Re: Munchausen by internet

1

I guess this is the place to tell everybody I have TERMINAL POOPING.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:27 PM
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You mean it comes out your end?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:29 PM
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How did you know?! Finally a community for support. Also, my nose is bald.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:30 PM
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Maybe I should stop mucking up this potential thread about a couple of fascinating, profoundly fucked up articles with stupid jokes, eh?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:30 PM
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5

Maciej Cegłowski is a fantastic writer.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:30 PM
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6

I've been experiencing astonishing weight fluctuations over the past five years.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:32 PM
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4: Nothing posted at night is ever taken seriously. Enjoy the hour.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:32 PM
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Blume just said she'd put her finger in my eye. Does anybody else have that medical problem?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:38 PM
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9

I'm sure it happened before Kaycee Nicole, but I was around for MetaFilter playing Scooby Gang on that. The thing that was so interesting to me, and it plays out constantly in all kinds of depressing ways for things more important than a sad woman trolling kindly people, is that initially people got really angry at the idea that people cast aspersions on the pain that they had been helping their friend through. Nobody wants to believe that they're the sucker.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:38 PM
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Maciej Cegłowski is a fantastic writer.

Wow, you're not kidding. I've never read anything by him before, but the linked post was fantastic. Do you have recommendations for especially good pieces?


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:39 PM
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10 - His piece on scurvy is maybe the best non-memoir-y thing I've ever read on a blog.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:40 PM
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Oh my god, vw, are you serious? Every post is a gem. The burrito tunnel and "Argentina On Two Steaks A Day" might be the funniest two, but no, who can choose?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:41 PM
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I'm somewhat sure that a couple or smalltime foster-adoption bloggers are MBI but not enough to try to figure out whether they're real and have drama all the time or fictional for some reason. I probably shouldn't mention this because people will want to know who I'm talking about, but I'm curious whether other blogging subcultures have theirs.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:43 PM
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11: thanks.

12: what can I say? I'm old and out of touch. And I limp.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:46 PM
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Ah, the burrito tunnel... If only it were real...


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:47 PM
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I really like On Top of the World; Mission: Burfjord; Białowieża Forest, and the two Tweety mentioned, and, in fact, several others. I see there are two new ones I haven't read!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:49 PM
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Oh yes all the ones nosflow mentioned are great as well.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:51 PM
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And I Spy! Gaah all so good.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:53 PM
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19

Is this person, whose name is difficult to spell, a professional writer, paid to write professionally? Because if not, I will, as the VERY least I can to do to right this wrong, find and murder Ross Douthat tomorrow.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:05 PM
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9: I have been in a situation where somebody I was quite close to was lying to me about things that were of such magnitude that it literally had never occured to me that they were things that people would lie about -- really emotionally fundamental things about who they were -- and man that is a weird, dislocating feeling. You just get unclipped from the reality that you thought you existed in. It is no fun at all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:05 PM
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21

I mean, I might do that anyway, though just for fun rather than as a subtle form of protest.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:06 PM
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19: no, he's a programmer.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:06 PM
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Wasn't there a post (on here? I think? Heebie?) a while back (like, years) about a pseudo-mom with a pseudo-dead-baby? Or maybe a pseudo-emergency-abortion?

Maybe I dreamt it. Most of my dreams are about wire fraud and internet hoaxes.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:06 PM
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He created a del.icio.us competitor (pinboard), built a lot of cool stuff for Yahoo, and made the bedbug registry.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:07 PM
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Add an r to 20.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:09 PM
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whose name is difficult to spell Polish.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:13 PM
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I feel like at one point I knew a whole bunch of people named Maciej and now I don't think I know any.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:15 PM
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28

For the avoidance of doubt, the automobile incident mentioned in the other thread actually occurred. I would put an image of our mad careering tracks in the snow up on the Big Box of Fateses if not for fear of upsetting the woman you reprobates call Lunchy.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:15 PM
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26: my maternal grandfather, Januk Festinger, lived out the war in hiding in Warsaw, with his brother-in-law, Kazimirez Adasciewicz. And yes, this is all a long way of calling you an antisemite.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:20 PM
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I was really disappointed to learn that you could sort of get by pronouncing "Maciej" as a superposition of, essentially, Matthew and Che. Seems like it should be more difficult.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:23 PM
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19: no, he's a programmer.

