Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Columbia University

My Class Action Suit

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Att:  Class Action Suit Proposed Against Several Prominent Universities by "Citizen of the Month"

This is Nobel Prize time, an exciting time for writers, intellectuals, and peacemakers.  But there is a dark underbelly to all these prizes.   Just as every Hollywood producer wanted to suck up to Scarlett Johansen after "Lost in Translation," universities want to claim every Nobel laureate as their own. 

As reported in the Los Angeles Times by Karen Kaplan:

The University of Chicago lays claim to an astonishing 78 Nobel laureates — the most of any institution in the United States and second in the world only to England’s University of Cambridge.

Renowned physicists Hans Bethe and Werner Heisenberg and economics guru Paul A. Samuelson are all counted among Chicago’s Nobel brethren.

Wait a minute.

Didn’t Bethe spend virtually his entire career at Cornell University? Isn’t Samuelson considered the heart and soul of MIT economics? Did Heisenberg even spend more than a few months in Chicago?

"I think the University of Chicago counts everyone who ever walked through there," said Herbert Kroemer, a UC Santa Barbara professor who shared the Nobel Prize for physics in 2000.

Counting Nobel Prizes is the ultimate academic sport. It is a no-holds-barred exercise in selective memory and fuzzy math.

Universities that normally pride themselves on academic virtues and scholastic precision can find themselves grasping for any plausible thread of affiliation with those anointed by Stockholm.

When I was a fresh-faced high school student at Jamaica High School staying up all night studying for my SAT, I met with several local college recruiters.  One of them was an alumnus of Columbia University.  As I met with him in his wood-grained law office, he told me why I should attend Columbia College:  the core curriculum of "Great Books," the cultural advantages of Manhattan, the hot freshman women, and most importantly, the 73 Nobel Laureates connected with the university. 

My "age of innocence" was short-lived.  While I was at Columbia, I never had one class with any Nobel Laureates.  Granted I skipped half my classes or wasted my time taking Latin just because Deborah Goldblatt from down the hall was taking it and I thought it would impress her enough to go to bed with me.  But maybe if I had the Nobel laureate professors I was promised, I would have focused more on my studies rather than my "amor" and "cupido" for Deborah Goldblatt. 

For years, I’ve kept my no-Nobel Prize education a secret from everyone I’ve met.  Now, the truth must come out, especially after I have learned that my alma mater considered a Nobel Laureate their own even if he just happened to use their toilet one night.

Luckily, I did take a "Introduction to Law" class at Columbia.  So, I know all about "false-advertising" and "class-action suits."

According to the article: 

Many universities are quick to claim Nobel laureates as their own, even if the laureates’ association with the institution was fleeting.

As of Oct. 9. Different universities often claim the same laureates.  

Here are the universities claiming the largest number of Nobel Prizes:

1. Cambridge University, England: 81

2. University of Chicago: 78

3. Columbia University: 73

4. MIT: 60

5. Oxford University, England: 47

6. Harvard University: 42

7. Caltech: 32

8. Johns Hopkins University: 31

9. Cornell University: 30

10. Princeton: 29

Alumni of these institutions — join me in this legal suit.  Most of us spent from 60-80 thousand dollars for an education based on lies, false promises and blatant misinformation.  We need to demand our MONEY BACK.

Of course, as the prime instigator and lead counsel of this lawsuit, I will retain 80% of all money awarded, as is typical in these class-action suits. 

I may not have had any Nobel laureates for teachers, but I ain’t stupid.

Majoring in Trash

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(via thisisbroken.com)

Ah, youth.  Wasn’t it only yesterday I too was trashing the steps in front of Columbia University’s Low Library after the senior class’s "annual drinkathon."  Now I drink red wine because it can help lower my cholesterol.  How sad. 

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