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April 25, 2005

Grad Student Banned From Poetry Class Over Poem

When you are in a poetry class, you are supposed to write poetry. Or at least that is what Southern Connecticut State University graduate student Edward Bolles thought when he signed up for English 202, Introduction to Poetry. But he and the professor, Kelly Ritter, had differences of opinion over the liberal political themes of poems selected by Professor Riitter, and the two developed a dislike for one anotehr. That led to Bolles to write a satirical poem about a racist white professor, loosely based upon Ritter.

That is when the crap hit the fan.

Southern Connecticut State University barred a student from a poetry class after his professor said a poem he submitted contained veiled threats to sexually assault her and her 3-year-old daughter.

The student, Edward Bolles, said his poem entitled "Professor White," was meant to be a satirical piece about globalization. In it, a Mexican student named Juan has a sexual encounter with the daughter of his white professor.

Bolles' professor, Kelly Ritter, found the poem "disturbing," according to an April 8 campus police report, and said she believed the poem was a threat. University officials prohibited Bolles, who is Mexican, from attending his poetry class while he was investigated.

Now there are some key differences between Bolles and Juan, and between Ritter and the poem's title character. The main one is that the daughter with whom Juan has a sexual encounter is a college student, not a three-year old, while Bolles was unaware that Ritter had a daughter at all.

Bolles said the poem's interracial affair symbolizes white America's feeling that Mexicans are corrupting their culture. The encounter is not violent, and the professor's daughter brings Juan home to meet her disapproving mother.

"I came in using a different set of reasoning as context to look at the craft of poetry, and she was put off by it," Bolles said.

The poem ends with the professor trying to get Juan kicked out of school by calling one of his poems racist.

Ritter, claiming that the poem was a threat of sexual assault against bothe her and her daughter, filed a police report and demanded Bolles be removed from her class. Not only that, but she demanded that the student be required to submit to a psychiatric evaluation. Presumably the results of that evaluation, had it been required, would have been the basis for seeking Bolles expulsion from the college.

Bolles, though, fought back. After being put out of his class, he began a protest around campus. It got the results he wanted, probably because of the embarassing publicity that his actons generated.

Bolles began publicly protesting the university's decision Monday, wearing a "Save Professor White" shirt and handing out fliers on campus. After that protest began and university officials received calls from The Associated Press Monday, Bolles received a hand-delivered, one-sentence letter from the administration:

"As a result of the investigation, I wish to inform you that no formal disciplinary charges will be filed on behalf of the university and you are permitted to return to your English 202, Section 1, course, Introduction to Poetry," Christopher Piscitelli, director of judicial affairs, wrote.

Bolles remains concerned about his return to the class. He declines to offer Ritter any apology, nor do I believe he should. Of greater concern is how he will be received by classmates following the two week absence from the class and Ritter's possible comments on it. He is also concerned about having fallen behind due to Ritter's persecution of a student she didn't like or agree with, amd whether or not he will be given a fair chance to recover from his forced exile.

And as an outside observer, I have to wonder what action will be taken against Professor Ritter for her unjust and unfounded actions against Edward Bolles.



» The Education Wonks links with: The Carnival Of Education: Week 12



|| Greg, 09:43 PM || Permalink || Comments (28) || Comments

Comments on Grad Student Banned From Poetry Class Over Poem

Hi,

I thank you for your interest in the controversy that I am involved in. The issue touches upon several topics that are hot today: free speech and academic terrorism on campus, immigration, and globalization.

Thanks,
Edward Bolles

|| Posted by Edward Bolles, April 26, 2005 01:25 PM ||

Just one clarifying point: Yes, Edward missed two weeks of class. But, two of the four days were due to his choice not to show up. He did not bother to show up to his class on the day that he turned the paper in (was that very courageous?) and the following day. So, at least part of his absences were due to his own choice. I think it is significant that he is willfully changing that fact in his press release.

|| Posted by Anonymous SCSU Teacher, April 26, 2005 02:45 PM ||

Please explain what 'courage' has to do with this? If anyone should be held to the flame for 'courage' it should be the professor. Her inability to overcome her obvious fear of an opposing viewpoint goes against the grain of what a lit teacher is supposed to be all about. Thank god she wasn't Henry Miller's professor. Her insistence on a 'psych evaluation' is a further embarassment to teachers everywhere. On top of that, her willingness to twist the facts is inexcusable, and I would hope that she is asked to answer for her actions.

