Business people having online meeting. Group of men and woman having a video conference over a laptop.

Uh oh! When my linguistics professor sent out an email with only a zoom link, it seems like I was the only one in class who wasn’t savvy enough to cotton onto this being his divorce settlement for him and his ex-wife. Caught off-guard and caught in the middle, it looked like it was up to me, li’l ol’ Mandy Pines ’23, to play the part of the estranged daughter fighting for her father to keep his house so he wouldn’t be thrown out onto the street. He’d probably have to cancel class (which would really mess up my plans for the quarter)!

I don’t know what I was thinking when I joined the call—maybe it’d be some impromptu office hours for Professor Ginsley to answer my questions about the next assignment. But I really walked into a whole-ass screaming match over who’d take the nice china set between the prof and MARTHA GINSLEY’S IPAD, some lady with an American flag dripping blood as her Zoom background. I was about to back out and hope they wouldn’t notice when they both paused, confused—too late! That’s when it became clear that I’d have to put my one day of shopping a TAPS class to use, so I spun the most heart-wrenching tale about how I was the bastard child of one of the prof’s mistakes in grad school, left on the side of the road but returning in glorious triumph to claim my birthright—a place to sleep is all I’m asking, Ms. Ginsley. No that’s not my dorm bed in the background of the call; you must be mistaken, so please have mercy and let him keep the house. Please?

Say what you want about how Professor Ginsley’s lectures make you want stick a COVID test swab up a couple inches deeper—he’s a man who sure knows how to take advantage of a situation. It weren’t but a couple seconds after I concluded my story that he hit it home with how the courts wouldn’t look kindly on a woman who’d let a dad and child freeze on the streets. Besides, she still had the money from her last Vegas trip to find an apartment for a couple months while she found her feet. Wasn’t much Ms. Ginsley could say after that—she vanished with a scowl, leaving what I’m sure was a thumbs down on the Zoom experience survey.

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