The link at the bottom of this page is about an NYU professor who was terminated from his job. He alleges that it was because he gave “movie star” James Franco a grade of “D” in a film class. Franco miss 12 of 14 classes, yet claims “I did the work.” according to the NY Post article.
Now, I’m going to say here that back in college I was not the best student. The only classes I attended on a regular basis were the ones I enjoyed (typically the ones where I got to argue with other students, poli sci mostly). I suppose that is just my personality. My poor attendance translated into less than stellar grades on a couple of occasions and I had to deal with that. It has (by all means) adversely affected some things in my life, but it was a learning experience. I learned that in life you can’t just be smart and float through. You have to show up and do the work. You have to be involved. You have to make people feel like you care (especially those who have the ultimate responsibility of grading your performance). So I read this article about James Franco and it saddens me that at the age of 33 he just doesn’t get it. This article made it sound like his name and work should be good enough to earn a grade better than a “D”. Hey, maybe in some classes it is (for him), but maybe the professor (and I am making assumptions here) wanted students to show up to his class. To learn in an interactive and hands on way. Afterall, that professor did not ask James Franco to enroll at NYU. James Franco wanted to “learn” so that (presumably) he could be a better actor/film maker. I’m sure there were reasons why James Franco couldn’t make his classes. Certainly he is a busy man (what, with hosting award shows, staring in mediocre movies and directing his short films), but if you want to enroll at a top-tier university and EARN a degree then you should have to show up to class. Some professors will allow you to be a no show student (see SEC football), but there are others who would prefer you show up and earn that piece of paper you can put on the wall of your penthouse apartment. If James Franco had any involvement in this man losing his job for giving him a “D”…..well, then I hope that professor wins and wins big in his lawsuit.
I hope that instead of acting like a diva movie star James Franco shows up to a few classes next time or I have a better idea…………..drop out if he has better things to do. I can about guarantee there were plenty of people rejected by NYU’s film program who would have been at those classes come hell, high water, or hangover.
I guess I think the article below is a sad, sad commentary on what academics have become.