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She should sue because 70,000 dollars later, she's still ignorant.
August 4, 2009 11:25 AM   Subscribe

Jobless College Graduate Sues Because She's Still Jobless A recent college graduate is suing her alma mater for $72,000 -- the full cost of her tuition and then some -- because she cannot find a job.
posted by Pragmatica (145 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah, and no company in its right mind is gonna want to hire her now. Yikes.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 11:28 AM on August 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


Suck it up, whined, and get a job waiting tables like the rest of us did.

Also: too many people in the US go to college and not enough people learn a fucking trade.

Also also: get off my lawn.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:28 AM on August 4, 2009 [22 favorites]


Whiner, rather. I hafta learn to turn auto-correct off. Oh for a three-minute edit window.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:29 AM on August 4, 2009


Also also also: A 2.7 GPA is nothing to write home about.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 11:29 AM on August 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Jeez, I wonder why she couldn't get a job? I'm sure it's her university's fault.
posted by splatta at 11:30 AM on August 4, 2009


Or I could just use preview and actually, you know, read stuff before posting it.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:30 AM on August 4, 2009


Has she applied at any Wineries?
posted by Ron Thanagar at 11:33 AM on August 4, 2009 [19 favorites]


I'm not saying "a solid attendance record" isn't important, but when it's the only meaningful accomplishment you can point to outside a 2.7 GPA, you may want to adjust your expectations.
posted by brandman at 11:34 AM on August 4, 2009


I don't understand why late April to August without a first job is setting off klaxons in this persons head. I think even in good times not everyone has a smooth transition from college to job with little to no downtime.

And, as others have said.. a 2.7 from a no name school isn't going to get you much in a job market awash with people who have more experience and better credentials who will work for the same price you will.
posted by zennoshinjou at 11:35 AM on August 4, 2009


Gee, a 2.7 GPA? I'm thinking she's putting as much into her job search as she put into her education.

What a maroon (sic).

Sounds like one of those idiots who thinks that the degree is something special. I hate to break it to you, but a college degree is like a high school diploma these days. All it proves is that you have the stamina to endure 4 more years of blah, blah, blah. Too bad you didn't actually learn something at that school.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:36 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


my first thought on seeing this yesterday was "who would hire her now? they know she's all sue-happy."

seriously...she thinks a 2.7 is GOOD? she's nuts, if that wasn't obvious already.
posted by sio42 at 11:36 AM on August 4, 2009


PDF of original filing.
posted by coryinabox at 11:37 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


She's taking attention that could have gone to the more deserving.
posted by I Foody at 11:39 AM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


I read this yesterday, and there's a nugget of something here, in that the university's career services office may or may not be living up to a promise of undertaking job-placement activity. If you say you're going to help, and outline what that help is going to be, you kinda have to live up to your side of the bargain.

I know the "help" my college provided was non-existent beyond an often-empty office with a few Army recruiting brochures scattered around.

But it's an iffy case with iffy damages leveled by an iffy person.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:39 AM on August 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


As a Lit major, I always assumed I'd wait tables/work retail indefinitely. But then again, I never assumed that Corporate America held much promise for lovers of 17th century poetry and writers of annotated biblographies.
posted by thivaia at 11:41 AM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Her specific complaint appears to be that the university's "Office of Career Advancement" has not adequately supported her. That complaint may or may not be reasonable, but it's a bit unfair to suggest that she's suing simply because she hasn't been offered a job.
posted by yoink at 11:41 AM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Seriously, "a bachelor of business administration degree in information technology". Does that mean she can do data entry? In other words, type?
posted by Cranberry at 11:42 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


bibliographies, rather
posted by thivaia at 11:43 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Good god, I've got two degrees and a dozen years experience and had a bitch of a time finding a job this year.
posted by octothorpe at 11:45 AM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Who can my unemployed friends sue about the recession that cost them their jobs?
posted by cimbrog at 11:45 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Further, I don't think I recall anyone with whom I went to college actually finding a career job through the career office. Internships, yes, but not real jobs.

Seriously - has this woman even tried to apply to jobs on her own?
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 11:46 AM on August 4, 2009


Oh, and I quit Wal-Mart to finish my degree. Now I have my degree and am making less money then I did at Wal-Mart. Welcome to the world, little lady. It is full of false promises.
posted by cimbrog at 11:47 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


The school may or may not be living up to its promises on job-hunting help. But... seriously? A 2.7 and showing up to all your classes, that's supposed to be job-guarantee material in a horrific economy, after less than a full semester searching? It took me till early September to land my first job, in much healthier times, with a much higher GPA.

Inasmuchas as she has a legitimate beef, it's way too early to start bitching, even if the school was going a great job of helping with job-hunting.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:52 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm also suing flirtinis for not getting me laid.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:52 AM on August 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


it's unfortunate she didn't get a job. it's really regrettable, though, that she didn't get an education.
posted by kitchenrat at 11:56 AM on August 4, 2009 [15 favorites]


She's got poor grammar and spelling. The 2.7 GPA is about a B- according to Monroe. Not bad, but nothing stellar. I wonder where she's getting the $70,000 tuition figure when tuition at Monroe is about $9600 a year. Did she do anything beyond registering at the career services office? Did she expect them to do everything for her? And potential employers don't like litigious applicants.

We need more facts, but it looks like just another delicate flower hit with the real world...
posted by paddbear at 11:56 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


...the university's career services office...

Webpage for Monroe College's Office Of Career Advancement.
posted by ericb at 11:57 AM on August 4, 2009


Inasmuchas as she has a legitimate beef, it's way too early to start bitching, even if the school was going a great job of helping with job-hunting.

She claims specific instances of their failing to help. She's not saying "I didn't get a job, therefore I know they didn't work hard enough." Again, I'm not saying the suit has merit, but it's disingenuous to spin it into something utterly ridiculous just to have fun laughing at the crazy lady. That's what God gave us Orly Taitz for.
posted by yoink at 11:58 AM on August 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


In other news, Reality is filing a countersuit and demanding compensation for severe emotional trauma suffered while trying to comprehend this logically.
posted by Spatch at 11:59 AM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


These days I hear that not being googlable as a person who does random crazy things is increasingly important.
posted by Artw at 12:00 PM on August 4, 2009 [18 favorites]


Like the IT job market is booming and a 2.7 GPA from a obsure college is going to help you stand out when competing with recently laid-off workers are also looking for work.
posted by ericb at 12:09 PM on August 4, 2009


just saying.....3 month job search. I mean really I know people that have been on 8 month job searches. I think she has no concept of the real working world.
posted by TonyDanza at 12:09 PM on August 4, 2009


Hey, I had a 2.8. Geez, guys.
posted by GilloD at 12:10 PM on August 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't know... I was all prepared to roll my eyes at the sense of entitlement of Kids These Days, but I kind of feel for her. The woman is 27 years old and just got her bachelor's degree this year, from a no-name college in the Bronx. According to the court filing, while in college she received $100 per month from her mother for food and living expenses. I'd have a pretty hard time living on $100 a month. I'm not sure how she or her family came up with money for tuition.