A quote form the story I read is as follows:

"Bolles said the poem's interracial affair symbolizes white America's feeling that Mexicans are corrupting their culture. The encounter is not violent, and the professor's daughter brings Juan home to meet her disapproving mother."

For the teacher to twist it into a violent sexual episode and claim it was about her 3 year old daughter (when was the last time a3 year old brought a college kid home to meet mom, introducing him as a date?) is a gross misuse of her authority.

Maybe she thought the she could leverage the mindset of the post-columbine age, where 1 in 138 of every americans is incarcerated (that figure also predates the recent 10,000 person roundup in operation condor), to meet her own agenda it is despicable. In addition, the attempt by the 'anonymous' SCSU teacher (talk about courage, why not go on the record with a name??) to point out that he missed two days of his own volition is a lame attempt to obsfucate the issue here. The issue, from my view point,is clearly intolerance and censorship, with possible racist overtones.

Welcome to education in the new millennium.

|| Posted by Tony Tedesco, April 26, 2005 05:03 PM ||

Until you've read the poem, Mr. Tedesco, you have no way of knowing if any of what you say is true. You've taken sides based on nothing but your prejudice. If Mr. Bolles would care to post his poem, then there would be a basis for discussion here. Until that time, however, there is no basis for anything substantive.

|| Posted by Michael, April 27, 2005 06:32 AM ||

I read the poem, and it seemed like nothing but a piece to strictly irk the teacher and nothing more. It seems the "globalization" excuse is nothing but a cover-up for the real problem, whatever it may be. Anti-globalization, especially from whites to hispanics is almost non-existant. Almost every English-speaking Hispanic I've ever met refers to himself as a "coconut" (white on the inside, brown on the outside) - their term, not mine. I see lots of interracial couples, and there's more hispanic/white relationships than there are black/white - from my personal POV. Mr. Bowles issues seem to be more self-inflicted than anything, and it seems he is the racist one. The main reason, if any, why whites don't get involved with hispanics (especially in smalltown America), is because not every white person habla espanol. And no, I don't know either of these individuals. My question is what race is the wife of Mr. Bowles? Could it be he has hatred towards whites because he was never accepted into a white family, though many many other hispanics are accepted into white families in this day and age? I'm not a racist person, because I'm white and I have dated outside of my race moreso than within my race - and mostly hispanic (Mexican and Puerto Rican). Living in TX, I see many Mexican men/White women couples, every day, all the time - and many Mexican men have bragged to me that they are with a white woman. Why is that? A trophy, maybe? To me, love is love no matter what gender or race you are with, so I don't see the sense of bragging about who you're with, unless you're just with somebody that makes you so happy that you have to tell everyone about it. But why bring your partners race into it when you're rubbing it in (as if you have to in the first place)? Just a little food for thought while we're on this subject, so maybe somebody can explain this to me. I never met a hispanic person until I was in 10th grade in high school LOL, and from my experience, it's just as tough for a white person trying to be accepted into a hispanic family as it is for a hispanic person into a white family. If anybody needs to work on the "globalization" thing, it's BOTH sides, not just whites.

|| Posted by keepingitreal, April 27, 2005 06:56 AM ||

Michael,

I have requested to read a copy of the poem, and am still waiting to hear back about getting a copy. I am taking sides based on the information available to me at the time I made my initial post.

Apparently you missed me saying that these things I said were from 'my point of view'. My point of view is not one based on predjudice, but on what i satetd the facts as I have come to know them though the various press releases I have read to be. Are you saying that the poem did indeed have a violent sexual encounter with a 3 year year old? This point, the inane comment the anonymous teacher made about 'courage', and the recently released DOJ statistics were the only were the points that I stated as fact.

Maybe your reading comprehension skills need some brushing up on, or maybe you simply need to read before you comment on something I have posted. To that point, and for the record, the use of the word 'Maybe'in my penultimate paragrah should clearly delineate an opinion not a fact. As in 'Perhaps' or 'Could it be?'

Since Ritter has refused comment to the press on the issue, I can only comment on what I have read. It is certainly within my rights to make a comment if I feel that I have something to say. Your attempt to silence me through psuedo bully tactics like you seem to be employing here is futile.

Awaiting your response..

Tony

|| Posted by Tony Tedesco, April 27, 2005 12:55 PM ||

We all need to see this poem. Until that occurs, it simply is just people taking sides.

If Bolle's case is as he suggests, then the most overwhelming piece of evidence would be the poem. Why then does he not display it?

On the outside looking in, it appears he stepped over the line, and is now painting himself as a victim.

