Open-Ended Question To Class Triggers Tense Standoff

Boston, MA – “If these little shits think I’m going to just back down, they’ve got it all wrong,” said Professor of English Literature, Dr. Joseph Muntz. “If I ask a question I will wait up to 8 minutes until one of them finally cracks.” On Monday, Dr. Muntz was reading a passage from Ulysses when he asked the class if anyone could point out an example of metaphor in the poem. “They just sat there. They looked at the floor and stared into space. The tick of the clock was thunder, the silence filled every crevice until the question loomed like a mountain. Minutes passed. I stood, unwavering. A plane flew overhead. I bet they all wished they were on that plane.” As the sound of the plane’s engines trailed off, a student raised her hand. “When she answered my question I was, of course, delighted, and we moved on with the lecture.” When asked if he might change his approach to lecturing, specifically the way he addresses the whole class when asking questions, Dr. Muntz answered:

“They want their porridge and their fat bull-beeves:
Either they must be dieted like mules
And have their provender tied to their mouths
Or piteous they will look, like drowned mice.”

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