However, as a student he studied studio art and was formerly an oil painter.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:25 PM
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32

20: this happened to me as well. I suppose it's something that I've repressed, as I haven't thought about it, even in passing, for years -- much like the case of one of my ostensible best friends from childhood who, trying to curry favor with my then-ex-girlfriend (now my wife) as a way of getting into her best friend's pants, told a series of insanely involved and just-plain-insane lies about me that took several years and several third parties to clear up. That was fun, too.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:25 PM
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33

Does anyone fake being a grad student online for sympathy?


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:25 PM
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34

I found out earlier this year that last year (or maybe two years ago?) a student at my school successfully faked being deaf for some long amount of time, getting interpreters and never talking* and everything. Until she was taken to the ER** and when the dorm supervisor or whoever called her parents and said "don't worry about your daughter, we are making sure there is an interpreter with her at all times and she is getting excellent care" the parents were all "what? interpreter? hm, now?" and then subsequently left the school***.

*or else she faked a deaf voice. Reports vary.
**for something totally unrelated. Maybe. All parts of this story are sort of suspect.
***unclear, to me, if she was kicked out or put on mental health leave or what.


Posted by: V. Untidily | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:27 PM
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I probably should have added to 29 that I grew up speaking a bit of Polish, at least when I visited my grandparents, but I was more intent on working the my-forebears-survived-the-Holocaust-in-hiding angle.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:28 PM
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36

I had a friend as a kid who lied all the time, mainly about things that were inconsequential. She also stole stuff. She totally went off the rails for awhile. Now appears to have her life back on track, but I would be a little leery of actually being back in her life in a close way. I guess that's more garden variety borderline-personality disorder, or whatever.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:28 PM
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28: you could put it on the flickr pool.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:29 PM
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28: How do we know you're not suffering from Lunchausen syndrome?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:32 PM
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34: I suppose that's no more insane than the links in the OP (and I guess maybe not more insane than some of the things referred to in 20, thinking back) but holy cow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:37 PM
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40

"Oh, so that child that you told us was a crack baby that you adopted is actually your biological daughter? Ha ha that sure puts the last three years in a different light."


Posted by: Master... bird | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:39 PM
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To me, the weirdest part of the story in 34 is how the school did not have any sort of system set up ahead of time where they asked students to provide doctor's notes or something in order to get disability accommodations.

(Well, maybe not the weirdest. But a contributing weird aspect, definitely).


Posted by: V. Untidily | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:43 PM
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Have I ever told the story of my friend's sister, a somewhat prominent newscaster in a relatively sparsely populated northeastern state, who became romantically involved, via e-mail, with a person claiming to be the bassist in the B/are N/aked L/adies? My friend, upon becoming alarmed that her sister was planning to jet off to Toronto to meet her internet lover (whom she had never met in person and thus could not verify was who he claimed to be), recalled that I had once worked at the agency that represented The BNL. She called me, frantic, and asked for help. I called the band's manager, explained the situation, learned that the bassist for the band was at the time somewhere that wasn't Toronto [I forget where, but maybe Scotland? or Norway?], and called my friend back. My friend persuaded her sister not to go to the airport, presumably saving her from being chopped into little bits or perhaps sold into one of those Canadian slavery rings one hears so much about, and that was that. The only problem was that my friend's sister was livid with my friend, and thus my friend stopped speaking to me for many years. We've since reconnected, though, so all's well.

I was fascinated by this at the time because a) what was the play? and b) it seemed really smart to me to claim to be the bassist from The BNL, because i) that person isn't so famous as to arouse suspicion that his identity might be stolen for such an odd and creepy ruse and ii) that people would be unable to do much by way of due diligence, at least at that time, which was a time when the interent was still relatively young. He (the bassist) was very tall, though.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:44 PM
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43

According to some of the interpreters, some (other) of the interpreters were suspicious about the whole thing but didn't really know what to do about it.


Posted by: V. Untidily | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:45 PM
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44

41: Maybe they figured that the first loud, sudden noise would give the game away if anybody was crazy enough to try that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:47 PM
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45

"Sneak in an airhorn" is inappropriately glib, yeah?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:48 PM
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46

Well that was a weird pwn.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:48 PM
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47

42.last: we used to try and convince people that this one dude we knew was oboist for the sex pistols. That didn't really work.

