The Professor teaches writing at a large community college in a culturally and economically challenged city that sits uncomfortably at the junction of the rust belt and the Bible belt. Each entry profiles one of her students whose triumph, tragedy, or downright weirdness begs to be chronicled. The Professor’s sensibilities teeter somewhere between bitter ironic detachment and Mr.-Holland’s-Opus-like sentimentalism, often vacillating wildly from one to the other within the same piece. She loves her students. She hates her students. She loves her job. She hates her job. She loves her town. She hates her town. See?
(No, these are not their real names, and yes, they are alphabetical. Not sure whether that’s meant to be corny or clever. Take your pick. And for the record, all of these are former students.)