SATIRE: Student starts frantic search for Ellen Cook after class evals stop
After watching the award-winning film “Her” too many times and realizing he misses the tens of emails sent en masse at the semester’s end, one University of Louisiana at Lafayette student has begun a massive search for Ellen Cook, assistant vice president for academic affairs.
John Tateman, a junior majoring in exercise science, realized he couldn’t live without class evaluations and began a manhunt for the woman who begins with “Dear student,” but leaves without a farewell.
“She just has to say those four words, and I’m hers,” said John Tateman, a junior majoring in exercise science. “Those words are, ‘These evaluations are anonymous.’”
Tateman said he noticed a pattern in the emails; the way Cook sent him individual emails instead of one email with multiple links piqued his interest. It was after hours of coding and three read-throughs of John Green’s “Looking for Alaska” when he found the code Cook had left for his eager discovery.
I literally just type ‘boobs’ into the last field when they ask for your suggestions.
“The subject line spelled out ‘SET.’ It was my Spanish and English evaluations, and then a thank-you message. Yeah, I know, right?” he asked while typing in multiple tracking codes at once. He took a swig of Mountain Dew. “What does she want to set? A parameter for her search party? A date? It could be both.”
Prompts for opinions and ratings trickle in during the second-to-last week of classes; that is when students walk a little taller and stand a little prouder from the ego boost a constantly dinging email box has on their psyche. Students who submit the most scathing reviews have reportedly changed their majors to English and journalism.
However, this pastime that becomes some students’ careers becomes a guilt trip for Tateman; a guilt trip that does not process refunds.
“All that time, she was asking how I was doing in my classes,” Tateman confessed with a tear in his eye. “Never did I ask, ‘Hey, Ellen, how are you doing? Do you need carpal tunnel medicine after sending all those emails?’ I know she was talking to other guys — literally the whole school — but I felt special to her.”
Tateman’s obsession became the bane of his roommate’s existence.
“I literally just type ‘boobs’ into the last field when they ask for your suggestions,” said his roommate. “Like, she’s probably a dean with better things to do than read your angst-ridden emails.”
With thousands of students’ approving and disapproving tones channeled through one form, some students have opted out of rating classes out of fear that their opinions would stand out in smaller classes.
“I’m going to be honest,” said Darlyne Germane, “I took this literature class where this guy basically yelled passages from Hemingway where we should have actually been analyzing work to better ourselves. But you’re not going to hear that from me; especially not in my survey. He’ll know it was me because I actually spoke my mind in the class like a scholar should.”
Other students — particularly, conspiracy theorists — said they just don’t believe in emailing people in general.
“Look at it this way,” said a freshman computer science major who wished to remain anonymous. “You have the letter “E” in email. Flip the uppercase E and you have a three. Well, three times two is six. Six times 111 is 666. Each of those sixes looks like the eye on the pyramid. Of course, the university won’t tell you that just to make themselves look OK.”
But Tateman said his emailing enchantress would never do such a thing.
“I will actually force my computer mouse down the throats of whoever would dare slander Ellen,” he declared. “My address is (redacted); come fight me whenever, wherever IRL.”
Tateman asked that anyone who can help him in his quest email email@example.com.