On the other hand I once got into a party in Miami following behind my friend who claimed to be the DJ's keyboard player, so you never know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:49 PM
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48

46: I could hear you typing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:51 PM
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49

I can't decide if I think "Münchausen by internet" makes sense to me as a version of regular Münchausen syndrome. Maybe because it seems so much lazier. ANYONE could just make up a bunch of symptoms and talk about them using words. Faking it in real life seems so much more time-consuming and so much crazier.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:51 PM
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50

49: people usually talk about it as fairly distinct, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:55 PM
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51

ANYONE could just make up a bunch of symptoms and talk about them using words.

But for one balding man in a basement to create a cast of tens continually carrying on an online conversation for years-- that takes dedication.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:56 PM
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Do people usually talk about it?

I have no idea, I'm just guessing based on the names that they're somehow related to each other in someone's opinion.

I mean they seem related to me, too. Just, like, one is so much more hardcore than the other. "By internet" should be "beginner level" or something.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 9:58 PM
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53

52: it was interesting in the idlewords piece the way it seemed to sort of escalate from one to the other.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:01 PM
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54

Did it? I read that a while ago- I thought it turned out she had been sort of spoofing her mom (and maybe her shrink?) but not actually being admitted to any hospitals for anything.

My main source of information about this topic is an episode of House, so it's possible that I have some inaccurate ideas about the technical terms involved.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:03 PM
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Also I'm not sure I know how to use the word "spoof" in a sentence. The usage in 54 doesn't seem quite right, now.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:04 PM
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I would put an image of our mad careering tracks in the snow up on the Big Box of Fateses if not for fear of upsetting the woman you reprobates call Lunchy.

It's wonderfully in character that you would decline to tell her about the incident.

(Also, glad to hear you're okay. I slipped on an icy sidewalk today myself, which was mostly just embarrassing rather than terrifying. The hand that took some of the impact does still hurt, but not too bad.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:05 PM
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The hand that took some of the impact does still hurt

As long as you got up off the ground without using that hand. Otherwise you're going to die.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:07 PM
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Anyway I thought (per House) that actual Munchausen's involved poisoning yourself or faking symptoms to make doctors and nurses pay attention to you because you don't have any other friends. Whereas elaborately faking hospital visits to make your friends feel sorry for you is obviously related somehow but not quite in the same league.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:07 PM
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As long as you got up off the ground without using that hand. Otherwise you're going to die.

Heh.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:08 PM
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Anyway I thought (per House) that actual Munchausen's involved poisoning yourself or faking symptoms to make doctors and nurses pay attention to you

Those poor doctors, they probably thought it was lupus. Or sarcoidosis.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:09 PM
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I think calling this behavior "Munchausen's by internet" is mostly just a play on "Munchausen's by proxy," isn't it?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:11 PM
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yeah, I'm sure. I still think it's a weak second (third, I guess) as far as craziness.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:13 PM
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63

||

I've declined like five or six invitations to travel places this semester so far. Did you know you can say "no" to people? And they're more or less okay with it? And then you don't have to spend your whole life on airplanes? This is relevatory.

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:23 PM
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One time I made myself vomit by listening to "More than this" until I was taken to the ER. Munchausen's by Roxy isn't a pretty thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:23 PM
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Somebody's got a touch of the Punchausen's.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:24 PM
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34. Wow. And yes I am so tempted to repeat this at work. But that would not be a good idea. There are people with whom I am work-frenemies who would start demanding audiologist reports before getting people interpreters (or CART, etc.). That would run contra to other policy (that they'd love to run contra to).


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:38 PM
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I hadn't realized until this post that Munchausen's is specifically about medical conditions.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 10:57 PM
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I just read the second link. It addresses some of what EM was saying about MbI being different, and much more common, than regular Munchausen's. Also, the fakers in that link make the one in the first link look like a genius.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 11:54 PM
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For the avoidance of doubt, the automobile incident mentioned in the other thread actually occurred.

Flip is probably the person here I would least suspect of making shit up to draw attention to himself, which probably means he does it all the time. I'm a terrible judge of character.