"It doesn't make any sense: They went to school for four years, and then they come out working at McDonald's and Payless. That's not what they planned."

If McDonald's and Payless are the types of employers she's familiar with, then it's not quite as surprising that she considers her mediocre GPA and good attendance records to be assets. Those are jobs where you mostly have to show up and not fuck up.

My guess would be that not many of her classmates were expected to attend college in the first place. She probably didn't view college as a given, or a place to party or "find herself" or start networking, she viewed it as a stepping stone to a decent job. Monroe College advertises itself as being "career-oriented" and providing a "real-world education," so I'm not surprised she went in with that expectation. Whether her fault or the college's, it looks like she didn't get that real-world education.

It's a frivolous lawsuit, and for all I know this woman may be essentially unemployable, but I do find this a bit sad.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:10 PM on August 4, 2009 [18 favorites]


Trini -- maybe you should get a job serving tables. It'll be a while before we see the IT job sector improving.
"Federal, state, and local governments are all expected to increase spending on technology over the next five years, creating jobs across a wide range of industries and government agencies, according to a series of new reports.

The short-term outlook is not as bright, though. Although a small number of corporate chief information officers expect to be hiring this quarter, according to one study, many are wrestling with flat or falling IT budgets and trying to cut costs.

Driven by the Obama administration's interest in healthcare, cybersecurity, and better interagency communication, the Federal government is expected to boost spending on information technology to $90.3 billion, up 3.5 percent by 2014.

State and local governments, meanwhile, are expected to boost spending by 3.9 percent to $60.1 billion by 2014."*
posted by ericb at 12:12 PM on August 4, 2009


"They favor more toward students that got a 4.0. They help them more out with the job placement..."

I know this is going to sound harsh, but if that's an exact quote, she should sue the school for allowing her to graduate. Apparently four years wasn't enough.
posted by zarq at 12:13 PM on August 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


I initially thought that perhaps she had a claim: if they promise something and do not follow through, and if you go to a school in part because of their promises from career services and job placement rates, then you have some sort of legitimate beef. Not after 4 months, maybe, but in general.

The only specific complaint is that the e-recruiting clients do not call every single graduate, though the website suggests that e-recruiting is just an online jobs listing, where you apply and then are or are not accepted.
posted by jeather at 12:15 PM on August 4, 2009


My favorite part of the complaint is page 5, where she adds 70,000 and 2,000 and gets 75,000. The fact that her mother didn't try to talk her out of this, but assisted, is also confusing. I mean, what kind of advice is that?

This reminds me of Stephen Dunne who sued the bar association and state supreme court for advancing the secular humanist agenda when he failed the bar exam. My guess is she'll withdraw, like he did, and quietly apologize - not like anyone is going to want to hire her now.
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:16 PM on August 4, 2009


On one level, I kinda wish her lawsuit succeeds (even though that's VERRRY unlikely and not what she deserves) because it would blow a big hole in the "go to college to get a good job" fallacy that's been going on since... well, since 35 years ago when I changed my major from Communications to Business to have "something to fall back on". I was never without a job for very long for almost 30 years (until a bad heart fast tracked me into permanent disability) but I NEVER held a job for which the degree was a requirement. The greatest value I've gotten from the Business Bachelor's came from understanding one big reason our economy is in shambles... too many idiots using what they learned in college in the business world.
posted by wendell at 12:19 PM on August 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


While this appears on the surface to be a completely frivolous suit brought by someone who is suffering from a serious case of entitlement, I'll grant for just a moment that maybe her case has some merit and the whole problem is that the Office of Career Advancement hasn't fully lived up to their promises (if there are such things, I don't think my school had any kind of job placement department...)

Anyhow, so given that as a (very slim) possibility, I still don't get why she thinks three months of unemployment negates four years of schooling which she paid for and got. Why would she think that the she deserved to have that essentially refunded to her?
posted by quin at 12:21 PM on August 4, 2009


Did she attend any of the college's On–Campus Recruiting events? How about their Job Fairs and Career Expos? Did she arrange meetings with her career advisor and work out a strategy for getting other leads?
posted by ericb at 12:26 PM on August 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


I do agree with this on one thing.

All of the US University "Office of Career Advancement/Advice/Counseling/Jobs/Internships" ought to be shuttered and their budgets spent on better things, especially for math, science, engineering people. And since the people with BAs are just waiting tables after graduation anyway, then they REALLY serve no purpose.

They're totally useless.
posted by peppito at 12:29 PM on August 4, 2009


From the Monroe Office of Career Advancement website:
Whether preparing for a career or simply need a part-time job, the Monroe College office of Career Advancement provides expert advice and valuable services to help you.

Every student at Monroe College has a Career Advisor, who provides one-on-one assistance with career decision-making, resume and letter writing, and job search strategies. The Office of Career Advancement helps with career assessment, resume writing, job search and strategy, employer recruitment and placement, interviewing skills, and other job search guidance. Registering with E-recruiting allows you to view online job listings, post a resume to the database, and access additional web-based career resources.
If it is true that they failed to provide the services that they expressly promise then the suit surely has some merit. She can argue that the reason she chose to enroll at this school was because of their express promise of individualized support and aid in seeking employment. If they fail to deliver on that express promise, refund of tuition seems a reasonable relief.

