Poems of the Week

N.Y.U. Professor Fired

by Katherine Barrett Swett

“At N.Y.U., Students Were Failing Organic Chemistry. …
Maitland Jones Jr., a respected professor, defended his standards.
But students started a petition, and the university dismissed him.”
The New York Times

When premeds in organic chemistry
Did not get grades that top med schools required—
They needed A’s and not these C’s and D’s—
They hit the roof and Admin said, “He’s fired!”

When Mom and Dad had paid a hefty sum
To educate the darling they had sired
And this cruel teacher called their children dumb,
They told the kid, “It’s time that jerk was fired.”

When twenty years from now our doctors are
These kids who always got what they desired,
We may well wish there’d been a higher bar—
That someone, once, had said to them, “You’re fired!”