Flip, I endorse, at second hand, your recommendation of Volvo products. A friend once managed to turn a Landrover Discovery on its roof, which is easier said than done. She and all her family have driven nothing but Volvos since, and swear by them.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 2:43 AM
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Maciej Cegłowski is a fantastic writer.

wow wow wow is he ever. How do professional writers survive in a world where people like him write for free? (I know, they really don't any more).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 3:00 AM
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They write about things they don't choose, and that they aren't allowed to write fantastically about, is my main impression.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 3:22 AM
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70 is absolutely right - he updates so infrequently that I hadn't checked him in six months and now, gosh, three new articles.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 3:36 AM
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Professional writers survive because they write a lot more than he does - he's brilliant, but could he be predictably brilliant if he had to turn out, say, two pieces like that every week?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 3:39 AM
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Even if you can be predictably very good, i don't think that's enough. Giovanni Tiso turns out one top notch bit of writing every week. But he makes his living translating.

You need to write about things people with money want written about.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 3:46 AM
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Awake at 4:30! And not insomnia. Just good old too much work.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 3:49 AM
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Per this, I really am not going to have a chance to post anything for most of the day, if at all. There's a queue of posts that I'm looking forward to, but woe is me and I'm really tired and today sucks and is totally packed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 4:46 AM
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Sigh. I guess we'll have to make do with just four active threads.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 4:53 AM
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There is no conceivable I could get up at 4.30 to do stuff and then go through a normal day. From about 11 am onwards the day would be almost entirely slump.
I have enough trouble getting up at 7.30.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 4:55 AM
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On the same theme, my wife's shop was broken into last night. So I was there all night, home about 6:30am. Slept for 1 hour and then up to go to work. Followed by a 2 hour technical architecture meeting. I may have to weep quietly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 5:33 AM
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Ugg. Hope she can get it re-opened quickly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 6:25 AM
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It's fine. The idiot who did it has already been arrested, and managed to bleed all over the shop. So the SOCOs have his DNA, and the CCTV has him in the act. There's a lot of broken glass and some blood, but they opened as normal this morning.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 6:29 AM
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Normally they have to supply the blood and broken glass themselves? Curious decor style for a fashion shop.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 8:18 AM
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Goth fashion shop?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 8:22 AM
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84

Back to the OP, Slate has an article up right now talking about (among other people) Amanda Ba/ggs, who it appears has been faking autism for a decade mostly on the internet, but also appearing on CNN. More detailed explanation here. Really bizarre.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 8:41 AM
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That article also highlights some of the things I was talking about briefly, several threads ago, in terms of material consequences of the reconceptualization of autism as a "spectrum disorder."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 9:05 AM
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The distinction between malingering and factitious illness is interesting.

Also I have read/encountered Amanda's writing a lot of times before; that's a very weird story.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 9:35 AM
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84: OMG. That's really disturbing. Ballastexistenz was a really interesting blog. I think I had quoted it on mine quite a few times. NOTHING IS REAL.

Finally finished the Manti Te'o thing. Definitely downlow, right?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 9:36 AM
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If he just needed to end it, why didn't he say she broke up with him? The parade of tragedies is either hard to explain as other than an attempt to get attention.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 9:45 AM
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Eh. The only reason to think 'definitely' there is that the whole story is too weird without some kind of motive like that. To the extent that the cultural background Te'o is from bears much of any resemblance to my limited knowledge of Samoa, I think there are possible other explanations for that much weirdness that we haven't thought of in detail.

Not that downlow isn't a significant possibility -- it is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 9:45 AM
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One of the things I was looking at had a picture of Amanda as a teenager, and she looks familiar. I wonder if we were at the same C/T/Y site.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 10:02 AM
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Ballastexistenz was a really interesting blog.