I call for the release of the poem by a third party.

|| Posted by redjalapeno, April 27, 2005 01:03 PM ||

Keepingitreal,
Is there somewhere that I can read a copy of the poem? After reading your post, I am even more interested in reading this poem than before.

My 'problem' with the teacher involved is one simply of censorship and a closed mind on an educator's behalf. Let me ask you, was there violent sex or sex of any kind with a three year old (or someone not of 'dating age')involved? If so, then I will gladly (and publicly) eat a helping of crow. If not, then I will consider myself vindicated (for Michael's sake) in reagrds to my earlier post.

This is the point that my cause for posting rests on. The fact that Ritter 'apparently' twisted the facts to persecute a student, even one who may have been attempting to 'irk' her is reprehensible.

I would also like to comment that maybe your experience with the hispanic community, percentage of interracial relationships, and the attitude of 'whites' towards globalization may be a product of your proximity to the border. I can assure you that in the Northeast, there are more than a handful of whites who are anti-globalization. In addition, the area i live in has quite a substantial hispanic community, and from my experience with my neighbors and co-workers I can say that the environment and my experiences here here do not parallel the ones where you live.

Regardless, I am very interested to read this poem. I frankly don't care if it's racist, pro-globalization, anti-globalization, or intended to irk. There has always been, and always will be, incindiary literature. My main point of interest is about this teacher's 'apparent' attempt to have this student castigated by creating hysteria over a poem and lying about it's contents. I have a concern over this country's direction, as a whole, towards a police state. Incidents like this, and other recent ones where a high school student was temporarily persecuted for a ficticious short story have me concerned for the future of this country. If students are taught fear and silence over speaking their minds, especially in a lit class, the horsemen of the apocalypse might as well be suiting up.

|| Posted by Tony Tedesco, April 27, 2005 01:22 PM ||

Redjalapeno,
If he overstepped the line, why did the school find no wrongdoing? Why not stand by their guns if he truly 'overstepped' the line?

That being said, I agree until the poem is displayed it is just folks taking sides, but I suspect that once the poem is displayed it will still be people taking sides.

I stand by my original point that unless the poem indicates violent sex and sex with a three year old, the teacher is completely out of line.
On the other hand, if the poem does indeed indicate violent sex with a three year old, I am clearly and completely out of line.

Tony

|| Posted by Tony Tedesco, April 27, 2005 01:27 PM ||

OK,
I have received a copy of this poem from the author himself, I find myself completely amazed at the the fact that this guy was persecuted over this as well as keepingitreal's comment that he actually read the poem. I can not find anything to correlate KIR's points to the actual piece.

This poem is clearly about globalization, not from a political perspective but rather a personal one and the effects of gentrification of culture that is outside the bounds of the WASP society. How even at universities, the sanctuary of our melting pot cultures, can turn hostile when ideal meet reality.

He paints the professor as a liberal who does all the right liberal things (Kerry supporter, etc.), but once faced with the real face of change and someone and something different shows their true colors. This is especially driven home when the professors COLLEGE AGE Daughter ("That in the same dorm and just over next door" 6th stanza, second line) and the professors face drops to the floor when faced with the reality the betrays her liberal posturing.

I can only hope that Edward posts his poem here or somewhere else publicly and all can see the point that I am trying to make about society's current trend to prosecute that which makes them uncomfortable. It only took an email to edward at the email address listed above in this thread to get a copy of the poem.

Tony

|| Posted by Tony Tedesco, April 27, 2005 01:46 PM ||

Overstepped as in he may have been purposely provoking the Professor, and then received the notoriety he sought out.

Some posters are looking for actual detailed words depicting sex acts. Ritter said the poem contained "veiled threats to sexually assault her and her 3-year-old daughter." I surmise those posters will be disappointed.

This being a poetry class, conjecture, euphemisms, etc. would be the norm, not direct and detailed accounts.

Is the Professor completely out of line if a student continually attempts to be provocative unnecessarily, for no other reason than to irk the Professor, and is finally called on it? What is the Professor supposed to do with a student like that?

Using an assignment to attack the Professor because you ideologically oppose them is pathetic at best.

Allowing one student to continually behave in this manner would lead to other students doing the same, and so forth.

The fact, if it is indeed a fact, that he by his own choice did not show up for class twice and then misrepresented this to the media, coupled with the absence of the poem, smells funky.

Yes, sides will be taken regardless however, we need to see the original unedited poem as it was turned in by Bolles.

