During the end of the week (Thursday – Sunday) the e-mail “exchange” continued. It wasn’t really an “exchange”: Promislow not only ignored my explanations, but did not replied to the two main letters from me at all. I did not agree to a class visit, and Promislow ended his last message before Monday in with his standard phrase.
40. Promislow to me, December 03, 2017, 3:01 p.m.
… Please feel free to stop by my office if you would prefer to discuss this in person.
Discussions with Promislow in person do not make any sense: he will reverse his position in a day or two. Potentially, making voice records can help. So, after he did not reply to my e-mail at Sunday, 3:36 p.m., I wrote to him at Monday the following.
42. Me to Promislow, December 4, 2017, 1:13 p.m.
Keith, don’t be a chicken, come to the class yourself, tell me your impressions right after class and let me voice record them, or write them down during and right after the class and give me your notes.
P.S. The last class resembling the regular ones will be today at 1:50 p.m., A-122 WH.
When I came to the class, I saw not Promislow, but Bruce Sagan, sitting in the last row. This is quite unusual for him: sometimes he needs to make some trivial announcement, like about a job fair, and then he asks permission in advance and never enters the classroom without an invitation of the instructor. I waved a hand, suggesting him to come forward, and told him that I did not agree to his visit. He mumbled something about what Promislow said. I was pulling out my laptop (I always need it in the class) and suggested to check Promislow’s e-mails.
Sagan: No, no, just tell me, yes or no!
Me: What “yes or no”?
Sagan: Yes, should I leave, yes or no?
Me: What is “yes”?
Sagan: Should I leave?
Me: Yes. Yes, you should leave.
Sagan leaves. The students are, apparently, impressed. Especially the ones who, presumably, were complaining (I believe, perhaps rather naively, that they are the same students who were unhappy about points for some tests or homework). I have a normal class, even better than the usual one: these students are more friendly.
One hour after the class ends I got a reply from Promislow.
43. Promislow to me, December 4, 2017, 3:37 p.m.
Sorry, just read your email. Would be happy to sit in on your class Wednesday if there is any value in it. Really, I don’t see any difference between me and Bruce sitting in on the class.
44. Me, December 4, 207, 3:47 p.m.
Keith, I am not sure if there will be any value: this will be clear by the Wednesday morning.
Of course there is a lot of difference between you and Bruce and you do know this well.
The important part of not being a chicken is communicating me your impressions right after the class in the form of a record: either your notes, or me taking a voice record.
If you agree to this, I will e-mail you what I am planning to do in the class about noon at Wednesday, and you will decide if there will be anything interesting to observe.
I did not get any reply from him. He did not ask about what will be in the class (I am indeed deciding this at the day of the class, and often change the plans even during the class: it all depends on the students). I had another regular class at Wednesday. But at Friday there will be a test, nothing to observe.
Why did not he reply and did not show up? This is quite clear. He has no grounds to visit the class without my consent, and he could not allow any sort of record. Promislow is scared of any sort of responsibility. He needs to be able to adjust his position to the opinion of Jon Wolfson, of the Dean, of the Office of the General Counsel, whatever.
Promislow is just a CHICKEN.
(Bruce Sagan too.)