I was always kind of skeptical that a completely nonverbal person could write so well.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 10:12 AM
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God, the Amanda thing really bugs me. I got from her what I thought was an important insight about ability--that it isn't static, and inabilities can shift according to context, i.e. in a place where I feel supported and comfortable I might be able to concentrate or initiate thoughts or actions that in other contexts seem impossible for me. I thought about that a lot when I had a student with autism in a class; she was very disruptive and had strong outbursts of anger or tears. It was nearly impossible for her to follow the conversation, and by the end of class she'd be covered in weepy mucus about half the time, having bawled through the whole class period. I talked to deans, met with her frequently, and, keeping Amanda's writing in mind, tried really hard to create an environment in which she could concentrate, follow the discussion, participate meaningfully, etc. It was really hard, and I have no training, and other professors were telling me to just force her to drop the class (which I didn't want to do because she is pretty brilliant and, when able to contribute, she said some shit that totally changed the conversation for the better). Anyway, it really was Amanda's blog that made me think about ways to integrate and facilitate this student's perspective. I suppose in the long run it was good to have thought about those things, but I do not feel good that I am thinking about those things because of a fraud.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 10:13 AM
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Like, obviously, the shifting ability thing was written as a defense of the fact that sometimes people observe her talking and interacting and other times she can't make words. I guess it should have been suspicious that she videotaped herself unable to boil water. There is a level of self-consciousness there and sense of humor that someone unable to boil water might not have. I don't fucking know.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 10:15 AM
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Well, you weren't thinking about them because of a fraud only. You were thinking about them because of your student.

I don't think most of the stuff Amanda said about autism and abilities was false, even if it wasn't actually based on her own experience.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 10:16 AM
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an important insight about ability--that it isn't static, and inabilities can shift according to context

This is true about many people, even if it isn't true about Amanda.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 10:17 AM
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49: ANYONE could just make up a bunch of symptoms and talk about them using words.

But to be believable, they'd have to attend HUMAN MEDICAL CLASSES.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 10:24 AM
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94, 95: Word. And I think I know it from my own experience, too. I think she articulated it really well, and I used examples from her when talking to colleagues who told me that autistic people shouldn't be in college anyway, and that she was ruining the experience for everyone else, etc. College professors can be almost uniquely shitty about ability, perhaps because the older ones (especially) have often spent most of their lives in educational environments that are considered "excellent" because of the exclusion of everyone who isn't perfect at everything. (Having taught at places where learning and cognitive disorders are not necessarily dealbreakers for admission, I'm pretty shocked at how freely people at elite colleges are willing to turn their noses up at the thought of working with students who might struggle because of an ability difference.)


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 10:30 AM
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other professors were telling me to just force her to drop the class

Also this is illegal.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 10:41 AM
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98: I was fairly sure that's true! But lots of illegal things happened at Private Religious College, and they seemed to get away with it. (I was also forced to change a failing grade for plagiarism, on the heavily-implied threat of losing my job.)


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 10:50 AM
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I don't do public accommodation disability law (some employment disability law), but there's got to be a reasonableness standard -- that is, if she were unable to prevent herself from seriously disrupting the class, I'm pretty sure it would not have been illegal to require her to drop it. While it sounds as if she wasn't over that line, it also sounds as if it was pretty close -- having someone consistently weeping throughout class had to have been at least somewhat disruptive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 10:54 AM
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Kicking students out of classes for being disruptive, yes. Kicking them out for being autistic (after/while refusing to provide accommodations), no.

Not that it doesn't happen, I mean. Also there are lots of ways to force students to drop classes without technically forcing them. Still opens you up to lawsuits.

I mean I'm not a lawyer so whatever. But my understanding of the situation is that you can't, if you're a college, admit a student and then only let them take a subset of course offerings. And you can't, if you're a professor, just refuse to have a disabled student in your class because you don't want to change the way you teach.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 11:29 AM
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I thought the standard is you have to offer a reasonable accommodation, which sounds like exactly what AWB did. Just telling her to drop the class would be illegal. Not at all my area of expertise, though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 11:36 AM
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Right, but if she's disruptive because she's autistic, and there's no (not unduly burdensome) accommodation that will resolve the disruption, there's no bar on keeping her out of the class for that reason.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 11:38 AM
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reasonable accommodation

This. And every place I've ever worked has had an office, or at least an officer, devoted to ADA compliance, broadly defined. So when in doubt -- at least a couple of times in the last decade -- I've called someone in that office.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 11:42 AM
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In my somewhat limited experience, the people who work with students with disabilities are among the most effective and passionate administrators on any campus. They genuinely care about the intersection of access and education.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 11:44 AM
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This issue was covered for us in a mandatory campus wide meeting. The message we got was the same as what everyone else has been saying: you can kick students out for being disruptive, but you can't kick them out just for being mentally ill. Students can also be banned from campus for being disruptive, but only for a semester or two. Since we are the educators of last resort, people removed from campus for being disruptive will wind up coming back through our doors as they reintegrate into society. I imagine this applies even to the guy who set fire to half the school a few years back.

