Overreaction of the day

Occupy Wall Street Assignment Forces NYU Undergrad To Lose Her Shit Via Open Letter To School President, Demand Professor’s Resignation OR SHE GOES PUBLIC


Summary: NYU professor assigns student to visit OWS camp as field study. Student disapproves with this assignment and throws qqqbee-worthy tantrum.

When I first started reading this I was like “oh, I would probably not want to go to that camp either”. But then, it starts getting crazy as the girl descends into what is presumably an estrogen-fueled rage.

Dude, it’s a little reckless to be posting that on here given her more than 1000 facebook friends who could be literally anywhere on the web even as we speak. I’ve already said too much…

On a related note, what’s with these NYU students. Remember the subway girl from JPM screaming about “Do you know what school I’ve been to?!”

Yeah, I was thinking about that other girl. Are NYU students just bitches, or do we just hear about these more often, since lots of NYU students go into finance? Or does the second possibility imply the first possibility?

Could also be an availability bias where because they’re in NYC their escapades are more likely to get recorded in some form and wind up as viral media. Although NYC girls can be crazy as well so this might also be an example of a reverse correlation.

Did you get the bit where she AND HER MOTHER came in to discuss the issue with the president of the University. It’s been pretty important to the OWS people to avoid raping and robbing and murdering people. Anti-OWS would be all over any news of that and it would certainly turn public opinion against them. I haven’t come across any news that suggests the risk of rape or mugging was higher at Zucotti park than the average risk level in any other ethnographically interesting area. Heck, those guys have trouble even accepting non-biodegradable donations, I don’t think they accept rape, thievery, and murder as “something we’ll put up with in order to get the message out.” I never made it down there before it was dispersed, but know several people who did (including some small and pretty women) and not one of them mentioned ever feeling threatened. The worst may be that a some of them seriously needed a shower, some deodorant, and clean clothes.

Now with pics! http://www.utzedek.org/images/sarabio.jpeg Unfortunately, she is not that hot. Otherwise, I might be more sympathetic to her cause.

I’m picturing the protesters fleeing in a scene of terror and pandemonium when that cave troll and her orc friends showed up at the camp with much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

She must have swan dived from the top of the ugly tree. Thanks goodness for these people who make the financial industry amusing.

After reading her email. That girl is fu#ing insane. She must make life miserable for everyone around her.

Hmmm, the mental health card? So she’s been referred to a pysch evaluation before, its usually pretty hard to have those authorized unless there been some erratic behaviour. Sounds like she might have a personality disorder

Crazy, great read! You’d think this stuff is extreme and rare; however, I’ve personally experienced a similar situation where one individual was actually forced to resign. I don’t understand why people would go so far out of their own way to try and ruin another person’s life.

Shouldn’t be too hard to understand for people in finance… the behavior pattern is: “push hard and make waves until you get what you want; don’t let anything or any argument stop you.” In most cases it tends to work out pretty well for the pushy party. In a society where interactions are increasingly atomized and impersonal, the consequences of acting this way are generally pretty light compared to the benefits, and they only start to have really negative consequences once the behavior has escalated to truly outrageous proportions. By then, it has been long reinforced and learned through and through and is very difficult to change. Worse, now parents have started encouraging their kids to do that. One of the reasons I decided not to put up with academe any more (the situation often gets worse the better the school).

Then why does this keep happening at NYU?

NYU is not a bad school. The very top schools may do a better job of damage control and keeping this out of the press, but you can be sure it happens there too. The attitude is often “This is an expensive school; I’ve already paid for my A, now give it to me, or I’m going to go to your boss and try to get you fired or at least embarrassed. And my parents are going to back me up.” Ironically, when I’ve taught at lesser-name schools, sure there are goof-offs who just want enough to pass and get a degree, because they figure that the value added between a C and a B or a B and an A is not going to be that much anyway. But there are others who are just genuinely glad that someone tries to do a decent job of teaching them (at least in my classes; I’ve seen a lot of professors who just turn the grist and give cookie cutter multiple-choice exams), and I don’t get into so many discussions of “Why did you give me a B+, I want an A (or why did you give me an A-, I want an A),” as I did when I was at bigger name schools. With quantitative classes, it’s easier, because you have right and wrong answers and you can show the curve and say where someone fell on it. For classes that involve qualitative analysis, it’s actually a heck of a lot harder to get across why one analysis is better than another, and that having “an explanation” does not mean one has “the explanation” for something.

