A Michigan college student is fighting for his rights after being booted from campus after writing a sexually suggestive journal entry about his teacher as part of a class assignment.
Joseph Corlett, a 56-year-old pursuing a degree in writing and rhetoric at Oakland University, wrote the racy essay as part of his creative writing assignment in an Advanced Critical Writing.
Corlett didn’t think he was under the impression that there were any restrictions on what he was allowed to write about, so he went all out.
“The real issue is the First Amendment,” Corlett said. “It’s about academic freedom and about due process. These are the real issues of the case, and the sooner we can get past the titillation of it and see those issues, the better.”
Clearly, Oakland University made its position clear in its disciplinary action against Corlett.
After a campus hearing in January, the university found Corlett guilty of intimidation.
Another harassment charge was later dropped.
Corlett was suspended for three semesters, barred from setting foot on campus, and required to get psychological counseling before he could re-enroll.
So what caused all the commotion in the first place?
In one of his first entries, Corlett addresses his professor Pamela Mitzelfeld directly:
I’m going to write honestly here with no apology. I hope you like me and aren’t offended but I’m paying you to kick my ass into becoming a better writer. As long as we view our student/teacher relationship as patient/doctor I think we’ll be fine. Perhaps confessor/priest?
His later, Hot for Teacher essay begins like this:
Hot for Teacher
“I’ve got it bad, bad, bad, I’m hot for teacher…” Van Halen
She is short, height/weight proportionate and brunette like my wife of thirty (30) years and introduces herself to spanish class as Argentinian/Italian. Omygod. Latin and Italian? Are you kidding me? Holy s–t I should drop right now, there is no way I’ll concentrate in class especially with that sexy little mole on her upper lip beckoning with every accented word. And that smile.
No, I’ve never dropped a class yet, even Computer Aided Design where I earned my first “C” since resuming my college education in 2008. I’ll tough it out.
It’s tough to be a guy. I remember when riding my bike was suddenly pointless as all I thought about were girls. No money, no car, no social skills, and a face full of blemishes and all I want is a girl. My face cleared, I get a job a car and a girl eventually, but it was rough in between. Ladies, for pure sexual stamina, you’ll do no better than a fifteen-year-old male, but check your local age of consent laws before engagement. It sucks to admit but…
From age twelve to thirty the male brain is clogged by sex. It’s a wonder we can think at all. About [struck: a decade ago] twenty years ago, I’ll be 56 in November of 2011, the fog began to lift. It was refreshing to have some spare in my brain to think about thoughts other than sex. Like dropping from a hundred time a dat to just 20. What a relief, but you don’t get wood at the t–ty bars anymore. Small tradeoff.
I can’t believe I just wrote that but I did and it’s staying. I don’t give a f–k. It is what it is. I WILL NOT TEAR THIS PAGE.
My first battle with the hot for teacher thing, aside from second grade, was fought in Composition I at Oakland Community College. She was blonde and attractive in the Meg Ryan kind of way which I usually don’t go for. (F–king preposition at the end of that sentence, F–k it) FOR WHICH I DO NOT GO? YEAH, RIGHT.
I shouldn’t have taken her for Comp 2 but I couldn’t resist smart and pretty. I aced in both but that only encouraged me. Her skirt came unzipped in Comp 2 one day and her polka-dotted panties were exposed. I was a perfect gentleman and discretely told her to pull her sweater over. She smiled and thanked me. It is our delicious little secret.
(Intro transition here).
Then there’s Ms. Mitzelfeld, English 380. She walks in and I say to myself “Drop, motherf–ker, drop.” Kee-rist, I’ll never learn a thing. Tall, blond, stacked, skirt, heels, fingernails, smart, articulate, smile. I’m toast but I stay, I’ll f–k up my whole Tuesday-Thursday class thing if I drop. I’ll search for something unattractive about her. No luck yet. Shit.
I’m in the student lounge an hour before class and slightly caffinated. I’ve had a few worries lately, the first that Lynn Anne, my wife, would read this. But now I don’t care. I suppose my fear is a good sign that I’m writing honestly.