Of course, we have no way of knowing what the actual facts of the case are.
posted by yoink at 12:29 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


My sister used to work in job placement for a vocational school and would constantly come home with war stories of graduates who expected immediate placement in high paying careers while doing little on their end to assist in the effort. In particular, she had one former graduate who seemed permanently placed outside her door, always with a sob story of how sick her husband was and how much they needed money. When my sister would ask this woman to meet her halfway by going through the effort to actually create a resume, the woman would always balk and ask, "Can't you just, like, set up an interview for me?"
posted by The Gooch at 12:36 PM on August 4, 2009


I know a guy who sued 4 different places for this and that. Finally, an opening where he was working par time, so he applied for the full-time slot. They turned him down and muttered something about the fact that he was too litigious. He then used that as the basis for his next law suit. Not sure of outcome but he did not get the job.
posted by Postroad at 12:37 PM on August 4, 2009


I was really confused by this. Only three months out of college and she's suing because she doesn't have a job? She thinks the university isn't doing enough to get her a job? She wants to be compensated for "stress" incurred by this? That's all kinds of fucked up.

For fuck's sake, my college didn't even pretend to help us in any way to find a job. Still, somehow, I made it my own responsibility, and I got employed. Took me more than three months as I recall, but then I didn't spend any of that time bitching about people not helping me find a job. Nor did I have any sense of entitlement because I got a college diploma.

But hey, kids these days.

If it is true that they failed to provide the services that they expressly promise then the suit surely has some merit

The filing says, very specifically:
I am seeking a reinbursment [sic] of $70,000 from my tutision [sic] because the Office of Career Advancement Information Technology Couselors [sic] are not making sure their e-recruiting clients call the graduates that recently finished college for a [sic] interview to get a job placement.
I dare you to find anywhere on the Office of Career Advancement page that says they guarantee every e-recruiting client will call all recent graduates. Bet you that's nowhere to be found except in Trina Cherisse's thoughts.
posted by splice at 12:47 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Suck it up, whiner, and get a job waiting tables like the rest of us did.
Also: too many people in the US go to college and not enough people learn a fucking trade.
Also also: get off my lawn.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:28 AM


So I take it that there's some time lag before marriage starts to mellow a person?
posted by Killick at 12:57 PM on August 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


When my sister would ask this woman to meet her halfway by going through the effort to actually create a resume, the woman would always balk and ask, "Can't you just, like, set up an interview for me?

Maybe there's a different set of expectations at Vocational Schools, but I've got anecdotes too: Nobody I've ever known in my entire life has ever benefited from the money the 3 universities I've attended have thrown at their "Office of Career Advancement/Advice/Counseling/Jobs/Internships."

The only useful purpose they serve is in organizing campus Job Fairs. They should instead set up the "Office of Job Fairs" and pay one full-time professional and many, many unemployed students to organize it.
posted by peppito at 12:57 PM on August 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is sounding an awful lot like a Phil Hendrie episode!
posted by JBennett at 12:58 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Whattaya mean, she can't find a job? She's perfectly qualified, possibly overqualified as a driver.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:01 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


if she wins, does she have to give the diploma back? also, if she gets a job, who is she gonna sue when someone steals her lunch out of the fridge?
posted by lester at 1:01 PM on August 4, 2009


The college's "e-recruiting allows you to view online job listings, post a resume to the database, and access additional web-based career resources."

It's a resource, honey. It's likely that potential employers received your e-mailed/form-filled resume/application and rejected you due to other more qualified candidates competing for those scarce jobs. As splice notes, it's not the college's fault that you didn't get called in for an interview by any of the companies.
posted by ericb at 1:01 PM on August 4, 2009


I was really confused by this. Only three months out of college and she's suing because she doesn't have a job?

No, she isn't. She's suing because she didn't receive the level of help she thought she was promised. Nowhere in her suit does she say that her complaint is that she remains unemployed.

I dare you to find anywhere on the Office of Career Advancement page that says they guarantee every e-recruiting client will call all recent graduates. Bet you that's nowhere to be found except in Trina Cherisse's thoughts.

Gosh, I'm afraid I don't do anything unless I'm double-dog dared. As I say, I don't think her case is strong, I just don't see why almost everyone in this thread feels that they need to lie about what her case actually is. As to whether or not that claim is on the website, that is immaterial. What matters is whether it was ever made to the plaintiff. Do you know the content of her discussions with members of the Advancement office? Do you know the content of any pamphlets or other materials they hand out? No. And neither do I. As I said, none of us knows any of the facts of this case and almost all of us are deliberately or lazily distorting it for the lulz. I think this is rather beneath Metafilter.
posted by yoink at 1:04 PM on August 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Some people are not as knowledgeable about higher education as you are. There are plenty of schools that are a waste of time and money and make all their cash off of naive, first-generation college students who don't know the difference and are genuinely trying to improve themselves.
posted by kathrineg at 1:04 PM on August 4, 2009 [15 favorites]


Seriously, I have seen this everywhere on the internet and I'm tired of everyone pointing and laughing. I don't get what's so funny about someone else's misfortune.
posted by kathrineg at 1:07 PM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


More like, "Me"-na Thompson amirite lol because she's so self-centered!1!!1
posted by ORthey at 1:08 PM on August 4, 2009


It's likely that potential employers received your e-mailed/form-filled resume/application and rejected you due to other more qualified candidates competing for those scarce jobs.

I'm pretty sure that's got to work something like the "career counseling" feature of a technical school that used to funnel graduates to one of my former employers. Every resumes had the same MS Word template with the same three columns of bullet points, except for the guys who tried to get creative and broke the formatting entirely, or the clever soul who managed to figure out how to break up sections with borders. Every one was some fabrication of total bullshit, because these kids had never had any real work experience, let alone experience in our field.

I think we did briefly consider the guy who figured out borders, because he managed to mention some relevant points, but we ended up going with folks with actual prior education in our specialty. Those resumes are heartbreakers when you've got a pile of 20 on your desk and you've got to comment on all of them to your boss's boss.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:08 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


That being said, though, it still doesn't top the Best Resume Objective Ever, sent in by a recent graduate of a local university with absolutely no relevant experience or coursework:

"To obtain a job to further my experience in the work-industry."

I have nothing to add.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:10 PM on August 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


I have seen this everywhere on the internet

Well, because of the plaintiff's name it fits perfectly into a readymade "Ha ha, stupid black people" script.
posted by yoink at 1:11 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


yoink - "If it is true that they failed to provide the services that they expressly promise then the suit surely has some merit."

Her actual complaint does not state that the Office of Career Advancement failed to help with "career assessment, resume writing, job search and strategy, employer recruitment and placement, interviewing skills, and other job search guidance." If she alleged that the college failed to make any of those things available, then you might have a point.

It does state that "the office of career advancement information technology counselor did not make sure their Monroe e-recruiting clients call their graduates that recently finished college for an interview to get a job placement."

