SCAD Professor Shares Tips for Teaching without Sleep

“Sleep is such a 20th century idea,” claims Jonathan Suckitup, Professor of Photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design. And, with a teaching load of seven courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, he should know.

“I used to think that I was just out of shape or iron deficient because I tended to get tired around Wednesday afternoon,” Suckitup recalls. “And true, I was teaching from noon to 10 PM every night, advising thesis projects, and sitting on several Committees for the Advancement of SCAD…but that’s no excuse.”

Professor Suckitup’s plucky attitude is increasingly necessary at this immense arts university spread over scores of tax-exempt commercial real estate holdings in Savannah. As a not-for-profit university, SCAD’s lean budget precludes the opportunity to offer faculty tenure or to allow them to unionize. With the occasional prospect of bankruptcy, the university must rely on multi-million dollar corporate donations, exorbitant tuition costs, and a sleep-deprived faculty just to pay the competitive salaries of its president, Dear Leader, her hand-picked cadre of administrators, and the flight crews of its corporate jet.

Fortunately, SCAD’s younger professors are discovering how self-tailored cocktails of amphetamines, when combined with gingko-rich energy drinks, can keep one awake for an entire week. “By being on-task 24/7, I have just about enough time to meet my teaching and committee requirements,” Suckitup says of his heightened efficiency.

SCAD’s newly-appointed Chief Financial Officer, The Mad Turk, is pleased with the progress that the faculty is making in adding to the bottom line. “The SCAD brand promise is all about the students,” he says. “We want to give them as much faculty face time as possible.” He explains further that even if  staying awake for weeks might pose long-term health effects for faculty, “we really have to live in the present…and 24/7 teaching is helping our students right now. It’s also a good strategy for faculty who hope to get their annual contracts renewed because, at SCAD, we believe in job security.”

Still, in this sultry, moss-draped city, there have been whispers of high-speed late night driving by adrenalized professors and the occasional crash up caused by educators falling asleep at the wheel. “Oh yes, don’t we have a dedicated faculty!” remarks Hyacinth Bucket, SCAD’s Director of Public Relations, when asked about the car wreck rumors. “They’re just top drawer…and they want to stay that way so they can stay at SCAD.”

Dear Leader spoke to the “sleep-deprivation” issue from her porch in the Landings, “The highest and best use of a front porch is to enable and encourage the art of conversation. We entertain ourselves with stories on the porch. We invite people in. We sit. We visit.”

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