The Mamabomber


Image: Pixabay

Mrs. Chilewitz is simmering inside as her only son, Donald, relates to her his college crisis.

“Professor Linden said I cheated, Ma, but I didn’t. I’m telling you this not so you can talk to anyone because it’s a done deal. This isn’t a store where the customer is always right. It’s school where the teacher is always the right one.”

“How dare he accuse you. What evidence do they have?”

“It’s the software they use to check the tests and when certain patterns pop up, they draw conclusions from that. It’s complicated. My teacher referred us to some cryptic honesty policy that he says he went over with us. But he just talked about it for one day for a few minutes and that was it. He never told us about it again. And now, after all the tests we’ve had . . .”

“I’ve heard enough. I don’t want to hear any more atrocities committed against my treasure.” Mrs. Chilewitz rubs her son’s back and kisses his cheek lightly. “What happens now?”

“I have to take an online workshop on academic honesty and then take a test to make sure I understand it well and . . . I get two grades taken down.”

Mrs. Chilewitz shakes from fury. “Are you sure there’s nothing else I can do to make this right for you?”

“Yes, just calm down. I wanted to tell you so you wouldn’t freak out when you see my grade and the Visa charge. I have to pay $100 for the course and exam; I’m supposed to be reimbursed for half later.”

Two months later, Mrs. Chilewitz sees that the school charged her son’s account $50 plus a late fee. She calls the Bursar’s office and demands to have the charge explained. She is told that only her son can take care of it because of student privacy policy. After another month passes and the late fee is increased, she spends some more time trying to get it straightened out. Eventually, the charges are reversed, although by this time her temper has taken its toll.

She finds the opportunity to fire back when she receives a fundraising letter from the school.

She writes:

Dear ——–,

Consider the time I spent at $100/hr. to reverse a charge made to my son’s account in error as my donation to you. Add the compounded interest I lost on a $50 reimbursement that I didn’t receive until four months later, and you’ll understand why I would appreciate a receipt for $355 for such contribution. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.


Mrs. Chilewitz

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