In other words, she seems to believe that the college has control over the outside companies who post job listings and can force them to offer job interviews to every graduate.

I do feel kind of sad for her. I suspect Metroid Baby's analysis of her situation may be pretty accurate.
posted by tdismukes at 1:12 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


People who can't get jobs are hilarious

Now let me tell you about this guy who applied for health insurance but no one was going to give it to him, it's a side-splitter!
posted by kathrineg at 1:13 PM on August 4, 2009


This is sounding an awful lot like a Phil Hendrie episode!

Don't give Bobbie Dooley any ideas!
posted by Spatch at 1:15 PM on August 4, 2009


trina -- did you attend your college's The School of Information Technology: IT Career Week and Expo two-months ago (June 1 - 4)?
posted by ericb at 1:16 PM on August 4, 2009


Her actual complaint does not state that the Office of Career Advancement failed to help with "career assessment, resume writing, job search and strategy, employer recruitment and placement, interviewing skills, and other job search guidance." If she alleged that the college failed to make any of those things available, then you might have a point.

It does state that "the office of career advancement information technology counselor did not make sure their Monroe e-recruiting clients call their graduates that recently finished college for an interview to get a job placement."


And it continues from where you left off "they have not tried hard enough to help." Which may well be true. Not every part of a complaint has to be proved (or even be plausible) for a suite to be merited or for it to be successful.

You also don't know whether or not the plaintiff may have been told that the Career Advancement counselors do in fact contact specific job-listers and encourage them to contact specific graduates. In the interview with the plaintiff part of her beef seems to be that the counselors work harder to get job interviews for excellent students than they do for mediocre ones. That may make perfect sense from the p.o.v. of the counselors, of course, but one can see why the Plaintiff would not share that perspective.
posted by yoink at 1:18 PM on August 4, 2009


"Why, anybody can have a brain. That's a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the Earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain. Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven't got: a diploma."
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:21 PM on August 4, 2009


Resumes from Hell.
posted by ericb at 1:21 PM on August 4, 2009


Well, because of the plaintiff's name it fits perfectly into a readymade "Ha ha, stupid black people" script.

How do we know her race/ethnicity?
posted by ericb at 1:22 PM on August 4, 2009


Well, because of the plaintiff's name it fits perfectly into a readymade "Ha ha, stupid black people" script.

Really? I thought it was a pretty easy fit into the "stupid white entitlement" script, myself... I must have been doing my racisms wrong again.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:23 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


yoink -- I suspect this thread may go the way of the Gates/Crowley thread in which you hair-split and harped on the fact that it's mostly an "unknown story" with "unknown facts." * We get it. I sure hope we don't find ourselves on the Derail-Express for the majority of the thread to come.

* -
The Unknown
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

--Donald Rumsfeld, Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing
posted by ericb at 1:29 PM on August 4, 2009


How do we know her race/ethnicity?

We don't. But with a middle name like "Cherisse" lots of racists will be happy to assume that until proven otherwise. As, for example, here:

"I am guessing she is black…sue at the drop of a hat…how typical. I predict the race card will be played shortly."
posted by yoink at 1:30 PM on August 4, 2009


Sometimes a stupid person is just a stupid person.
posted by Artw at 1:32 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


We get it. I sure hope we don't find ourselves on the Derail-Express for the majority of the thread to come.

Oh I would be so terribly, terribly ashamed if I derailed you from your cosy little hate fest, ericb. Please, get back to hating this woman for something she expressly did not do and on grounds which you know nothing about as soon as you like.
posted by yoink at 1:33 PM on August 4, 2009


I sure hope we don't find ourselves on the Derail-Express for the majority of the thread to come.

Oh, but, please, oh, please ... just this once?
Trina Taylor -- black.

Trina Michaels -- white.

Trina Read -- white.

Trina Thompson -- at this time, unknown race/ethnicity.
posted by ericb at 1:35 PM on August 4, 2009


Please, get back to hating this woman...

I am not "hating this woman." Just merely wondering how proactive and involved she was with the services offered to her before and after graduating. If questioning some of the "unknowns" amounts to hating, I am speechless.
posted by ericb at 1:40 PM on August 4, 2009


Although, if the court filings weren't so appallingly written, I might believe that she's filed the suit to shine a light on the empty promises of so many of these diploma mills.

They are, in essence, businesses designed to collect exhorbitant fees for an education you could get at a community college for a fraction of the price.

If you watch enough day-time television, you'll see tons of these ads (oddly enough, during court shows) all of them promising job placement and showing happy, smiling people in their new jobs. DeVry and ITT Tech, I'm talking to you!

The way these schools are marketed is to people who are clearly unemployed. I have a friend who is getting a University of Phoenix, on-line M.B.A. costing tens of thousands of dollars.

My company paid for my M.B.A. and it's been about as useful as a sack of wet cotton. At least I didn't get into debt for it.

At the end of the day, it's Caveat Emptor though. I suspect that absolutely NO thought went into her choice of college, let alone her classes during college.

Also, there are tons of people who think MicroSoft and Cisco Certification will lead to a high paying job. Let me crush that illusion. It ain't necessarily so.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:41 PM on August 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


What? Did her degree say on the bottom "Entitles bearer to one (1) job with benefits"?
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:41 PM on August 4, 2009


If she's white, she's an asshole. If she's black, she's still an asshole.
posted by JeffK at 1:42 PM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


At my grad school 2.7 was failure. 3.0 was passing.
posted by debbie_ann at 1:42 PM on August 4, 2009


she expressly did not do and on grounds which you know nothing about as soon as you like.

yoink, we get it. How many more times do you need to tell us? A bajillion, times as in the Gates/Crowley thread? We get it. Point well-taken!
posted by ericb at 1:43 PM on August 4, 2009


Maybe I'm the exception to the rule, but I actually found my college's career office pretty helpful, when I was searching for a first job. Perhaps because I went to them with fairly low expectations (essentially resume proofreading), I remember being pleasantly surprised.

They actually steered me towards an on-campus interview opportunity that I probably wouldn't have gone to on my own, because it didn't seem at first glance like a good match, which led to an offer and a first job. And that job to another job, etc.

So really, no complaints about them from me.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:44 PM on August 4, 2009


"As Thompson sees it, any reasonable employer would pounce on an applicant with her academic credentials, which include a 2.7 grade-point average and a solid attendance record."

Awww, sweetie...

