Request for Extension on “Culturally Contrived Misrepresentations of Nietzche’s Crumbling Utopia”

A work of fiction

by Julia Greene


Dear Professor Wallace,

I hope this email finds you well and that you are enjoying the beginning of some beautiful fall weather.

I am writing to inform you that I will not be able to finish the assignment, “Culturally Contrived Misrepresentations of Nietzsche’s Crumbling Utopia,” by the originally requested time of 11:59pm on Sunday the 15th. This is because I recently met my identical twin separated at brith while in line for a Taquito™ at TacoBell™.  In light of this circumstance, I would appreciate anywhere between 1-3 extra days to complete my work.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Claudia Bell


Thank you for reaching out. I am indeed enjoying the beautiful autumn foliage and hope you are as well. My wife and I will be taking our daughter apple-picking for the first time on Sunday, and I greatly look forward to seeing her enjoy her first hay ride.

I would appreciate some elaboration on the matter of your twin sister separated at birth. Are you absolutely certain that this doppelganger is in fact a relative of yours? And why should this occurrence merit an extension on your assignment, “Culturally Contrived Misrepresentations of Nietzsche’s Crumbling Utopia?” 

Forgive me if my reaction seems callous. My recent department-provided reviews reflect that my students often perceive me in this way. However, I do not give extensions to sports teams, and I will not taint a talented young mind by allowing it to rot in the spoiled, fruitless hours provided by extensions, merely for some family time. 


Conrad E. Wallace

Professor of Philosophy

Department of Philosophy

Dear Professor Wallace,

I am quite enjoying the foliage. Thank you for asking. The crimson oak tree by the Kellog Science Building is especially breathtaking, I think. I am excited to hear that you will be going apple-picking with your daughter, and I hope that it is a memorable time. 

I understand your concerns with the legitimacy of my claim. It does sound preposterous. I have therefore attached an image of my twin and I consuming a piece of pita. This is the first piece of pita we have ever shared. You will notice that we look exactly the same. This is because we are identical twins. Upon presenting this finding to Professor Erikson of the biology department, we were offered complimentary DNA testing. These results should be available by this afternoon.

The more precise explanation for why I request an extension is because I am grappling with a few questions, including, but not limited to: Whose parents are the biological parents? Why were we separated? Why was it kept secret? Did our families know? Am I actually related to any of my brothers? Is she related to any of her sisters? Why were we not gifted matching or complimentary jewelry at birth so that we could one day find each other? Which one is the evil twin? Are there more of us? Were we cloned? Is cloning an ethical means of reproduction? Who was the original clone? Have we been genetically engineered to be super-humans? Did it work? Should we take LSD and jump out of a tree to find out? Does she prefer lasagna to soufflés? And similar such inquiries.

Upon the matter of your perceived “callousness,” I do not think you should worry. You are a considerate and engaging professor, and I do not believe that you would hold a tenured position at such an acclaimed institution if your attitude and ability did not warrant it. 

Thanks again for your time,


Hi Claudia,

Thanks for your note. I have noticed the crimson oak tree by the Kellog Science Building, though I find that the birch trees lining our Hampton Memorial Library rival that tree spectacularly. Granted, that is merely my opinion.

I think I am beginning to understand why you would like this extension. I am willing to consider allowing you this extra time. However, if granted, I would like you to use it to work on your final product. In preparation for your paper, I would like you to employ the Socratic method to consider the following questions:

How does the dialectic of an identical twin disrupt your perception of Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am?”  Is the tabula rasa upheld by your twin’s subjective idealism? What locale does identity occupy in the metaphysical verisimilitude of existence, ad infinitum? Does the antinomy of your being provide an anthropomorphic antithesis to the apologetics of autonomic angst? How is Kant’s categorical imperative disrupted by the coherence theory of truth, in light of the efficient cause of the formal cause (of your sister)? Would you categorize this experience as an ontological phenomena or monist noumena, contingent upon the epistemological implications of the principle of parsimony and the immanent noetic weltanschauung a posteriori of cosmic solipsism?

I hope these questions are helpful. Please avoid using personal pronouns when discussing these answers, or I will, of course, deduct points.

Your reassurance concerning my perceived “callousness” warms my heart. Thank you.


Conrad E. Wallace

Professor of Philosophy

Department of Philosophy

Hi Professor Wallace,

I am reaching out to inform you that I have decided I will not be requiring the extension. I am taking time off school indefinitely to travel to Mongolia with my twin to search for our real parents. We have reason to believe that they took refuge there after a series of faulty undercover assignments in Russia during the Cold War. They may have committed treason during their espionage. Wikipedia research has been inconclusive. 

Now that I am breaking ties with campus, I feel comfortable letting you know that you are incredibly, in fact, callous and unforgiving. The students in your class have created a game of drinking a shot of lime-twisted gin every time you call a student’s question, “ambiguous,” “underdeveloped,” or“simply wrong.” Katie Stern had to be taken to Urgent Care on Tuesday after attempting to engage you in a brief question concerning Rousseau’s rhetoric. She knew better than to ask for an extension.

You’re an abomination of a human, and your facial hair makes your mouth look like an orangutan’s sweaty butthole. Learn how to shave, Conrad. You’re a grown adult. It’s fucking disgusting,w and I’m concerned for the emotional safety of your daughter. I hope when you go apple-picking that you drown in a pile of dead leaves, you chauvinist rat bastard monsoon of curdled lizard cum.

Eat a dick,

Claudia Bell


Part of the Toxic issue