Julie Marie Wade


For Debra Dean


How are you feeling today? Choose only one answer.

More than fine.       Less than fine.       Equal to fine.                            

Closer to fine? (Invalid entry: Code Indigo)



True or False: You enjoy completing self-evaluations.

False. (Invalid entry: True is required in this field)



Please classify your performance as either apple or giraffe, as in "How red is your apple?" or "How tall is your giraffe?"

My performance is not remotely apple-ish or giraffe-like. (Invalid entry: Code Girapple)



Did you know giraffes are the tallest mammals on earth? Choose only one answer.

Yes.       No.       Long necks make me nervous.

How is this relevant to my file? (Invalid entry: Yes is the default answer for this field)



Tell us, in giraffes only, how extensive your work within department-sponsored metrics has been? (Short answer)

My work has no relation to giraffes. (Invalid entry: All work is related to giraffes)

Is this a serious question? (Invalid entry: All evaluation questions are written and reviewed with the utmost seriousness)

I have no comment germane to giraffes. (Invalid entry: Try again)

Seriously? You think I’m not trying? (Invalid entry: Try again)

Why don’t you try just a little bit harder to make these questions reasonable? (Invalid entry: Code Joplin)

Fine. I once met a giraffe named Owen at a zoo in Garden City, Kansas. His eyelashes were exceptionally long. I remember being surprised that he made a kind of hissing noise. I always thought giraffes were silent. (Invalid entry: Personal anecdotes are not admissible as evidence of achievement)

I was just trying to cooperate! (Invalid entry: Code Girapple)



Let’s try this: Please rate your capacity for professional/inter-departmental synergy on a scale of apples, one being Delicious and ten being Newtown Pippin.

1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    (Invalid entry: Not circling is not an option.)

1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    (Invalid entry: Not circling is not an option.)

1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    (Invalid entry: Not circling is not an option.)

Fine. 5. (Invalid entry: Our records indicate that you are "more Winesap than Honeycrisp")

What? (Invalid entry: Some colleagues have characterized you as a "Northern Spy")

On what grounds? (Invalid entry: Some colleagues have characterized you as "No Gala to be around")



Do you use an Apple computer?




Do you use a Giraffe computer?

That’s not a thing. (Invalid entry: Code Araffle)

Is there actually a raffle at the end of all this? (Invalid entry: You wish)



Please specify how often and in what ways you bring giraffe- or apple-based learning strategies to your team? (Short answer)

I don’t. (Invalid entry: Spotty or bruised)

What? (Invalid entry: Leggy or mealy)

This doesn’t make any sense. (Invalid entry: edible or even-toed ungulate)



After completing this self-evaluation, would you like to stay online and complete a brief survey concerning the effectiveness of our new system?

Absolutely not! (Invalid entry: Survey is forthcoming)

Do not send! (Invalid entry: Survey has been sent)

I refuse! (Invalid entry: Please click the link and enter your survey verification code to complete processing of your self-evaluation)

[ ***************** ]



Do you feel more       or        about your overall advanced analytics experience?

Neither! (Invalid entry: Code Girapple)

Not applicable! (Invalid entry: N/A is no longer extant in evaluation terminology)

Help! (Invalid entry: Code Beatles)









I wrote this "Annual Mandatory Self-Evaluation" at the end of academic year 2017-2018, as my tenure file was wending its way slowly through the administrative queue and as my friend and colleague, Debra Dean, was about to begin her own bureaucratic adventure toward promotion to full professor. As most academics know, responding to our students' final portfolios isn't actually the last thing we do in any given semester; we also have to evaluate ourselves--our creative production, our teaching innovation, and our service contributions. The process is often, perhaps inherently, frustrating, and I was inspired to write this parody when Debra said, "It's like the only options are apple or giraffe, and nothing I have to report is an apple or a giraffe!" Now, rather ironically, I will have to log the publication of this parodic self-evaluation into my actual annual mandatory self-evaluation form.