Saturday, February 8, 2014

Yale Students Prank Robert Shiller

The Yale Daily News reports:
On Monday afternoon, a cell phone appeared to go off several minutes into the Introductory Macroeconomics lecture. Then another identical ring emerged from the din. And another. Soon, a cacophony of rings from around the lecture hall succeeded in bringing professor Robert Shiller’s discussion of monetary policy to a halt.

“I think someone’s phone is going off,” he said.

What began as a jovial prank soon degenerated into a malicious, personal and uncalled for attack on a faculty member.


One student’s scream prompted a handful of students holding bells to stand. Two of them — a boy and a girl — marched towards the stage. They shook Shiller’s hand, and handed him a few objects including a paper scroll and a bell. He fumbled trying to place them on his podium. Students glanced around in uneasy silence, confused by what was unfolding before their eyes.

“For talking about your Nobel Prize more than anyone else, we present you with the Yes-bell Prize,” announced one of the bell-carriers.

The handful of students proceeded to pick up their backpacks and walk out of the lecture hall. Their hijinks may have been intended to generate laughter, but the room was left quiet. Some sensed that a prank had gone too far — that a tacit code had been broken.

Professor Shiller struggled to comprehend what had just occurred. Visibly flustered, he took a couple of minutes to resume his lecture.

“I hadn’t even planned on mentioning the Nobel Prize today,” he said.

It would have been really sweet if the students had handed him Human Action by Ludwig von Mises. Mises deserved the Nobel Prize in economics, if the prize is really an indication of great accomplishment in the field of economics.

1 comment:

  1. I can understand the situation over there with Mr. Shiller because we also used to have prank of our teachers in the same way and your prank has reminded me one of the most 11
    pranks i made at my college.