She might have some grounds for all of this, but maybe she should include something about how they didn't prepare her for the 'real world', and didn't inform her that 'solid attendance record' doesn't mean a damn thing in the... well, anywhere, really.

I can't help but wonder what the actual services of the career office typically are. If Thompson already 'peppered' her resume about town and it didn't pan out, what more would that office do?
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 1:45 PM on August 4, 2009


I've been reading some interesting article and threads regarding this situation.

Interesting questions being discussed in some:
Why do we (some?) consider job placement the defining goal of a college education? Aren't there other, life-long benefits of such?, etc.
posted by ericb at 1:47 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Should higher education be measured by a student's success in the job market?
posted by ericb at 1:49 PM on August 4, 2009


"I am also suing them because of the stress I have been going through."

But mostly, she's suing them to prove her god-given American right to sue anyone for anything.
posted by Nelson at 1:54 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


yoink: I think this is rather beneath Metafilter.

Pshht - like that ever slows us down!
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:07 PM on August 4, 2009


I pounded the pavement and kissed asses and found a job when I could have just SUED? Damn.
posted by futureisunwritten at 2:18 PM on August 4, 2009


Why do we (some?) consider job placement the defining goal of a college education?

Because that's how it's sold to a lot of people, less fortunate than some. These tech schools flood low income communities with advertisement after advertisement, and ALL of them promise the one thing most important to people in that situation: job placement. What good is an "IT degree" from one of these schools if you can't get a job with it? No good at all.

I'm also a little surprised to learn through this thread that IT degrees are worthless now. I don't think that information has "trickled down" to a lot of people who still believe that if you want to get a good job you have to get something "in computers". Health care technician of some kind is the other option.

Now what I want to know is, what cost $70,000?
posted by Danila at 2:23 PM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Pshht - like that ever slows us down!

In today's connected world many people get discussed here at MeFi and elsewhere on the Web. It's unfortunate in some cases; others not so much.

In Trina's case, it's sad, not funny, as her decision to sue Monroe College has set in motion a likely personal backlash she had never expected nor intended (i.e. her story gaining legs in the MSM, her complaint posted online, blogs and message boards picking apart the affair).

Other similar incidents come to mind. All very different, but in the end, making each person an Internet meme.
Aleksey Vayner, Blair Hornstine, Holden Karnofsky, Kaycee Nicole and Casey Serin (being discussed in this current FPP).
posted by ericb at 2:30 PM on August 4, 2009


Trina Michaels -- white

She's a porn star, so I'm pretty sure "Trina" isn't her real name.
posted by the_bone at 2:32 PM on August 4, 2009


These tech schools flood low income communities with advertisement after advertisement, and ALL of them promise the one thing most important to people in that situation: job placement.

Yeah -- while Monroe College has been around since 1933 and founded as a 'for-profit' college*, it, too, competes with other newer 'for-profits' (like ITT Tech.) to "fill the seats."
* - "At Monroe, students take a Liberal Arts core and combine it with their program of choice to ensure a well rounded, comprehensive education. Programs include Accounting, Baking and Pastry, Business Management, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, General Business, Health Services Administration, Hospitality Management, Information Technology, Medical Administration, Medical Assisting, Nursing, and Public Health."
posted by ericb at 2:48 PM on August 4, 2009


Metafilter: rather beneath Metafilter.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:13 PM on August 4, 2009


I think I need to frikkin' sue HER!
posted by Drasher at 3:18 PM on August 4, 2009


What does "I walked June 12 of 2007." mean? (page 7 of the pdf) I took it to mean that she left the school, but the next sentence is "Then I took a semester off." (emphasis mine)
posted by desjardins at 3:48 PM on August 4, 2009


"I walked" = "I graduated"?
posted by not that girl at 3:55 PM on August 4, 2009


Yes, walked=participated in the graduation ceremony, as in walked across the stage to receive a degree. Some people graduate but do not walk (get their degree mailed or pick it up at the registrar's office).
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:06 PM on August 4, 2009


"Walking" usually refers to the graduation ceremony itself; i.e. physically walking across the stage to receive the diploma. Most likely she fulfilled the requirements for her associate's degree in the fall semester of 06, but the school only holds graduation ceremonies at the end of spring semester.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:09 PM on August 4, 2009


Yes, not that girl & desjardins: "walked" is college vernacular for graduated. (stricken on preview)

Yes, peppito, your individual experience should absolutely be extrapolated to mean that I and thousands of my colleagues who work hard in university career centers around the country should immediately be laid off, since none of what we do (except career fairs) matters.

Please go troll elsewhere. I'll keep the much more colorful replies I have for you to myself, since this isn't Fark.
posted by yiftach at 4:18 PM on August 4, 2009


Here's a counterpoint to the fervid denunciations of this woman. I don't agree with her actions, but I also don't think she should be crucified as much as she has been.
posted by reenum at 4:36 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, peppito, your individual experience

Pfft, if only it were my individual experience that I was relying upon, I might agree with you. When even the BAs in human resources/journalism/PR aren't counting on you, or people are getting 4 year degrees with the goal of being dental hygienists, we eventually realize that these offices exist mostly for PR reasons.
posted by peppito at 4:39 PM on August 4, 2009


I strongly oppose the idea that the motivation for going to college or university should be "getting a job".

However, the logical conclusion of the creeping adoption of a business model for administrating universities is such lawsuits; if students are "clients" (as at my Alma Mater), then after graduation and finding yourself unemployable, why not try to sue and attempt to prove that the inability to land an appropriate position is the fault of the school. Maybe breach of contract by failure to meet "deliverables" or some crap.
posted by sloe at 4:58 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, I just feel for her.

Regardless of if your expectations about the value and outcome of having a college degree are on or off the mark, $70,000 and several years is a lot of time and money to spend and not meet your goal.

And that's before all the public scrutiny of a court case.

I sense she pursued college to escape being economically trapped, and now, the debt of $70,000 alone will trap her.
posted by anitanita at 5:00 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


She suggested that Monroe's Office of Career Advancement shows preferential treatment to students with excellent grades. "They favor more toward students that got a 4.0. They help them more out with the job placement," she said.

I think she's getting her wires crossed. I'm surprised we haven't heard from more Career Advancement workerbees. Typically, such offices are given guidelines by companies for the types of students the company will even consider looking at - and such students tend to fall in the above-3.0-GPA range, and depending on the curve at the school, maybe even higher. I'm curious what her class rank was; if she is below the 35th percentile, it may explain a lot.