The second worry was re-reading what I’ve previously written while drinking. It’s not as bad as I thought and I’m determined to keep the no-page-tear-out rule. I swear too much when I drink.
SPACE FOR YOU TO WRITE STUFF:
HOT FOR TEACHER CONTINUED
I’m not a maniac for every female although I try to find something attractive about everyone. My Women’s History instructure has the pleasant, no-make-up-don’t-dive-off-any-flirty-vibe, very similar to [REDACTED]. However, my history professor sets off my gaydar and [REDACTED] does not. I could not have sex with either of these women even if you offered me a million dollars cash. I couldn’t get the necessary cooperation, if you get my drift.
Spanish was the first class I’d even dropped since resuming my college career. With hindsight, it was probably my lack of consistent practice, not the lip-riding mold, that did me in.
Well, as you might expect, Pamela Mitzelfeld did not approve of the essay at all.
She called his essay “completely inappropriate” and said “if this continues, I am obligated to report you to the Dean.”
It didn’t stop there, however.
The journal’s next entry:
HOT FOR TEACHER CONTINUED…
Ginger or Maryanne? That’s the eternal male question based on the 60′s situation comedy Gilligans Island, where the glamorus [sic] actress and the buxom farm girl are marooned. When asked, my buddy George chooses Marianne without hesitation, while Tom pauses several seconds before selecting Ginger. I’ve always been a Ginger man myself but I think [struck: my Maryanne], Dr. Spearman, my Fiction teacher, may be my Maryanne as Mrs. Mitzelfeld is my Ginger.
Dr. Spearman has dark hair and eyes and occasionall [sic] rests her hand across her pregnant belly. However, it is her relentless teaching style I find irresistable [sic]. I’ve heard sled dogs will [struck: mush] run themselves to an exhurtive [sic] death withot [sic] counteracting by their [struck: driver] musher. Wiping the sweat from her brow, Dr. Spearman would teach until she dropped were it not for the requisite break and stop times.
She is hot, and not just from baking the bun in her oven. (TOO CLICHE?) When we’re alone after class, I politely told her I love her style. She admits to loving her job and appreciates my noticing.
Mitzelfeld expressed her displeasure via the following email to faculty at the university:
Due to our recent discovery that Joseph Corlett has made his gun obsession obvious to other colleagues and has managed to make himself known in negative ways to so many other females on campus, I am feeling increasingly uncomfortable and unsafe. As he has written letters to our school newspaper defending the right to carry concealed weapons on campus, I cannot feel safe knowing that he might have a weapon with him at any time. He might have had a gun in his backpack when he sat 20 feet away from me at the writing center last week. [...]
Please grant this request and advocate for me as necessary. Either Mr Corlett leaves campus or I do. I will not be afraid to go to the ladies restroom, as I was today, because someone informed me that he was in the library.
This is an unacceptable and dangerous work environment.
Your editorial correctly noted that Michigan law prohibits concealed pistol licensees from carrying concealed pistols in college classrooms and dorms but failed to mention that according to Michigan State Police Legal Update No. 86, unconcealed pistols are legal in classrooms and dorms by CPL holders.
I provided the Oakland Post this information last semester. How sad and unprofessional those emotions of current events cloud your journalistic judgment and you renege on written promises to freelancers, denying critical balance to readers. I will provide “The Story the Oakland Post Does Not Want You To Read” to anyone who e-mails a request.
I hope Oakland University institutes a ban on poorly reasoned and researched editorials and that the ban stays in place.
So Corlett has been banned for three semesters.
He’s currently campaigning to come back to Oakland University. He says, “I want to be reinstated. I want my lawyer fees paid. I want to be made whole.”
Corlett has appealed the punishment. The university’s response is pending.
- ‘Hot for Teacher’ Essay Sinks Student (abcnews.go.com)
- Joseph Corlett kicked out of university for writing sexually suggestive essay about female professor (dailymail.co.uk)
- The Creepy ‘Hot for Teacher’ Essays That Got a Student Kicked Off Campus [College] (jezebel.com)
- Fifty-Something College Student Can’t Fathom Why His “Hot-For-Teacher” Essay Upset His Hot Teacher [Love] (deadspin.com)