As to the poster that says Ritter is suspect due to lack of comment to the press, perhaps she is letting this one play itself out. Perhaps she is employing a 'give'em enough rope' tatic, aka the high road.

The university investigated, and seems to have resloved the issue. There will be no psychiatric exam and the student can return to class.

|| Posted by redjalapeno, April 27, 2005 01:57 PM ||

Hello friends and foes,

Here are some details that you might find useful.
Included is a narration of the events that are
occurring, a pasted version of the police report, and
a pasted version of the poem.


***
April 14, 2005

An English Student Gets Barred Indefinitely from
Poetry Class For Writing a Satiric Poem.

Edward Bolles was escorted out of a classroom by SCSU
officials on April 13 at 10:01 AM just before his
Introduction to Poetry Writing class started. He was
later told that he was barred from returning to class
indefinitely until a mediated interview with his
professor could be arranged to define parameters for
the opinions and creative content of Mr. Bolles'
future poetic works.

The poem at the center of controversy is titled
Professor White, which is a satire about globalization
and its effects on cultural traditions. While the
protagonist character, Juan Diego, desires to escape
tradition and compete in the global economy, his
professor, Dr. White, wishes to protect Juan from
intellectual influences that might dilute his racial
and cultural identity.

After reviewing the poem, which was submitted on April
8, Mr. Bolles' professor, Kelly Ritter, believed the
poem to be a coded message that expressed Mr. Bolles'
intention to sexually assault her. This accusation she
deduced from a scene in the poem where Juan Diego
develops an interracial relationship with fictitious
college student who happened to be the daughter of
Professor White. This interpretation was made despite
Prof. Ritter's repeated comments in class that
students should not read meanings that are not
explicit in the poems.

Professor Ritter, on pretext of fear for her sexual
security, put a restraining order on Mr. Bolles as the
latest attempt to censor his opinions and creative
content, says Mr. Bolles. In the morning of April 13,
Mr. Bolles was escorted out of the classroom by Chris
Piscitelli, Director of Judicial Affairs, while Prof.
Ritter hid in her office, and taken to a room for
interrogation. It was there that Mr. Bolles was told
that he was barred from attending future poetry
classes until a mediated interview could be arranged
between Mr. Bolles and Prof. Ritter. The topic of the
interview, Mr. Bolles was told, would be about how the
opinions expressed in his future poems could be
changed to conform to the liking of Prof. Ritter.
Throughout the semester, Mr. Bolles has observed
efforts by Prof. Ritter to put pressure on him to
conform to her parameters of acceptable opinions and
creative content. He claims that he was called a
racist earlier in the semester by his professor. He
claims that, after their first confrontation about
ideology, his grades have suffered unfairly, and that
when he sought explanations for the decline in his
grades he was given unclear and contradictory
explanations.

The great irony is that these unfolding events
parallel the plot in Professor White. In the poem,
Juan Diego was reported to the dean by his professor
for writing a controversial poem. The dean missed the
sarcasm and therefore had Juan Diego expelled from the
University and, consequently, from the United States.
Interestingly, the poem declares itself to be satire,
yet Southern Connecticut State University considers it
to be a serious intellectual threat, and is taking
pragmatic actions with the intention of containing
that threat.


***
LOG OF EVENTS

April 18- I was interviewed by Marie Kuhn of the
Southern News, a SCSU student news paper.

April 19, 11:45 AM- I was invited by Chris Piscitelli
to attend an intermediated interview with Prof. Ritter
for the morning of April 20. He refused to release
information about the case to Southern News.

April 19, 5:30 PM- Prof. Rosso of the English
department called me and wanted to mediate terms
between Prof. Ritter and I. He told me that Prof.
Ritter was terrified of me and that my interview with
the Southern News only made her more fearful of my
aggression.

April 20, 10:10 AM- I was chased down in the hall by
an intern of Judicial Affairs. He wanted me to go to
the mediated meeting. I told him that I would not
attend a meeting until I was supported by attorney.

April 20, 10:15- I was chased down in the hall by
Chris Piscitelli, Director of Judicial Affairs. He
wanted me to attend the mediated interview with Prof.
Ritter. I told him that I would not attend and come to
terms without my attorney (I had the Fire in mind). I
also told him that I would attend the meeting only
after he let me sign a form permitting the release of
information about the case. He flatly refused to let
me sign. He again urged me to attend the meeting
immediately but I walked away from him.

April 20, 10:25 AM: I was invited to another interview
with Marie Kuhn. She told me of the possibility of the
whole poem being published with the article.