As a person that has sought out career services offices (from my alma mater) to find graduates to work with me, I note that I tended to seek out students with not only the degree/specialization I was looking for, but also those who graduated at a tier above the top 25%.

I don't think the purpose of a career services office is to dig up job offers to fit your criteria; or to convince companies to take you if you are a sub-par student. They are there to collect job openings from those they are aware of, and to help students make themselves more marketable.

Perhaps my experiences are different, though.

On a side note: if the sentence "They favor more toward students that got a 4.0. They help them more out with the job placement" was taken verbatim, then I might hesitate to hire her for a number of jobs, because the grammar bothers me.
posted by jabberjaw at 5:10 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm also suing flirtinis for not getting me laid.

What do you expect with a 2.7 grade average?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:26 PM on August 4, 2009


"As I say, I don't think her case is strong, I just don't see why almost everyone in this thread feels that they need to lie about what her case actually is."

I call it the hot coffee effect. People latch on to the the easy to understand sound bite because it's easier to make a snap judgement than to consider the nuances of a case.

"At my grad school 2.7 was failure. 3.0 was passing."

Really? I wonder if there are generally any differences between grad and undergrad expectations? I might explain why so many more undergrad degrees are handed out vs. PhDs.
posted by Mitheral at 5:30 PM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, having read the assorted and sundry responses, I think I'd agree that the young lady's been pilloried perhaps more than is appropriate. Mind you, I still believe that suing for the cost of one's college education based on lack of attention from the career center is a bit over the top.

That said, if I had it to do over, I wouldn't have posted this. Chalk it up to wanting to be productive in the first 30 days, and I'll wait a while before posting again. Sorry, folks.
posted by Pragmatica at 5:39 PM on August 4, 2009


I strongly oppose the idea that the motivation for going to college or university should be "getting a job".

As do I. Alas, HR companies often require an undergraduate degree for jobs that do not really need one. It's an unfortunate reality of the job market at the moment.
posted by jeather at 6:00 PM on August 4, 2009


2.7 lol rofl 2.7 oh ho ho.
posted by exlotuseater at 6:35 PM on August 4, 2009


I have to wonder what contact she had with the career office before filing this lawsuit. It seems like this is an act of frustration, not with the University, but with the job search and her debt situation. The thing was certainly filed in haste; it has cross-outs and a glaring math error. Looking at it, I have to think that she did not engage deeply with Monroe about these problems, but felt powerless and angry from afar. I'd suspect there were no talks between her and the career center beyond her calling and being frustrated by someone who answered the phones. The filing just doesn't show any serious thought or deliberation put into it.

Some people in this thread are correct, there are corporations like Monroe that feed off of insecurity, asymmetric information, and problematic hiring processes that necessitate a bachelor's degree in order to pray off people like the plaintiff here. Something should be done, but this lawsuit isn't it, nor is it about the underlying problems. This is an individual job seeking tone deaf to the economic problems that have made job seekers everywhere face real problems, largely clueless to her own marketability, demanding of things that reduce college to end results and unenforceable guarantees of employability, and largely clueless about how the legal system works. It's sad that things came to this. But while Monroe isn't the good guy here, I can't believe this is a proportionate response to something they did. This is just a rant in a vacuum that misses the point.
posted by allen.spaulding at 6:41 PM on August 4, 2009


Oh, but, please, oh, please ... just this once?

O.K. ericb, I'll bite. You were able to find two white Trinas and one black. How extraordinary. Now, try this. Go to Google Image. Put in the name "Cherisse," and set it to search on "Face" (under "Options"). Notice something about those faces? Now try the name "Trina." Notice anything about those faces?

Now, try the name Kate or Alice or Peggy or Jane or Susan or Frances. Find any black faces on the first page of hits? I found precisely one: one "Frances."

So yes, names are indicators of racial origin to some extent in the US, and yes, both Trina and Cherisse code strongly as "black." And I'm very willing to bet that that helps to account for a great deal of the tone of profound condescension in much of the online discussion of this case.
posted by yoink at 6:54 PM on August 4, 2009


I mentioned my alma mater at a social event not too long ago and got met with "You went to Hampshire?! I'm surprised you're able to get dressed and live indoors."

So, I guess she's got one on me for going to a school that even tries to get their graduates jobs in the first place. Mine? Ha! We don't even teach our graduates to live indoors! I know a guy who lived outside for the majority of his sixth year! Yes, that's right! Six years to get a bachelor's in Thinking About Trees For Social Change.

I have no point, really, other than this really illustrates the wildly divergent expectations that people have from higher education. I wanted to spend four years avoiding having to get a job. And hey, it worked. But yeah, I am now five years out of college and I have indeed been employed for most of that time. Can't say as a single one of those jobs has even required a college degree. Glad I got it, but really, I never thought of it as some kind of asset in trying to get a "career" or anything.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:08 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think she's unfortunately deluded as to how desirable her qualification is in the job market. Whether it's the college's fault or not, everyone has the responsibility to drive their own job search. 3 months is a way optimistic expectation for her GPA and degree in this environment. As someone who used to do a lot of recruitment, suing like this sets off a huge red flag. Why would a recruiter consider her when a similar non-litigious candidate is sat next to her? This has seriously affected her employability for the worse.

In the UK at least, there's a movement away from degrees for all and more focus on opening up vocational courses for those that are better suited for them and are more likely to offer gainful employment.

yoink - data point. I read Trina as being shortened form of Katrina and thought of her as white. Anyway, naiveté or stupidity tends to cross all race barriers.
posted by arcticseal at 8:00 PM on August 4, 2009


but I NEVER held a job for which the degree was a requirement

But you held jobs because of the skills and work ethics you gained through your educational experience. A lot of the point of post-secondary is to learn how to think and how to approach a problem and how to separate wheat from chaff. Often it is not the specific degree which is so important, but the experience gained during the course of claiming that degree.

In this gal, not so much. I'd be surprised if she made much of an effort during her studies. It's not surprising she's taking the lazy way out now. It's sad.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:01 PM on August 4, 2009


Pragmatica, actually, thank you very much for posting it. The story does have a number of interesting facets to it. Also, I've seen this story at a lot of other places and NOWHERE have I seen anyone attempting to do more than pillory this woman. Most places just don't do nuance, ever. I have gotten a lot more out of the discussion here than anywhere else, whether or not I agree with all of it.
posted by Danila at 8:06 PM on August 4, 2009


debbie_ann: At my grad school 2.7 was failure. 3.0 was passing.

