coverage.

Con: It’s fun, but it’s very silly.

The only real connection to Lovecraft is Miskatonic University (and Arkam). None of the other names seemed to refer to actual Lovecraft stories.

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5 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I really enjoyed this one :D

    It's so rare to find a humor story that really knocks my socks off; this was one. The concept is so simple; so brilliant.

    And I especially love the last few lines -- the sudden warmth towards students who will always be slacking off and fucking up. It's built up perfectly, and it's a perfect, kind counterpoint to the very cynical, frustrated POV that most of the story takes.

    1. I think I'm going to start making special note of "kind" stories, since a) they're cool and b) lots of people like them.

    2. Oh, that's a lovely idea! Hear, hear.

  2. Perfectly captures the contempt for students held by so many I encountered in academia. Really took me back. Story was okay but I couldn’t make myself like the lead.

    1. Yeah, I wondered if a lot of people would feel that way. A teacher who hates her students should really look for other work.