It was Professor Oldboy’s turn to organize the Spring School that year
But we all have bad days sometimes
Like Pedro, who, on day one, chose not to use slides
and spoke with a heavy accent
Oldboy didn’t have to lecture him
on the academic courtesy of talking like a Western European
We all have bad days sometimes
Like Natalie who, on day two, took Oldboy’s questions in stride
—she’d answered them when he’d nodded off
yet somehow she was made to feel stupid
We all have bad days sometimes
Professor Oldboy should have known
that the museums close early off-season,
or might, on day three, have believed Sasha, who told him so,
or he might at least have remembered her name
We all have bad days sometimes
Professor Oldboy might even, on day four, have listened
to comments I offered in the evaluation session
We all have bad days sometimes
Like the people who didn’t dare to speak up
when he started shouting
his “feedback on my feedback”
And my supervisor, he might have acknowledged
the issue
when I later recounted these events
but after all, as he put it
We all have bad days sometimes
Like—all those other days—
Professor Niceguy, who calls me a nymph
after I introduce his talk
Or Eric, who persists in a third question
though I tell him we’re moving on
Or Jack, who tells me he wonders
how I look in a dress
Or Andrew, who gives me the floor
because ladies go first
We all have bad days sometimes,
or is it just me?

Publisher’s Note

The author’s identity is anonymized for this chapter. Brill is aware of the real identity of the author. The inclusion of anonymized chapters has been permitted by Brill in view of risks to the general security of the author.

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