Astonishingly enough, graduate programs have different expectations from undergratuate ones. At least one science grad student I talked to said that getting anything but an A in his program was tantamount to failing - you might get away with a B or two before the program dropped you, but it was a sign you weren't taking grad school seriously enough, and you might be expected to retake the class.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:08 PM on August 4, 2009


I've known exactly one Cherise in my life and she is white. So your assertion that that name "codes strongly as black" is purely your own racist point of view. In my racial worldview, it's a "white name". The ethnicity of the girl hadn't even occurred to me until you brought it up and started harping on it. I guess, in my own racist way, my mind defaulted to her being white because she had graduated from college and that reflects the majority of college graduates in my own personal experience. I recognize that that's a prejudice on my part and I guess I can thank you for bringing it to my conscious mind, but I think that you should now recognize that your dogged insistence that other people's condescension stems from their thinking she's "stupid black people" rather than what someone above referred to as "stupid white entitlement" rather belies your own racism more than anyone else's.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 8:18 PM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


And I'm very willing to bet that that helps to account for a great deal of the tone of profound condescension in much of the online discussion of this case.

Here on MetaFilter? You were the one to inject race/ethnicity into the discussion here. We're having a conversation here on our own. Who has discounted -- or condescended -- Trina Cherrise here? Might you be guilty of "no way of knowing what the actual facts of the case are?"
posted by ericb at 8:21 PM on August 4, 2009


yoink -- Well, because of the plaintiff's name it fits perfectly into a readymade "Ha ha, stupid black people" script.

WTF does her race/ethnicity have to do with our conversation here? Nada. Why did you feel it was relevant to include your "intuition" (aka not based on factual data) into the discussion here.
posted by ericb at 8:27 PM on August 4, 2009


*(aka not based on factual data that is yet known)*
posted by ericb at 8:29 PM on August 4, 2009


So your assertion that that name "codes strongly as black" is purely your own racist point of view

This is ludicrous and while yoink and I may have disagreed in another thread, he's right here and this is a bs callout. There is certainly a racialized component of the mockery going on throughout the web regarding this person. Just because you have a singular data point to the contrary does not mean that someone who points this out is projecting their own racism onto the issue. That's bullshit.

I knew a white guy named Antoine Kwayme White. Anyone who ever points out racism is just being racist themself. QED.
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:34 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm afraid that when I was reading it, I was imagining an generic female whiteish gal. In a red-and-white skirt, actually.

Hmmm.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:34 PM on August 4, 2009


Not red-and-white-skirtist!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:35 PM on August 4, 2009


Also, in case anyone was wondering about Monroe College, it it 49% Black, 41% Hispanic, 1% non-Hispanic white.
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:43 PM on August 4, 2009


Why do we (some?) consider job placement the defining goal of a college education?

Ahhh...you just revealed that you were definitely NOT a business major! Good on you, though!
posted by hal_c_on at 8:52 PM on August 4, 2009


I do have some sympathy. I went to grad school for 7 years, and I'm a doctor now. Not the kind that can do you any good, mind you. But every minute I spent in school it felt like my advisors were trying to break my kneecaps. Of course, now I can't get a job and I'm upset, but not for the reasons that Trina is. Although it would be sort of cool if I could sue the department for mental cruelty.
posted by Wash Jones at 8:55 PM on August 4, 2009


Can I say it? Christ what an asshole. I know girls with master degrees that work at the mall. I know graduates that are unemployed. I know people who are willing to move away from everything they know to get a job. Fuck this lazy bitch.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 5:58 AM on August 5, 2009


yes, the four years in school really indicate laziness
posted by kathrineg at 6:49 AM on August 5, 2009


Why do we (some?) consider job placement the defining goal of a college education?

Well, I rather doubt that a bachelor of business administration degree in information technology has any value beyond job placement.



I mentioned my alma mater at a social event not too long ago and got met with "You went to Hampshire?! I'm surprised you're able to get dressed and live indoors."

So, I guess she's got one on me for going to a school that even tries to get their graduates jobs in the first place.


Maybe so, but I bet that if you compared the incomes of the average Camp Hamp grad and that of the average Monroe College graduate you'd find that the money disavowing yurt dwellers out-earn the "career oriented" Monroe College alumni. So it goes.
posted by atrazine at 7:00 AM on August 5, 2009


The Ski Channel Offers Job to Jobless Graduate Suing Monroe College
"It was announced today by The Ski Channel Founder and CEO, Steve Bellamy that The Ski Channel would offer an entry level job to Trina Thompson....'Either Ms Thompson is a cunning out of the box thinker and we want her,' said Bellamy 'or she isn't, and her postiion would not last long. Either way, the law suit would no longer be clogging up the courts because there are now no damages. She now has a bonifide job offer. She just needs to call us and go over the details. But it is real and valid. If she is this fiesty, we'll try her out. But if she is playing the victim card and pushing her problems onto everyone else - then her job wouldn't likely last long.'"
posted by ericb at 7:42 AM on August 5, 2009


You should think of admissions advisors at for-profit schools as being akin to military recruiters. They use a lot of the same tactics. I would not be surprised at all if she was explicitly promised a job upon graduation, even though this is technically counter to their accreditor's standards.** Also, for-profit universities tend to take whomever they can get without regard to the student's preparedness for college. A 2.7 GPA might indeed be not-so-bad for this particular school. I can definitely see why her expectations might be inflated.

*I work at a for-profit university. Not in admissions. Or career placement. I have no specific knowledge of Monroe College's policies and procedures.

**If she were to somehow win the lawsuit, or otherwise prove they made false promises, it's possible the university could face sanctions from their accreditor.

posted by desjardins at 8:02 AM on August 5, 2009


"The Ski Channel Offers Job to Jobless Graduate Suing Monroe College"

Reading through the article, it appears that the Ski Channel has not actually contacted Ms. Thompson. In order to get the job, she will have to hear about the offer, then contact the Ski Channel through their website for a job interview. Somehow, I doubt that's going to happen.
posted by tdismukes at 8:09 AM on August 5, 2009


I wonder if Ski Channel can't locate her directly. I sure hope they contact the college's Office Of Career Advancement to pass the offer along.
posted by ericb at 8:28 AM on August 5, 2009


I sure hope they contact the college's Office Of Career Advancement to pass the offer along.

