My incapacity for grading papers. The academic situation leads to perfunctory work, even among the best students. There is no way to say that you don't want a perfunctory paper, because they are writing in order to fulfill an assignment. I remember in a creative writing course in college I got the assignment of observing an animal and writing a poem about it. I wrote a line about birds flying in "short, uninteresting curves." It was a dig at the assignment, I suppose. No Rilke's panther for me that day!