Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Potiquette: The Back To School Edition

Dear Ms. Pot,

I’m a philosophy professor at a school in the middle of cow country. There are two bars dominated by underage students, one Chinese restaurant, and a nice little inn where you can get a decent glass of wine with colleagues. That’s the extent of the social life around here, so we make our own. Once a week, a couple local musicians and I set up mics and rock out to the Rolling Stones in my living room, do tequila shots, and smoke pot. It’s very 1970s. Two or three of my students usually show up, too. So, Monday night I’m passing a joint to a student, then Tuesday morning I’m lecturing her on Kierkegaard. Kosher?

Puff Prof


Dear Puff Prof,

It all sounds very… Animal House. ‘Member that scene in the 1978 cult classic, where a shaggy Donald Sutherland creepily locks the door, lights candles, and shows his students how to properly smoke a joint while lazing around discussing the solar system. ‘Try not to drool so much on the end of it,” he wisely instructs.

Your scene sounds a little livelier. And harmless enough. Honestly, I’d be more worried about the tequila than the THC. Just be smart about it—which should come easy enough, since you are a PhD. You might recall that idiot high school teacher in Virginia who, earlier this year, let his student smoke up in class. This is off campus, after-hours. And as John Belushi’s sweatshirt reminds us: COLLEGE. If you taught, say, economics or law, I’d probably say un-invite your students to your soiree. But, philosophy? It’s all about expanding hearts and minds. Right?

With love and homework,

Ms. Pot



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