I don't think AWB's student would count as disruptive on the standards we were given. The focus there was much more on threatening behavior.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 11:54 AM
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among the most effective and passionate administrators on any campus.

I can't tell if that's an actual compliment or not.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 11:54 AM
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Speaking of disabilities offices (which I have also had excellent experiences with, both from the teaching side and when I broke my writing hand in college), it's remarkable how many more students have accommodations in the ivies than at state schools. It was over 10% at the ivy I taught at, and I'm now up to 120 students between two state schools with a total of one with accommodations.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 11:59 AM
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What's your sense of the bullshit level at the Ivies? That is, is the 10% reflecting "Thank goodness everyone who actually needs an accommodation is getting one, it should be like this everyplace" or "Huh. Little Chip Threesticks needs extra time finishing his tests because being fonder of lacrosse than studying counts as a learning disability if you know the right doctor."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 12:11 PM
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there's no (not unduly burdensome) accommodation that will resolve the disruption

You'd have to work pretty hard at accommodating before this claim would hold any water

every place I've ever worked has had an office, or at least an officer, devoted to ADA compliance

Bizarrely and problematically, my current school has no such entity.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 12:49 PM
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I've had the same experience as 108 at other elite schools, and I'd have to say that the difference is almost entirely attributable to bullshit. The rich kids know how to work the system.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 12:50 PM
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Bizarrely and problematically, my current school has no such entity.

Without knowing where you are now, I'm surprised but not stunned. Still, that sucks.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 12:52 PM
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Around 11 percent of undergrads overall report having disabilities*. I'm sure there are some fakers out there, and Ivies may get more fakers than other schools, but I'm resistant to the professorial urge to declare bullshit all the time. In my experience there's way more refusal/reluctance to accommodate real needs than there is advantage being taken of the system.

*Not all disabilities require accommodation in any or all classes.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 12:59 PM
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We have a "Student Academic Support Services" office. This is where I go to schedule interpreters.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 1:00 PM
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113: At Last Chance Community College, there are a *lot* of people who need all kinds of help and are unwilling to ask for it. At Stuffwhitepeople Like University, there were a lot of perfectly normal kids with diagnoses of ADHD that let them get time and a half on tests, which they never needed, because they were very good little test takers to begin with. It wasn't until I came to LCCC that I saw people who actually needed time and a half on tests. We also see people here who need a quiet testing environment, not for ADHD, but for PTSD.

The problem of not getting help to people who need it is obviously much more serious than the problem of people getting help who don't really need it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 1:07 PM
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The fact that a student didn't need time-and-a-half on a particular exam (or in a particular class) doesn't mean they don't have a disability, or that they don't need time-and-a-half on any exam ever.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 1:16 PM
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California's WorkAbility IV program is pretty good. It is a dedicated program within schools' career services offices focused on individuals with disabilities. Oddly, I can't find a link for it at Da/vis. It is all over the CSU system. The people I've met from WAIV are very dedicated.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 1:17 PM
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people who work with students with disabilities are among the most effective and passionate administrators on any campus.

I thought it was well established that Parking Services are the most effective administrators on any campus, at least when it comes to issuing fines.

I don't know about passionate.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 1:17 PM
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I don't know about passionate.

That depends on exactly where you car is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 1:24 PM
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118: And still at THE Ohio State University they privatized it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/05/us/ohio-state-gets-483-million-bid-for-parking-lease.html


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 1:28 PM
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That's more than Pittsburgh was getting for it's parking lease for the whole city.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 1:31 PM
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118: Did you go to the U of C?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 1:37 PM
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Chicago's parking was privatized for 75 years for an upfront cost of $1.15 B, no-bid contract, Daley decision on his way out. OSU has about 1% of the population of Chicago.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 1:42 PM
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Right, but quality matters also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 1:44 PM
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@122

No.

