[Originally posted 26 May 2008]
t least, that’s the opinion apparently entertained by one Kristin Butler, a proud graduate of Duke University. Duke of course is known mainly for its outstanding work in the field of parapsychology, the science of matter over mind. According to Kristin Butler a “mentally unstable” person—or “loony” as she apparently prefers—has no business receiving a diploma, whether she has completed the requirements or not. This is an interesting attitude, and I would really like to know exactly why having bipolar disorder—that’s the lunacy in question—disbars a student from receiving a degree. I got a degree, in spite of having undergone treatment for depression, and in spite of suffering from unreasonable fears and compulsions. And frankly, I take that kind of crack personally. I have a cousin with bipolar disorder, and while she’s never received a degree from a prestigious university like Duke, she is in fact one of the most outstanding researchers I’ve ever met. I personally have respect for people who make it in spite of drawbacks and disadvantages over which they do not have control, and I am very much unimpressed when some scatter-brained young know-it-all sounds off with a moronic screed like Summa cum loony. Grow up, Kristin Butler.
[Thanks to Chronicle Column Damages NCCU/Duke Relations and “Summa cum loony” - the Duke lacrosse case lives on for alerting to this garbage.]