In time for OWS’s 3rd anniversary, Rolling Jubilee just bought $3.85 million worth of student debt from Everest College—and then abolished it. I spoke to some of the group members about why.

In time for OWS’s 3rd anniversary, Rolling Jubilee just bought $3.85 million worth of student debt from Everest College—and then abolished it. I spoke to some of the group members about why.

My colleague Tony Dokoupil and I worked for 5 months investigating a crazy, tawdry tale of academic and visa fraud, blackmail, sexual assault charges, and Internet shape-shifting—a sort of “Catch Me If You Can” of academic fraud…and it’s finally reached the light of day!


This man, Anoop Shankar, was chosen to head up West Virginia University’s spanking new public health dept in 2012. But turns out he basically invented his career out of thin air. He didn’t have a PhD. He didn’t graduate from the Harvard of India. He didn’t write dozens of papers listed on his resume. The guy was doing (and fudging) important studies on how Teflon causes heart disease and how toxicants immunize against rubella. He had gotten $400,000 from the NIH and was requesting more. When WVU discovered this, he quietly resigned, but they haven’t informed the public, freeing up Shankar to simply snag another job at a public university. 

There’s lots of other juicy stuff in there, so I’ll let you actually read the piece.
My colleague Tony Dokoupil and I worked for 5 months investigating a crazy, tawdry tale of academic and visa fraud, blackmail, sexual assault charges, and Internet shape-shifting—a sort of “Catch Me If You Can” of academic fraud…and it’s finally reached the light of day!
This man, Anoop Shankar, was chosen to head up West Virginia University’s spanking new public health dept in 2012. But turns out he basically invented his career out of thin air. He didn’t have a PhD. He didn’t graduate from the Harvard of India. He didn’t write dozens of papers listed on his resume. The guy was doing (and fudging) important studies on how Teflon causes heart disease and how toxicants immunize against rubella. He had gotten $400,000 from the NIH and was requesting more. When WVU discovered this, he quietly resigned, but they haven’t informed the public, freeing up Shankar to simply snag another job at a public university. 
There’s lots of other juicy stuff in there, so I’ll let you actually read the piece.
"Marriage has given me an illusory sense of power. A married woman can flirt with men, tell them her troubles, presume on their friendship, and by the rules they can’t demand that she follow through. If she wants a man (especially a single man) it is not only acceptable, but almost expected, for her to make the first move. In no other situation does she have so much freedom. Furthermore the status marriage confers insulates her somewhat from rejection and humiliation. Whatever another man might think of her or do to her, at least one man has certified her Class A merchandise."

— This was my mother writing in 1969, and this is still so piercingly true. I basically got married by accident, and therefore have always had a certain amount of distance from Being a Wife, but one of the first things I noticed was how that title changes the dynamic with guy friends new and old. On one level it’s a relief—everything is innocent, unless you choose otherwise. But it also signifies a strange, depressing finality, like now that you’re married, you cease to be seen as a sexual, adventurous person. It’s an uncomfortable shift that I wish we could leave by the wayside, like girdles and segregated help-wanted ads.

After writing a piece about Corinthian Colleges going under, I’ve heard from 74 students who told me their advisers said news about the closure/sale is “a rumor,” “a lie,” “gossip,” that the sale “wouldn’t affect” their studies, that they “shouldn’t worry at all,” that “everything will be okay.” I wrote about a few students who are fighting back.
(And since I blatantly forgot to post the first piece, here that is, too!)

After writing a piece about Corinthian Colleges going under, I’ve heard from 74 students who told me their advisers said news about the closure/sale is “a rumor,” “a lie,” “gossip,” that the sale “wouldn’t affect” their studies, that they “shouldn’t worry at all,” that “everything will be okay.” I wrote about a few students who are fighting back.

(And since I blatantly forgot to post the first piece, here that is, too!)

"

"Look, guys, I know what it’s like to love Pocahontas. Obviously she was my favorite Disney princess, because she was most like me. I dressed up like her for Halloween, too! [But] the Disney movie is a myth. I didn’t know she was this overly young child bride who gets kidnapped and taken to England and dies shortly after."

Judging by the kids’ stunned faces, neither did they.

"
"I feel like when we’re together, we’re in a little bubble just floatin’ above the ground. And I know we can’t stay there, but it makes coming back down to earth feel better. What do you call that?" —Jason Stackhouse
99 percent of the time, True Blood is a ridiculous show, but this moment stunned me. We don’t have a word for that person who is so completely impractical—either they live far away, or they’re betraying their significant other, or they’re emotionally stunted, or all three—that they can never quite be an everyday friend or lover, but rather a fixture who weaves in and out of your life as the years go on. They bounce between being a outlet for love, lust, frustration, and hate, but regardless of the drama  you know they’ll always regard you highly, at least as high as that little bubble you two float in together from time to time.

"I feel like when we’re together, we’re in a little bubble just floatin’ above the ground. And I know we can’t stay there, but it makes coming back down to earth feel better. What do you call that?" —Jason Stackhouse

99 percent of the time, True Blood is a ridiculous show, but this moment stunned me. We don’t have a word for that person who is so completely impractical—either they live far away, or they’re betraying their significant other, or they’re emotionally stunted, or all three—that they can never quite be an everyday friend or lover, but rather a fixture who weaves in and out of your life as the years go on. They bounce between being a outlet for love, lust, frustration, and hate, but regardless of the drama  you know they’ll always regard you highly, at least as high as that little bubble you two float in together from time to time.

#manicureday

"I’m already in my 20s, and Mrs. Doubtfire is not for me, and I am already cynical enough to realize that this movie is trying to convince you that a hero can be a man who neglects his family and then deceives both said family and the United States court system by cross-dressing. I still laugh, though, because Robin Williams is so funny. He is funny enough that I am crying laughing, even though I know this movie’s main plot points describe a horror movie, not a comedy. And I realize that Robin Williams is the only reason this movie is well remembered because the actual plot is completely insane. I’m sitting there, realizing that this movie is not for me and it is very weird, but I am laughing, and the laughing feels good, and I haven’t laughed in a very long time because I am depressed every day. And I realize that Robin Williams isn’t just funny, he is funnier than my omnipresent emotional pain."

via.

I was on Morning Edition today talking about the class dynamics on Honey Boo Boo and 2 Broke Girls, aka my dream interview request.