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“NYU Professor Claims He Was Fired for Giving James Franco a D”

One advantage of teaching statistics is that you don’t have to worry about any celebrities taking your class.


  1. Wei says:

    Actually, Yao Ming is taking decent Math classes at Shanghai Jiaotong University.

  2. Kaiser says:

    Apparently he only attended 2 of 14 classes. I never know what grade to give such students especially when the school doesn’t want to give incompletes.

  3. revo11 says:

    “The secret of college is going to class. As long as you show up, it’s nearly impossible to fail. Seriously.” The journalist must have gone to a different school than I did. Lots of students who showed up failed. There were also a few smart students who didn’t need to show up to ace problem sets and exams.

    The prof is most likely correct about what happened, but personally I don’t have enough information to weigh in (not that it matters). It’s not unheard of for profs to dislike particular students, and a privileged celeb is a pretty inviting target. I’ll leave it to the prof, NYU, and the student to work things out.

    People give James Franco a lot of crap for half-assed dabbling in academics, but so what? Would society be better served if he focused on partying like most other role models in the entertainment industry?

    Yao Ming’s humility is quite endearing though. Wonder what math class he’s lost in.

    • Kaiser says:

      Your point would make sense when we’re talking about math and science classes, and generally lectures with hundreds of students in them. For humanities and arts classes, aren’t they typically 12 students around a table? While I don’t know anything about this particular case, I do emphasize with the teacher who’s trying to use the Socratic method. I use discussion of case studies in teaching statistics and when the class size is small, students not showing up hurts the quality (and quantity) of discussion and directly worsens everyone’s experience.

  4. Frank in midtown says:

    Hahahaha, for your reality t.v. show you could do “a star in a reasonably graded exam”, it would be just like “a star in a reasonably priced car.” You could yell out at the audience “Who wants to see exam?” Maybe you could sell it to the Univ. of Texas’ t.v. network to show during the brief periods when no athletics are being broadcast.

  5. zbicyclist says:

    Franco being a notorious class sleeper
    gets my sympathy.

    More than once, teachers threatened to flunk me if I fell asleep in class again, even if I was getting an ‘A’. My usual response to this was to skip the next couple of classes.

    • Andrew says:

      I got an A in grad school in a class where I only attended one lecture (out of 26 or so). The class met at something like 8.30 in the morning and I only came the first time. As I recall, every time I thought I’d come to class but I just never bothered. I did take the final exam, though.

  6. Lord says:

    So he gave the professor an F?