NAS Wall of Secrets

Peter Wood

  • Article
  • October 31, 2008

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.


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