Well, my other comment was supposed to be a joke. It seems, though, that you might have mischaracterized students at expensive universities. From my experience, among students of the highest tier of universities, the thought that they have “paid for” their education in monetary terms is far from anyone’s mind. Sure, some student act as if they are entitled to special treatment. However, this is generally because they have an overstated sense of their own talent, since they managed to get into that school in the first place. The idea that their success was contingent on their families’ money is the last thing that anyone wants to believe (even if it might be true in some cases). For the most part, however, this attitude tends to mellow out soon after school starts. The fact is, it’s very easy to be humbled when you are thrown into a population of 1600/valedictorian/star athlete/chess champions. There are, of course, some people who continue to be anal about things like grades, and I can understand how this can be annoying to TAs and faculty members. These people are, however, a visible minority, and are reviled even among their student peers.

You’re right. Most students are actually pretty reasonable about things. But one’s time as an instructor is way disproportionately taken up by those one or two students each class that try this, so it can be easy to forget sometimes that most students are pleasant and reasonable. There was a great movie called “The Emperors Club” with Kevin Kline which captured the feeling well, of how one can actually be pretty successful as a teacher, but feel like you are a failure because of one or two students who either make your life miserable, or who you realize don’t deserve the effort you are putting in. And yes, you’re right that I’ve probably mischaracterized the “I’ve paid for my A,” attitude. It’s just that that is what those complaints feel like on the other end. You are correct that what is probably happening is that they are used to being the star in a smaller pond and can’t figure out why they aren’t still the star after being thrown into the bin with other star students, and thus figure that the prof must be out to get them and very unfair. Parents also get dragged into the mix because their kiddie suddenly sees their grades fall and they can’t tell why. Quick… get that guy fired, because Jr. needs to go to medical/law/business school, and might not get into an IB job with a grade like that. So, yes, I’ll agree that “I paid for my A” is probably not really in their minds, but it sure is what it feels like on the other end, particularly when they threaten to go to deans and presidents of the university as if those people’s job is customer service. Ironically, with universities getting over leveraged on their facilities and construction, deans and presidents increasingly need to act in that very way (as customer service agents).

Narcissism + OCD = crazed crusade

I guess I should also add that there are some people whose career goals require them to be anal about grades or other things. Pre-med people are a good example. The prerequisites to getting into medical school are top grades + MCAT + volunteer experience. So, there are a bunch of people who are obsessive about grades, do volunteer activities solely for resume purposes, and spend the rest of their time studying for the MCAT. These characteristics can make the people unpleasant to be around. Now, I’m not sure if I can blame them for being like this. They are doing this because the results are important to their lives, not because they are naturally narcissists or OCD. These people are unlikely to demand the resignation of professors who offend them, but are likely to harass TAs or lecturers like bchadwick for better grades. I would not necessarily want to spend time around these people, but I can appreciate that they exist for more complex reasons than “they are bitches”.

NYU does seem to get itself into the media a lot. Not sure why. Bchadwick is right about making waves and demanding to get paid. These days to become a millionaire all you have to do is do something outrageous and have one of your friends put it on you tube. There will be people that love and hate you, but you’ll get paid all the same. Examples: 1. You know Rebecca Black. 2. Do you remember this South Asian chick from NYU on the subway saying, “Do you know how well I educated I am?” She fought like Hell to get it off of youtube just so that she could put up a copy of it and get the profit from it. Nice. 3. The “don’t touch my junk” Anti-TSA guy. He knew he was going to film himself saying this. You wanna bet he made a ton of money from it? He’s still making money. Honestly, say something outrageous + youtube = $