If the Office of Career Advancement passed the offer onto someone with a higher GPA, that would be pretty hilarious.
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:45 AM on August 5, 2009


... that would be pretty hilarious.

And, cruel.
posted by ericb at 8:46 AM on August 5, 2009


Who has discounted -- or condescended -- Trina Cherrise here?

Well, ericb, honey, you, for one (of many).

WTF does her race/ethnicity have to do with our conversation here? Nada. Why did you feel it was relevant to include your "intuition" (aka not based on factual data) into the discussion here.

Someone wondered why this story had blown up so big on the internet at large. I replied with a guess that it was because her name codes as black (a demonstrably true statement) that it played handily into preformed racist scripts about lazy black people. Obviously that's not the only reason people are interested in the story, but it is one thing that accounts for its popularity. Of course here on the blue the contempt is mostly class-based rather than directly racist ("ewwww, she has nonstandard grammar and expects to get a job??").

If you want to see how this story plays on the right, have a look at this site. There you'll find lots of people referring to her as a "typical Obama voter" (hint hint) and one delightful person offering her a job as his "slave."

As for why I brought it back up in this trainwreck of a "conversation" (if that's the right term for this orgy of smug condescension), it was because you begged me to. Remember "please, oh please..."?

I've known exactly one Cherise in my life and she is white. So your assertion that that name "codes strongly as black" is purely your own racist point of view.

Yes, Hal Mumkin, your single data point is devastating to my entire argument. Good job! By the way, I once knew a German person called Connor. It is therefore only racists who suggest that people called Connor are often of Irish ancestry. Hey, whaddaya know? Making incredibly stupid arguments is as easy as you make it look.
posted by yoink at 10:12 AM on August 5, 2009


Informationweek: Tech Jobs And The Mentality Of Entitlement.
posted by ericb at 10:38 AM on August 5, 2009


OK. I have access to a database of over 172,000 female college students who list their race. 95 are named Trina. 48% of those are black, which is higher than the overall population of 30% black. 38% of Trinas are white (compared to 48% of the total population), and the rest are something else.

There were 2 black Cherisses, one white Cherisse, and one white Cherrisse in the db.

All this indicates is that I am a huge data dork, and I'm bored at work.
posted by desjardins at 10:42 AM on August 5, 2009


I should have pointed this out more clearly, but notice that most Trinas in my population were NOT black.
posted by desjardins at 10:43 AM on August 5, 2009


I should have pointed this out more clearly, but notice that most Trinas in my population were NOT black.

But clearly the name is one that is disproportionately selected by black parents (or was, at least, a couple of decades ago). Or, in other words, a name that codes as black.

Here's another example of that assumption being the occasion for racist "fun."
posted by yoink at 11:21 AM on August 5, 2009


desjardins - most Trinas in your population weren't black, but 1/2 were, black Trinas were the plurality, and Trinas were more likely to be black than a random selection of the population.

When I came across this story, my first reaction was "Oh god - probably first generation college student, low income (and likely minority) and lacking the cultural capital/knowledge of college culture that middle class kids have and take for granted, who was sold a load of whooey by an expensive for-profit college, and now she's in debt she doesn't feel she can ever pay back because she believed the American Dream," - and I felt really awful for her. This wasn't based on her name - which doesn't strongly code for me personally - but on her location: she lives in the Bronx. It's not exactly Westchester.

yoink is right though - the story has legs because it fits stereotypes. Probably several at once, even contradictory ones. Some people here it as over-entitled student (with implied priviledge), others as over-entitled black person, and yet others take her grammar (culturally determined) and use it to make judgements on her personal intelligence. So she doesn't speak as middle-class white Americans do - that just shows she either has not been exposed to that register, or doesn't switch registers well.
posted by jb at 1:11 PM on August 5, 2009


jb: …probably first generation college student, low income (and likely minority) and lacking the cultural capital/knowledge of college culture that middle class kids have and take for granted, who was sold a load of whooey by an expensive for-profit college, and now she's in debt she doesn't feel she can ever pay back because she believed the American Dream," - and I felt really awful for her

Well I feel sorry for her too, at least for those reasons. But where I no longer feel bad for her is when she decided to file a frivolous lawsuit, because there are lots of disadvantaged, first-generation, minority, diploma-holding, unemployed people in the world, who somehow managed to resist the temptation to do that, probably because it's kind of a dumb, fruitless thing to do.

I'm sure there's probably a personal tale of woe behind Janine Sugawara, the woman who sued PepsiCo because she (allegedly, but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt) didn't realize that crunchberries were not actual fruit, but that doesn't mean she wasn't a moron who wasted a lot of people's time in doing so. Whatever her personal situation might have been that led to her confusion over the nature of crunchberries, I'm sure it wasn't unique — yet she was the only one who decided to go to court over it.

It's with the legal action that an otherwise unremarkable situation involving a ripoff diploma-mill school or junk-food branding descends into lulziness, because even people in similar situations seem to understand that the legal system isn't the appropriate venue for the issue.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:16 PM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sue This School

But the more you know about Thompson and the school she's suing, the more likely it is that you might start thinking that whatever her chances of winning in court, she's right. The story of Thompson's suit isn't a one-liner about a grad too naive to know that graduating from college doesn't guarantee a job. It's a story about what "college" means and about marginal, for-profit "colleges" that squeeze four years of fees from their students and leave them with all the debt and little of the education or prospects that they counted on.
posted by Comrade_robot at 7:34 AM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I see several ads for Monroe College in the subway. They do promise that their degree will add to your earning power. The way they exploit people is sickening.
posted by kathrineg at 8:04 AM on August 14, 2009


Trina, you're not the only recent grad having trouble finding a job.

Recent grads without jobs ‘scared’
"“They’ve been searching and haven’t found anything and aren’t sure when that’s going to turn around,” one college jobs counselor says of the class of 2009."
posted by ericb at 7:26 AM on August 21, 2009


"... the recession has been particularly tough on those entering the job market with a college degree.

More than half of graduates in the class of 2007 had job offers in hand when they finished school, the association said. That figure dropped to one-quarter of 2008 graduates — after the recession began in December 2007 — and for the class of 2009, it was fewer than one-fifth."
posted by ericb at 7:28 AM on August 21, 2009


It has been pretty fucking tough all over, grads. Try being in your forties or fifties and looking for work.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:48 AM on August 21, 2009


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