Sunday, March 3, 2024

Satire: Dear Perusall

MosaicCampus LifeSatire: Dear Perusall

BY SHAYNA DEMICK
Co-Managing Mosaic Editor




Dear Perusall,

Who are you and what do you want from me? No matter what I do, it seems that I can never make you happy. And frankly, that hurts. 

You want me to read the entirety of my environmental biology textbook, which is fair. You want me to spend an even amount of time not only studying a page, but also scrolling. If I scroll too quickly, you assume that I’m not reading. At least, that’s what your grade tells me. You forbid a time-efficient reading session, which is not fair. 

I’ll read 20 pages for three hours, and you’ll give me a completion grade of 50%. Your feedback will be: Spend more time reading the assignment, you aren’t learning what you’re reading. To that, I say: How is three hours of my time not enough for you? You’re awfully greedy, Perusall. 

You also want me to annotate information throughout the textbook and respond to my classmates’ comments. That’s somewhat of a large ask, but I’m happy to oblige because I don’t normally understand what I’m reading. 

You’re very picky about my comments, though. You want me to paraphrase the text, ask insightful questions, add additional research and share my thoughts and feelings. Is that actually what you want? Even when I do these things, it’s not enough for you. You tell me I need to socialize with my classmates more or ask more questions. How are my 35 comments not enough for you? 

I’ll leave a comment thinking I just gifted the class with the most powerful insight. I’ll then refresh the grade page to see: nothing. Not a single point has been added to my grade. Some days, however, I’ll leave the laziest, most surface-level comments. To those, you say: Great job, here’s full credit. Huh?

Sometimes, I’ll be at two out of the 20 pages I’m supposed to read, and you’ll say I completed the assignment. Why do you hate me some days, but not others? Why do I occasionally have to reread the textbook three times for you to award me full credit? 

Other weeks, I start the reading early and read a few pages before giving up. I’ll then forget that the assignment exists. I’ll later be notified that my grade has increased. When my classmates interact with my comments, I get more points. How is it that I’m awarded for doing nothing, but completely ignored when I do the most? For all of AI’s usefulness, you somehow manage to only demonstrate its flaws. 

Perusall, you’re too difficult to please. You want me to try a lot, but not too much. You want me to be a social butterfly, but not too often. You want me to spend more time reading, but not so much that it takes away from my commenting. You want me to act smart, but not too smart. My worst isn’t enough for you, but neither is my best. I don’t know what you want from me.

You’re insufferable. You’re selfish, unreliable, hypocritical and dishonest. You tell me you want something when it’s not what you really want. It’s important to communicate your needs, and you completely lack this skill. You and I are never going to get along if you can’t be straightforward with me. If you want me to do more research (in other words plagiarizing online journals) for my comments and provide less original insight, you should just tell me. Be honest! 

It’s demeaning when you tell me that my knowledge and hard work are useless. Although I still have to please you at the end of the day, doing so is incredibly exhausting. I lose so much sleep trying to make you happy. I do truly hope you’re happy, because I’m certainly not. You’re driving me to a state of great despair.


I suggest that you spend some time alone. If you figure out what you want, maybe we can talk. Until then, stop taking your inner turmoil out on others. It’s my junior year, for crying out loud! Have an ounce of mercy and let me learn about environmental biology in peace. 

With all due respect (none),

Your biggest hater (Shayna Demick).

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