April 20, 6:00 PM- Prof Rosso called again. He
suggested, as the intermediary, that I not return to
class and take an independent study with a new
professor for the rest of the semester. I told him
that I would forward the suggestion to my attorney. He
asked me why I would not respond to the suggestion
directly. I told him that I am not trained in law and
that the terms of agreement should be discussed with
an attorney. He said that he suspected I would make a
stand for free speech and he declined to volunteer as
an intermediary any further.

April 21, 12:20 PM- I was informed by a classmate that
Prof. Ritter was in the hall requesting security
officers to guard her office.

April 25, 10:30 AM- I set up a table outside of
Engleman Hall and started to distribute propaganda. I
also distributed homemade t-shirts, buttons, and pens
that said, “Save Prof. White!”
April 25, 11:00 AM- I called Associated Press
reporter, Matt Apuzzo, He was interested in the story
and asked for e-mail containing information about the
case and the poem.

April 25, 11:15 AM- I was approached by Prof. Florey
who told me that my actions were inappropriate and
could jeopardize my academic career in at SCSU.

April 25, 11:20 AM- I was handed a certified letter by
Judicial Affairs stating that formal disciplinary
charges would be dropped and that I could return to
the next class.

April 25, 1:15 PM- I was interviewed by Associated
Press.

April 25, 2:30 PM- I called The Fire to tell them that
the case was settled.

April 25, 4:00 PM- I was interviewed by Marie Kuhn to
update her on the protest. She took some pictures.

April 25 4:30 PM- I posed for an AP photographer in
front of the SCSU Library.

***


Police Report:
Complaint No. 05-1783/ Date of incident 04-08-05/ Type
of incident: Threatening/ Investigating officer: C.
McLean

"On 04-08-05, at 12:37 hrs, this officer was
dispatched to SCSU - Engleman Hall, Rm. D-259 to meet
with faculty member Kelly A. Ritter. Ms. Ritter was in
her office and was speaking with both Mr. Richard
Farricelli and Mr. Christopher Piscitelli about this
incident. Ms. Ritter stated on this date, student
Edward K. Bolles turn in a poem assignment that was
disturbing to Ms. Ritter- Ms. Ritter said she feels
the persons in the poem referred to herself and her 3
year old daughter. Ms. Ritter said, Mr. Bolles is
never happy with her grading and referred to himself
in the past as a lazy Mexican. The poem is (4) pages
long and has racist and sexual tones. Both Mr.
Farricelli and Mr. Piscitelli plan to contact Mr.
Bolles and have psychiatric help. Mr. Bolles will be
put out of classes until he has been cleared by a
doctor and university counselling [sic] staff."


***

Edward Bolles
English 202.1
April 4, 2005
Workshop Poem #2, Second draft.

Professor White

In New Haven she taught, a liberal city,
Famed for its doctors and dirty drug dealers.
Dr. White who had seen it did ponder and pity
How blacks were oppressed and seen as such stealers.
This professor protested and with a grand pithy,
She was so well known as a sensitive feeler,
How there could be such a bad blatant division
Between poor reality and kindly vision.

Her department was English, a liberal art,
Where halls did so moan when Bush won again.
Those economists she hated who said, “Liberals aren't
Qualified to say Bush plays zero sum games.”
Economists were enemies she hated to heart.
“To quantify feelings; Profession so lame!”
Kerry did plaster her newly tan office.
She was an admirer, a true fan of his.

She taught prose and poetry, her students were liberal
Who wrote about feelings and kisses and tears
One day came a student, and with him his libro all
Tattered. He sat and awakened her fears.
He had riddling eyes that invited a brawl,
And a sharp voice that would shoot to her ears.
He was named after Juan, artistic and saint,
He came from the arts, got messed up with paint.

A talented artist, a genius at best,
He painted a Muslim and faithfully dressed her,
A black burka yes, but embossed was her breast.
The art teacher was jealous and started to pester,
“Submit to me Muslim girl at my behest!”
That tart creature hid in her office and caressed her.
She got too excited and made a wet dent,
Insulted poor Juan and away he went.

So, in poetry class a poor poem they read,
That made Gringos greedy, and Mexicans martyrs.
Juan Diego protested of hatred and said,
“The Gringos just did things much better and smarter.”
White called him a racist, her face went all red.
Juan thought of this challenge; how next he can smart her.
“She wants me to hate Gringos,” thought clever Juan Diego,
“But tables will turn, Oh! Señora tan ciego!”

