Crime, Punishment and the Presidential Teleprompter


Believe it or not, there are many legal ways to steal things in today’s world. Baseball players steal bases. Georgetown Day steals my heart. Allergies steal my sanity. And tonight, I even stole a sneak peak at this week’s 4E writing budget. (We have some great content coming, if I can say so myself.) Just to reiterate, these are all legal forms of stealing.

Taking the President’s teleprompter and lectern, however, is not legal. It is a crime. A very big crime.

So learned Eric Brown, a Virginia native who was recently sentenced to seven years in prison for the theft of over $200,000 worth of presidential audio equipment in 2011. According to DCist, Brown’s heist included “Obama’s teleprompter, his lectern (with presidential seal), flags, lapel pins, a laptop, amplifiers, and microphones.”

It only gets worse. Brown later attempted to pawn the communications items in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. The attempted pawning, in conjunction with evidence from his SUV and cell phone records, are sending Brown to the big house.

The bottom line: Steal things in the legal way. Don’t steal things illegally. If you do, you’ll go to jail. And President Obama will get his teleprompter back.

Relating To Your Professors

After seeing your professors at DayGlow or seeing them browsing the romantic novel section in CVS (awk), wouldn’t you be at a loss for how to handle seeing them in your next lecture or discussion?

Possibly, but because that rarely happens there is still the everyday question of how we relate to them.

Fear not, Hoyas!

As a connoisseur of all things awkward, I have come up with a system to help you navigate the waters of professordom.

Relating to your professor or TA is easier than you think!

Important things to remember:

1. They are humans too (even if you’re sure you saw them twitch when they spilled coffee on themselves that one time).  Nobody’s perfect (cue Hannah Montana), and if you’ll remember that when you’re dealing with a tough situation, you will always have a better perspective.

2. Communication is key. We all have times when we would rather not talk to our professor or TA about an issue. The type of issue does not matter, but rather the openness of conversation. It is always better to be transparent with your professors, and they will appreciate your maturity for communicating openly.

3. Staying on top of your game is a great way to strengthen your relationship with a professor. Often, it’s not the most desirable way to relate to your professors, but you will get major brownie points if you show up for class prepared, on time, and with a good attitude. If you don’t like the subject, try to keep an open mind! Your professor will see your willingness to learn and be impressed.

4. Go. To. Office. Hours.

This point cannot be stressed enough. Even if all you do is ask your professor about their research or education, you will immediately gain their respect. As I am sure you have noticed, professors love to talk about themselves. So why not use that to your advantage? Just schedule an appointment or drop in for office hours. You will be glad you did—and hey! They may even start to recognize you in class.

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