Risk Management Studies, by Noel Sloboda

Risk Management Studies, by Noel Sloboda


Directions for best appreciating the academic wit and wisdom of Noel Sloboda: bring out your well-exercised sense of humor, and wring dry as a bone. Whilst reading these missives we recommend against consuming any beverages you wouldn’t want spurting out your nose…

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If you or someone you love earns a living in the halls of academe, you won’t want to miss Noel Sloboda’s pistol of an epistolary collection, putting a whole new spin on life in the ivory tower.

19 December


Dear University Office of Risk Management:


I thought you should know that members of the Engineering faculty have begun building robots again. (You can consult my letters from spring for technical specifications.) These new robots are far smaller than the ones you confiscated last semester. However, this fact in itself might lead to the new robots becoming a threat. My brother was always insecure because he was small. As a teenager, he compensated with displays of violence. He shot my dog with a BB gun, ran over mother’s cat with a dirt bike, and threw lawn darts at our parents. Once, he punched his girlfriend in public because she laughed at his haircut. Eventually, his behavior landed him in juvenile hall, and he was never the same. (Can you imagine what juvenile hall would do to robots?) I worry that another semester with robots running amok will distract me from my work: a book-length study on monstrosity, which, Derrida posits, permits us to understand conventions by transgressing them. As such, your prompt attention to this important campus welfare issue would be most appreciated.


Be well,


Dr. Noel Sloboda,

Researcher in the Humanities


PS: Happy holidays!