So by well made chance , Juan Diego found out,
That in the same dorm and just over next door,
A beautiful girl, with a squishy round snout,
Slept every day. He could hear her great snore.
One night she walked by, her blue eyes funned out.
She bumped into Juan, just a night shirt she wore.
“My nick name is Snow and my mother is White”
Juan's brown eyes did widen, his pants did grow tight.

It seems to be custom, just here in the States,
That after a girl loves a boy for one night,
She brings him to dinner, though her mother hates
The sight of new boys with their smiles so bright.
So Juan was invited to great White estate.
He rang the door bell and held Snowy so tight.
White opened the door and there was a great swap.
As one face lit up, so the other face dropped.

Then White became livid and worked up her panic
To think that her daughter infringed and corrupted
The purity of Juan and his culture Hispanic.
She ripped out her hair like a real eruption
And started to think up a number of antics.
To put Juan on the run and by shoring up shun.
She told the professors that Juan had to go,
He did not belong there and this they should show.


Sincerely,
Edward Bolles
256 Meadowbrook Court
West Haven, CT 06516
cell: 203-640-0095

|| Posted by Edward_Bolles, April 27, 2005 02:12 PM ||

Hi!, and yes, here is the poem at this URL:

http://www.hannity.com/forum/showthread.php?p=97103#post97103

Now this is posted allegedly by Mr. Bowles himself. To me, the piece seems chopped in between the end of this paragraph: "One night she walked by, her blue eyes funned out.
She bumped into Juan, just a night shirt she wore.
“My name is Snow, my mother is White”
Juan's brown eyes widened, his pants grew tight."

And the beginning of the next:
"It seems to be custom, here in the States,
That after a girl loves a boy for just one night,
She brings him to dinner, though her mother hates
The sight of new boys with smiles so bright."

Obviously there is something that Mr. Bowles is NOT sharing when he's posting his piece online for his fellow neo-nazi conservatives to read. Something seems to be missing in between those 2 sections, which seemed to have upset his teacher/professor. I want to read the full original piece, not the chopped up version, so we can see exactly what offended Mrs. Ritter. Though the so-called encounter is being called "non violent", the version Mr. Bowles is sharing isn't mentioning the encounter at all. So either Mr. Bowles is just wanting some media attention to please his buddies over at protestwarrior, or something else fishy is up. Inquiring minds want to know the whole truth.

|| Posted by keepingitreal, April 27, 2005 02:17 PM ||

"when he's posting his piece online for his fellow neo-nazi conservatives to read."

Fellow neo-nazi conservatives... well, keepingitreal, that says a lot about how you want to see this situation.

Anybody who invokes Godwin's law so quickly isn't to be taken seriously.

|| Posted by Tim, April 27, 2005 02:43 PM ||

I emailed Edward and he sent me two versions of the poem. One is the original rough draft, and one is the version you all see here on this site.

I have also asked Edward if the college is allowed to release the version of the poem that he turned in to Prof. Ritter. I am waiting a response from him.

I suspect that answer will be 'no'.

My English Professor uses student examples for teaching guides if the essay is suitable for that however, the Professor must ask and recieve permission from the student before she can publish the work online for all students to see.

I will publish Bolles' remarks about the release of the poem by the college should he respond back to me.

The log of events posted by Bolles does contain hyperbole as in 'chased down the hall.' He also has displayed an unwillingness to join in the colleges' attempt to resolve the matter in a diplomatic way. By his own admission in the log of events, he seems to relish in being confrontational.

I suspect, suspect mind you, that this confrontational behavior has been present throughout the course of this class. The poem itself is an obvious poke at Prof. Ritter.

As Drudge would say: 'developing'.

|| Posted by redjalapeno, April 27, 2005 03:07 PM ||

Real,
Thanks for the link. I have to say though that i am enjoying the exchange more on this board then that board.

You raise an interesting point about the possibility that something was left out. It didn't cross my mind that that anything was chopped out. The pants growing tight and the reference to 'girl loves a boy after just one night' was enough for me to infer that there was an 'encounter'. Of course, it can be argued that i may be looking at this from a decidedly slanted perspective. To that, it seems we are looking at it form our own perspective though. Maybe , just maybe (humor me on this one K) this is really all there is to this. Will you at least admit that if this is all there really is to this then Ritter overreacted in an extreme matter? I would be very suprised if, in that instance you did not agree with me.

I need to take the stand that Bolles is innocent until proven guilty,and that unless something else comes to light, this is all there is.

