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Dear Grinnell student

Topics/tags: Rants, short

Dear PO’d Grinnell Student,

It appears that you know who I am. However, since you signed the note you left on my windshield only as PO’d Grinnell Student (using the longer form of PO’d), I do not know who you are. Hence, I have chosen to respond to you through my ’blog.

I am sorry that you were bothered by my choice to park in a student spot on a Sunday afternoon when I had work to do on campus. It was my understanding that parking was effectively open on campus on weekends. Many students seem to feel free to park in the Staff/Faculty spots; I believe I counted at least a half dozen in the Noyce parking lot when I was looking for parking. It’s also the case that the spot I used was, until recently, a Faculty/Staff parking spot.

Since you put my name on the note, you know who I am. You should, therefore, know that I do not use profanity in my classes and ask my students to follow a similar form of polite discourse. Hence, I am disappointed that you felt it necessary to use profanity, not only in the signature, but also in your note. I do not appreciate being addressed with a four-letter word. As you prepare for your life after Grinnell, please remember that using such language will not endear you to your coworkers or supervisors.

I will admit that I am also concerned about how upset you seem to be about the matter. While I realize that parking can be frustrating, the loss of a parking spot should not lead to this level of hostility. Compared to the many frustrating things happening in our country and on our campus, a parking spot is a relatively minor issue.

I hope that, in the future, you will consider leaving more polite messages. I also hope that you will take the time to leave similar notes on the student vehicles in the Faculty/Staff spots. I would suggest something like, Dear fellow student, I realize that it’s the weekend. But many staff and faculty work on weekends. Please don’t take the Faculty/Staff spots so that they can more easily get to their workplaces.

If you feel the need to include profanity on notes on windshields, I would suggest you do that for the student vehicles that clog that loading zones for hours on end.


-- Samuel A. Rebelsky

Version 1.0 of 2018-10-08.