James Curtis, PhD.
Dept. of Humanities

Dear Prof. Curtis,

It has come to my attention that your English 212 course, "Mark Twain and the American Spirit," has been filled for the Fall 2008 semester. Unfortunately, I require your class in order to graduate before the Spring, and (through NO fault of my own) failed to register in time. Would it be possible to fit me in at this point? As a father of 3 soon-to-be high school graduates, I'm sure you can understand the seriousness of this situation.

I understand the necessity of strict deadlines in a busy college system. However, failure to graduate by May would force me to enroll in a summer course and move into an off-campus apartment, such as old Ms. Garrett's basement room on 330 Hibiscus Lane. While this room would of course be less than the mortgage you pay on your house on that very same street, you can respect the financial strain high rents would place on a part-time student — even one without three lovely daughters to raise. And protect.

I hope you won't allow your decision to be influenced by recent personal frustrations, such as the unfortunate key-ing of your cherry-red 1998 Plymouth Prowler, the unfounded (though still devastating to your reputation) accusation of sleeping with an anonymous male student, or the tragic disappearance of your daughter Rebbecca's boyfriend, Victor. On a completely unrelated topic, I urge her to drive to the attached Arizona GPS coordinates and start digging where she'll find something quite interesting. Several things, actually.

Frustration is something I've been all to familiar with myself, lately. I recently dropped my most powerful pair of binoculars while bird watching near Rebbecca's soccer practice, and this only days after staining both my favorite apron and the trunk of my car during an unscheduled trip to Arizona! To finish off this "perfect" week, I returned home to find my third gun permit rejection letter.

But look at me, blabbering away to you while asking for a favor. I must be off my meds. Again. Anyway, I do hope you'll reconsider my place in your class. Not only for my sake, but for Rebbecca's. (Don't worry, Rebbecca is also the name of my dog — named her after your daughter, of course.) My birthday is this winter, after all, and I'd hate to be the only 45-year-old senior on campus.

I look forward to your answer.