I do find it interesting though that red stated Ritter may be taking the 'high road' by not commenting, yet Bolles is 'hiding' something by not coming clean with the poem. An interesting point of view. I like how the burden of proof lies on the accused. Let's not forget who the accussed is in this case.

I seriously doubt we will see the poem to your liking or as you say 'as submitted'. I guess that means that there will always be doubt. For me, the burden is on Ritter to prove what she found so offensive that she needed to request guards, a restarining order, expulsion and a psych evaluation. At least that was the way our republic was structured to work last time I checked.

Unless of course there are those who think that the police report, request for guards and request for a restraining order are fabrications

Students speaking out against their teachers is nothing new, and as an educator she should have aken the 'high road' then, not once she claimed to see Edward, Goody Osborne, and the devil dancing nood (the site didnt like n*de) under the full moon.

As for your post real about his unwillingness to resolve it in a diplomatic way, you have to be joking. Asking a lawyer to be present is not unreasonable. Once again, this guy had been threated with psych evaluations, restraining orders, etc. The burden of diplomacy should have laid with Ritter before running to the police. She is the one who made it a 'federal case' if you will.

In my opinion, any teacher who hasn't run into an obstinate student hasn't really faced the challenge of being a real teacher. Again, she needs to be the one setting the example. Don't get me wrong, I know physical violence and terrorism exists in the modern world, but more and more this case seems to be neither.

tony

|| Posted by Tony Tedesco, April 27, 2005 03:22 PM ||

Hi friends and foes,

I assure you that the pasted poem is complete, except for the foot notes which would have been difficult to put in. My foot notes are also a bunch of jokes. If you doubt my integrity, please feel free to e-mail Prof. Ritter and ask her about the poem. Her e-mail is in the SCSU web site.

The critic might want Juan to be an aggrssor but this would not work in the poem. Juan Diego is a victim of the ideology of the liberal academic environment. To have Juan rape another student would spoil this message.

|| Posted by Edward_Bolles, April 27, 2005 03:49 PM ||

Wow, what a bad poem.

|| Posted by Steve, April 27, 2005 04:24 PM ||

Tony,
Yes, I would agree with you that if this version of the poem found online is identical to the poem submitted to Ritter, then indeed she over-reacted, and all the other things that followed (restraining order, etc) was just unnecessary. With the exception of the possible psych evaluation, and since I don't know Bowles in-person, I'm neutral on that. If I was the teacher, I would find it rather disturbing if a student wrote a poem like this about me and about my daughter, fictional or human. I'm waiting for Ritters side of the story as well, then maybe people can decide for themselves who's right and who's wrong. I certainly wouldn't want to be in this class at all, with a student and teacher allegedly going back and forth LOL.

Several versions of the article I read on the poem said Juan's character vowed to turn the tables, and the way it comes across, is that he strictly slept with the daughter to piss the teacher/mother off. That's kinda the most immature and lowest way to get revenge with somebody. Maybe Bowles should leave the class and start writing softcore porn? LOL

It's funny, because on another board, we were discussing the movie 'Selena', a movie I watched last Sunday for the first time since 1997 - I guess that's why this subject over the poem got my attention. It seems in between performances of J-Lo, the father spends too much time making comments about how Mexicans aren't accepted by white people, then turns around and says how Mexicans don't accept Mexicans. And the comments are sprinkled throughout the movie, though worded differently each time. It comes across as a confused culture, whereas I don't see other latinos, like Puerto Ricans having issues mixing in with white people. I don't know if this makes sense to you or not, but it seems like it's not white people who are worried about Mexicans corrupting their culture, but it is Mexicans corrupting their own culture and holding themselves back by forcefully making themselves go in circles and not trying to integrate with white people because of their own personal prejudices, and then blaming white people for it. It would be kinda like being mad at the captain for not being picked for the volleyball team when you didn't raise your hand to join in the game in the first place. Sorry, I'm lacking sleep today LOL. I'm not trying to come across as hateful, because I gots love for all latinos out there, Mexican also. This is coming from a white folk raised in a small Kentucky town of 1500, approx 95% white, 5% black, 0% anybody else (though a few hispanics have moved there in recent years). I now live in TX, which has a large % of hispanics.

