Sunday, February 23, 2014

In which Dr. Amelia learns her lesson

So Dr. Amelia has a merry band of freshpersons for a spring course for the first time this semester. And she has be having particular difficulty with the male members of the band. Missing classes, for example having 25% of the class out on a Wednesday, and every last one being a male student. Sleeping in class during a hands-on hamster fur weaving exercise. Just not turning in even the most trivial and easy of assignments.

She asked a colleague what was going on, and got the answer: fraternity pledging. Then she read this article in The Atlantic, and understands a bit more.

She recommends it. The article has her impressed. The fraternities not so much.


  1. I read that article several days ago. Frats seem to get away with a lot of crap, to put it very simply, with a lot of powerful back up.

  2. I'm a former fraternity member, but from an undergrad college that doesn't have national frats or sororities, and I couldn't much relate to the stuff described in the article. Yeah, we did all sorts of dumbass stuff, but we had quite the mother hen of a faculty advisor, and we didn't have out-of-control scenes of that sort.

  3. I trust we'll be seeing blurry versions of the article's graphics here at the water cooler - they do have a certain verisimilitude.

  4. What a great article--I especially loved the way the national organizations send in the "cleaners" after an incident, encouraging the pledges to spill the beans "in their best interests"--then turn around and have their parents' homeowners insurance foot the bill. So glad my son will never join one of them. And it reminded me what a small part of the "experience'--both in terms of the amount of money involved and the fraction of students' minds involved in it--teaching and learning are.