Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Case of Graduate School Identification

The Case of Graduate School Identification is a sister of The Case of Undergraduate School Identification, and can possibly be considered as a sister or cousin of The Case of Employer Identification*.  The cases of School Identification involve the offender bombarding news feeds with pictures, quotes, anecdotes, etc., making it absolutely clear, in case there was any doubt, that the offender attends or is part of the institution, and is therefore, implicitly and explicitly, AWESOME, and part of a group which is also AWESOME and  you should be reminded as often as possible how awesome this institution is and don't forget I'm a part of it and don't forget I therefore am constantly surrounded by such AWESOME people and therefore aren't I AWESOME and therefore don't I always have these cute moments and oh yes, sometimes it's stressful, but this is part of the experience and we go through these really intense and busy periods and sometimes we cry but this is just an example of how we become closer and more AWESOME.

Now, this is an immense subject and there are many facets, but sometimes, rather than creating a massive framework of what the subject is, it's best to just dive right in, showing examples, and soon the reader can get a sense of what is really going on.

Therefore, one example of this is the creation of nicknames for people who attend a given institution.  For instance, let's say in one very large city, there is a relatively prestigious university which has a relatively prestigious business school.  Let's say the business school is named after a benefactor.  As an example, let's say it's called the Goldberg School of Business.  And let's say those who attend this institution take to calling themselves "Bergies" because it sounds so cute, and isn't it precious that people attending a great business school, people who will be commanding extremely large salaries upon graduation, in jobs that sustain a system in which many people are more or less screwed over, isn't it precious that they can use fun nicknames for themselves?  This idea of creating cute school-based nicknames is not caused by Facebook, but Facebook makes it extremely easy to market and indulge in this ridiculousness.

Now, a person can post constant status updates saying things like "Out with my Bergies," and, to boot, can use a hashtag.  Here is a real post from someone who attends a graduate school, using the nickname tactic (the real nickname has been switched to Bergies):

"Bergies on a lunch break!"

This update is accompanied with these "bergies" sitting around a lunch table, smiling, showing the world how happy they are and how they are part of such a great community. Everyone is tagged.  There is a hashtag connecting this experience to the platonic ideal.  There are many, many "likes."  Some of these "likes" come from people at the same school, hence showing their school pride and sense of connection.  Some of these "likes" come from bystanders, people who just want to be positive and show how supportive and fun they are by liking something.

In conclusion, god help those people.

*The Case of Employer Identification, where an offender explicitly states the name of an employer, is less common for various reasons, although it is quite common to make constant references to prestigious jobs or, more often, to make references to how busy a person is at an implied prestigious job.