|| Posted by keepingitreal, April 27, 2005 04:29 PM ||

Tim,
No, it's not conservatives that I was particularly talking about - it's the so-called ProtestWarrior people I'm talking about. That group that would egg on drama like this. To me, PW is more or less a kiddie version of Fred Phelps and his clan. The difference is the ProtestWarrior guys (in particular the India guy Kfir or whatever his name is, and the blonde guy) make themselves look silly by being, for instance, anti-gay, but are obviously obsessed with mens muscles (the well-drawn logo), obsessed with taking pictures of each others butts (though it looks like they are supposed to be taking picture of whatever slogan the back of their shirt is saying, the camera ALWAYS gets the guys butt in the picture too - hmmmm), and those 2 guys are always sitting or standing peculiarly close to one another when it's just pictures of those 2. As they always say, a gay persons worst enemy is a closet case, and it seems those 2 should be protesting themselves. Maybe they do that in the bedroom LOL Be sure to pass that along to your boyfriends when ya'll have a menage-a-trois tonight.

|| Posted by keepingitreal, April 27, 2005 04:48 PM ||

Edward,
I did find the footnotes to be very entertaining. I shared the poem with the friend i mentioned in the email and made sure to point out the value of reviewing the footnotes..

Keep,
Thanks again for open dialog on this issue. I think the point you make about not wanting to be in the class while this was going on, underscores the differences in our baseline personalities. I would love to be sitting in on this kind of drama. I am sure I would be playing devil's advocate for entertainment's sake. After all it's a poetry class. A subject I hold dear but not seriously.

In regards to whether or not juan was attracted to the daughter for her relation to the mother, if that is the case, then he got his just rewards in the end..but for the record, my vote for lowest way to extract revenge is to cry wolf, call the cops and do everything in your power to expel someone from voicing their opinon from a lit class, just because you can..this poem has merit above and beyond revenge or being irksome. It makes a statement on gentrification, the dilemna of finding balance in ones history and personal culture and the ever changing world..

I will save the tounge in cheek remarks about kentucky to myself, as i do find you to be an open and intelligent sparring partner, and i do not want to drag this to a base level. I will say that in the northeast where i am from the percentages are much higher, and as i have stated before i do not see the issues you raise so clearly. It is true that the hispanic (mexican community) may like to keep their traditions and even their language while migrating here, but how is that any different than say the hassidic community? I would expect the hispanic community in texas to be even stronger than anywhere else (other than maybe so. cal) in reagrds to mainaining their own identity..after all it was not that long ago it WAS mexico.

tony

|| Posted by Tony Tedesco, April 27, 2005 05:12 PM ||

I don't see what the big deal is re:the poem. Ed and I had an off-campus affair a while back, and I'm white! It wasn't the worst experience, but it wasn't the best either. There wasn't any anti globalization in my bedroom ;)
PS: Can I have one of the pink shirts from the picture, or is there just one?

|| Posted by SCSU_Foxx, April 27, 2005 06:20 PM ||

To be honest, I think it needs serious work -- but do not see a thing in here that justified a complaint, much less the school treating it with any degree of seriousness.

Who is the racist here, and who needs the psychological evaluation? Not Edward.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, April 27, 2005 06:52 PM ||

As a matter of closure if you will, Mr. Bolles did not respond to my last email which contained these two questions:

The final version of the poem being released by you will be the same as the one turned in to Prof. Ritter by you?

Is there a policy at the college that will prevent the college or Prof. Ritter from releasing the version of the one turned in to her by you?

In a way, he has 'answered' those questions by his post above. If there is a difference between the poems it will surface.

Otherwise...it's a wrap!

|| Posted by redjalapeno, April 28, 2005 12:25 PM ||

I can't answer the first question for you, but I can answer the second -- Federal (and probably state) student privacy laws forbid the university or the professor from releasing records regarding student academic performance or disciplianry measures without the express written permission of the student. Given that the university and the professor have been loathe to make any comment about the matter (note above, the university refused to accept a signed release for those records), we are unlikely to hear anything from them.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, April 28, 2005 04:03 PM ||

This is silly. It reminded me of a guy at Gallaudet who wrote about a story about raping the Professor -- the Professor attempted to kick him out of the class.

Everyone else was offended by this guy's antics.

One word: Immature.

{ EDITTED BY RHYMES WITH RIGHT -- SOME STUFF IS SIMPLY TOO HATEFUL TO BE PERMITTED }

R-

|| Posted by Me is the Ridor, April 30, 2005 03:45 AM ||

Geez...Rhymes..you got your work cut out for you already.

|| Posted by mcconnell, April 30, 2005 06:51 PM ||

Hey, I've got a guy filibustering on another threadbecause he had facts that changed my position completely.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, April 30, 2005 07:24 PM ||
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