Posted on August 18, 2006


Yesterday I was privileged to hear a fantastic tale of (academic) intrigue and suspense. I mean, maybe I thought it was great because I had imbibed a substance or two, but it’s still a cool story this morning.
I was with seven other friends at a friend’s place. We were sitting on the floor when our host (W) got up, and beer in hand, recounted the tale. This is what I managed to gather through the filter of my, and his, intoxicants:
Last semester W took a political sociology class with Saadeddin Ibrahim. I actually remember trying to enroll myself in one of his courses back in the day, which I needed to graduate, only to be foiled time and time again by him being pulled into jail. Anyway, through some course of events (this bit didn’t make it through the haze) W did not go to the final exam. He called the professor and asked if he could take it some other time, and he refused to allow it and told W that he could just submit a paper and then (mutter, mutter). W decided to submit a paper that was a triumph of creation and ingenuity. Simply: he wrote his paper about his own involvement with the Free Droubi campaign. So, basically, it was a compilation of excerpts from the website, media coverage, legal issues, angry rants and the PR campaign. As a finishing touch, he also stuck in a leftover Free Droubi T-shirt and poster into the professor’s mailbox along with the paper.
The professor emailed back, rhapsodizing about how W actually put his teachings into practice, brilliant, bright future, blah blah blah, and I think he managed to get a good grade in the end. This whole story is inspiring to me because of the following reasons:

  1. Obtaining credit for something you have already done.
  2. Obtaining credit for something you were going to do anyway to get a friend out of jail.
  3. Capitalizing on a friend’s misfortune – with the friend’s consent (indeed after W was done talking Droubi requested a copy of the paper).
  4. Not having to actually come up with anything new or creative in a paper.
  5. Getting a decent grade even though you missed an exam for no good reason.
  6. Having a professor wet himself with pleasure even though you have done all of the above.

Bravo awi.

This story is only paralleled by that of a chick I met once, who said she was writing her sociology masters thesis on the “Lifestyles and drug habits of young upper class Egyptian males”, a proceeding which basically enabled her to hang out with her boyfriend and smoke up and party for two years or something. That’s actually cooler, come to think of it, because it is pre-mediated profiting on idleness, while W was actually trying to get the dude out of jail, and profited later.