Jefe's House

Tag: college teaching

Life at South Park Elementary

by on Jul.30, 2015, under Film/TV, The Sixth Boro

mmkayAn actual email from an actual college student, and my actual response…

From: Student

To:  Jeffrey Stanley

Here is my week 5 Homework. Unfortunately my roommate caught some sort of stomach bug at a party over the weekend and I just got it passed to me yesterday, and I was laying on my couch watching South Park and eating soup and forgot about all schoolwork until the episode where the kids write “Scrotty McBooogerballs” came on and I had a personal reflection on things that I had written myself, and remembered that I needed to send you my treatment for my final project as well as my other homework.

From: Jeffrey Stanley

To: Student

Not mmkay.

a) I need a doctor’s excuse

b) there’s no homework attached here

Ironically I was also sitting watching South Park tonight and I enjoyed it up until the part where Kenny got killed, which made me think of your final grade.

Jeff

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The First Signs of 75% of Psychiatric Disorders Appear by the Age of 24

by on Jan.11, 2011, under The Press

For the updated version of this post click  here, 10/2/15. Below is the old version from 2011.

Arizona Shooting: Treating Mental Illness Before it Kills

Let’s Stop It Before It Claims Lives

by Dr. Harold Koplewicz, President, the Child Mind Institute

“In the mass shooting in Arizona Saturday there were heroes who prevented even more bloodshed…But there are others in this story who could have, and I believe would have, been heroes if they had the knowledge and tools they needed to stop Jared Loughner’s descent into mental illness.

“It’s heartbreaking to read the accounts of college students and professors who noticed Loughner’s bizarre and frightening behavior, shared their fears with others, but didn’t see a way to get Loughner effective help…It’s terrible to imagine a student actually sitting by the door of her classroom because she was so afraid of another obviously mentally ill student — and outrageous that it took more than a single day to resolve the situation. In fact, it took three or four weeks before her concerned professor, and others who had Loughner in their classes, were able to have him removed…What his professors didn’t do is acknowledge that he was a risk to both himself and others, and call the police.

“Schizophrenia, if that’s what this is — or any of the other psychiatric disorders that can lead to psychosis — doesn’t develop overnight. There are warning signs, and those signs didn’t prompt the intervention they should have. ” FULL STORY AT CHILD MIND INSTITUTE>>

But alas, according to the New York Times (see below) the fuzz did visit Loughner’s home, but they can only do so much until a person commits a crime. Cops can’t arrest someone because they read Nietzsche or went to a lame party and decided they’d rather sit alone and read a dictionary, and drop them off at the psych center.  (And I hate when the media in this country do this; ‘he read books so he must be crazy.’  Yes, this guy is a maniac but are they suggesting that reading made him crazy?  Or are they suggesting that he was crazy, therefore he read books? Either way it’s a silly message to send our kids. The Clinton administration did the same thing after Columbine; the Dept. of Ed. sent out a guidebook for teachers to help them spot troubled students, and one of the warning signs was students who spend an inordinate amount of time in the library reading books!   Remember when studiousness and staying out of trouble was a good thing? Now it makes you odd, and dangerous.  I guess if you’re a violent bully on a daily basis then you’re normal.  I’m only saying, look elsewhere for the root of evil or of psychosis. Thankfully there are organizations like the above-mentioned Child Mind Institute that make some sense.)

Regarding Loughner and the fuzz, couldn’t the cops (including the campus cops who were extremely aware of his frightening classroom behavior) have gone to a next of kin, as in Loughner’s mom or dad, to strongly recommend that they have Loughner forcibly committed? Loughner wasn’t just reading intellectual books. He was acting dangerous and seemed to enjoy, and gain a sense of power from, making people afraid of him, like his classmates, former friends, and neighbors.

And now the Times article:

Police Say They Visited Tucson Suspect’s Home Even Before Rampage

By Jo Becker, Kirk Johnson and Serge F. Kovaleski; nytimes.com

“The police were sent to the home where Jared L. Loughner lived with his family on more than one occasion before the attack here on Saturday…The news of police involvement with the Loughners suggests that county sheriff’s deputies were at least familiar with the family, even if the reason for their visits was unclear as of Tuesday night.

“The account by Mr. Loughner’s friend added some details to the emerging portrait of the suspect and his family. ‘He was a nihilist and loves causing chaos…he was sick in the head,’ said Zane Gutierrez, 21… [Loughner] talked about reading Friedrich Nietzsche’s book The Will To Power and embraced ideas about the corrosive, destructive effects of nihilism — a belief in nothing.

“He added that Mr. Loughner ‘used the word hollow to describe how fake the real world was to him.’ …He also said that Mr. Loughner had increasing trouble interacting in social settings — during one party, for instance, Mr. Loughner retreated upstairs alone to a room and was found reading a dictionary.

“After his arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia in 2007, Mr. Loughner was ordered to attend a diversion program run by the county attorney’s office…But the program is primarily educational, focused on ‘the dangers of drugs and the dangers of substance abuse,’ rather than the kind of in-depth counseling that friends, including Mr. Gutierrez, strongly felt that Mr. Loughner needed.

“‘It got worse over time,’ Mr. Gutierrez said. He said he stopped talking to Mr. Loughner last March, when their interactions grew increasingly unpredictable and troubling….’He started to get really paranoid.’” FULL STORY AT NYTIMES.COM>>

Another update: As I predicted, there were plenty of other symptoms besides what books he read; in fact, there was an avalanche of warning signs right under everyone’s noses, even right under his family’s noses, yet they decided not to have him committed. Why? Why on earth not?  FULL STORY AT NYTIMES.COM>>

[image by me; baby head sculpture by Ron Mueck, Boston Museum of Fine Arts]

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