Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Idiots Acting Stupidly Dept.

Har! A Loyola sociology professor's ill-conceived assignment to have students act "outside of societal norms" led to a student's detention and an evaluation at Union Memorial.

A drunkard got home detention and three years' probation for assaulting a flight crew on his way from Arizona to BWI.

7 comments:

John Galt said...

Escape!

danielle said...

As a Loyola College sociology grad, I had to do the same assignment. It wasn't ill-conceived by the professor. It was perhaps overdone by the student, but the reaction by the police proved the point of the exercise.

The Cybrarian said...

What exactly was that assignment?

The Cybrarian said...

The professor did ask students to "reach outside of societal norms," right? Thinking of the college students I've taught before and the incredibly bad judgment I've seen from some of them (not most of them, but there's a few in every crowd), the assignment sounds at the very least ill-conceived, at worst downright negligent. They're college students, of course they're going to overdo it.

danielle said...

That professor's been giving that assignment for at least 20 years without such incident (and in this case the student didn't break the law or any college rules.) It's essentially a small "breaching experiment". Such experiments uncover "invisible social dictates that help maintain order but go largely unnoticed until they are violated." Such exercises have long been done in social science, albeit these students are not professional social scientists. However, the assignment is discussed in detail in class; students are not let loose without guidance.

The Cybrarian said...

Thanks for the link Danielle-- I see "Borat" in a whole new way...
On second thought, acting wacky on campus is probably a whole lot safer than asking a Baltimore MTA rider for a bus seat!

ps it's your move on Scrabulous!

large marge said...

I had a similar assignment in a sociology course. It's ridiculous to fault the professor as the students are adults and can choose to violate a myriad of norms, from women opening doors for men in public to continously riding an elevator, etc...

I'm curious as to the student's report on his experiment considering how extreme the response was.