PLATO: Hello Socrates, the wisest and justest tenured professor I have ever known.
SOCRATES: Plato, my prized student of Philosophy 101, what have you come to inquire about? I apologize for my haste, I just got off the phone with the Athenians. They want me to come to another academic conference, but I do object to their lack of concern for the welfare of their souls.
PLATO: Uh, totally. I have arrived at your office hours to ask you to clarify your views on the morality of oratory. And to get an extension.
SOCRATES: I see. But I would much rather ask you, are other professors giving you extensions?
PLATO: Gorgias, sir, has offered me an extension before.
SOCRATES: And tell me, does Gorgias refer to himself as a professor?
PLATO: Yes, he does. Not only at this college, but in all settings.
SOCRATES: Interesting. Remind me, is Gorgias adjunct?
PLATO: I believe so.
SOCRATES: And is “adjunct” the same as “full-time,” and can a real professor be both things?
PLATO: Um … I don’t know?
SOCRATES: And if an adjunct is not a real professor, are they entitled to giving extensions?
SOCRATES: And if this is true, should they be allowed to take coffee from the faculty lounge?
PLATO: I don’t know, that seems kind of…petty?
SOCRATES: But we cannot know definitively. Tell me, what courses are you thinking of taking next semester?
PLATO: Logic 101, Truth 220 and Topics in Biology to fulfill my Math/Science Core requirement. I’m probably going to declare my Interdisciplinary Writing minor soon. Will you be teaching anything in the spring?
SOCRATES: I’m not sure. I’ve been rather busy lately.
PLATO: What have you been working on?
SOCRATES: Mainly guest lecturing, normal lecturing, preserving the oral tradition … commuting also takes a long time. I live an hour and a half away and have to come in three days a week.
PLATO: Socrates, if you don’t mind me asking, how did you get tenure if you haven’t actually published anything?
SOCRATES: Is the mark of a great professor being published?
PLATO: Well, I don’t know, but a lot of my other prof-
SOCRATES: And if we aren’t certain that being published makes a professor great, is there reason to believe that there a false knowledge as well as true knowledge?
SOCRATES: But now that you mention it, would you be interested in being my TA?