Are their Parking Services people passionate?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 1:48 PM
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123: Oh that was evil and scandalous. But the U of C parking enforcement folks do not play. (I think I endowed a scholarship. Maybe a chair.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 1:48 PM
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I don't have a good sense of how much is bullshit, because it's none of my business really. If people come to me with something from the disabilities office that says they get time and a half, I don't care why. I try to write exams that only take 2/3rds of the time anyway. At any rate, there's a continuum. In retrospect maybe I should have gotten an allowance to type during exams, since my essential tremor means writing for an hour makes my hand hurt. I'm still better at taking exams by hand than the average person, but I'd be even better if I could type (who wouldn't!).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 2:13 PM
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I felt like what my grad school advisor had to do for all his test-takers kind of went beyond "reasonable accommodation"-- some of them didn't just need extra time, but had to take the exam at a different time from everyone else, in a room by themselves, with no fixed time limit, so he had to stick around until 10 or 11 PM or whenever they finished.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 2:22 PM
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but I'd be even better if I could type (who wouldn't!).

Me!



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 2:23 PM
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I plan to avoid dealing with this sort of thing this semester by not giving an exam.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 2:25 PM
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127: I guess I was thinking that you'd get a better sense of how much of it was bullshit from the other end, transitioning to a less-accommodated population of students. I was wondering if you'd noticed a percentage of students underperforming your sense of their abilities at a state school, who might not have at a more accommodation-friendly Ivy where they had some accommodation, if you see what I mean. But I don't know if the format of your classes lets you get that sort of sense of individual students.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 2:25 PM
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130: Use a roulette wheel to determine grades! Everybody has an equal chance for an A!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 2:27 PM
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128- In my experience with that kind of scenario, the student takes the test at the disability office during their office hours with a staff member proctoring. Then they deliver the test to me later. I agree that your example is past reasonable, but I don't think it's probably what he "had" to do. (It might be what the students asked him to do, but that's different)


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 2:29 PM
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The Disability Services Office is probably my favorite office on campus. They vet disabilities, decide appropriate accommodations, and provide a facility and supervision so that I don't have to administer 10 different versions of the exam. Requires no thought on my part and appears to be totally fair. Incidence rate is on the order of 1-2% of students, so completely plausible. And if people are worried that someone is getting time and a half that doesn't deserve it, I can say that none of the people who got time and a half on an exam ever got suspiciously high grades in the course. I would cut almost every other administrative department at the University before I'd let Disability Services go.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 2:39 PM
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134: yup. That's been precisely my experience as well. Anytime I've found myself frustrated with a student who has a disability, it's either been because the student was freaking out -- sometimes different in kind but seemingly not in quantity from most other students -- or because I didn't get Student Disability Services in the loop early enough in the term.

I've actually advocated having the UC take an administrative holiday -- for a period of, say, three to five years -- allowing the faculty senate to run the place. If we fuck it up, fine, we'll take a pay cut and go back to the bloat we're currently living with. But if not, the administration goes away forever, and we promise to spend all of the money we'll save on core programming. In all of these plans, I've always excluded SDS and a few other offices that have specialized skill-sets. Yes, I'm nuts.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 3:33 PM
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I've actually advocated having the UC take an administrative holiday -- for a period of, say, three to five years -- allowing the faculty senate to run the place.

But without the administration who would come up with elaborate strategic plans every 3 years that no one pays attention to?

How can universities possibly function with endless strategic plans?


Posted by: Academic | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 3:37 PM
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136 was me.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 3:37 PM
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134 has been my experience as well.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 6:51 PM
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bizzarely, when I was at berkeley I had a student who was legally blind (but could see enough to read text very close to him) and so when I made handouts I'd blow his up 25%, and I tried to use the book or printed material rather than the board to teach from, and give him tests with much larger fonts. since I was an (admittedly high-functioning) drug addict I was a flake and felt I had done much too little for him. then at the end of the term he told me that of all his teachers I had made the most accommodations and he really appreciated it?! at ground zero of disability activism and everything? it was fucked up.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-18-13 4:17 AM
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Agreeing with 134. I particularly like that it is their job to decide whether a particular problem warrants accommodation, for a couple of reasons. First, I wouldn't like the arbitrariness of the decisions if it were up to professors not trained in recognizing disabilities or accommodations. Second, it's got to be easier on the student to have one conversation once, than to have to explain five times every semester an intensely personal issue to strangers.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-18-13 7:15 AM
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Gladwell on Manti Te'o

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8854036/malcolm-gladwell-chuck-klosterman-manti-teo


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 01-18-13 11:27 AM
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