Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students and teachers alike face the challenges of suddenly being forced to enroll in what is essentially a global “Zoom University.” Stanford, typically ranked among the best of universities in traditional rankings, remains a contender to beat Arizona State University for No. 1 online university solely based on the efforts of one especially determined professor, Mehran Sahami. Pioneering CS106A Code in Place alongside co-lecturer Chris Piech to teach introductory coding, Sahami has demonstrated true dedication to delivering the complete experience of CS106A, preserving the most essential component: Sahami’s infamous candy-throwing.
“I want every Code in Place student to walk away with the life-changing experience of having been thrown candy by me, just like any other Stanford student here,” Sahami said. “It’s an integral rite of passage that I feel everyone should be able to have access to, and I am proud of how much good I am contributing to the world during this difficult time. I don’t want to brag, but I definitely know my aim has also been getting even better! Sure, they’re on a screen but it’s pretty fun to aim at a student’s face now that they can’t dodge.”
The Daily has received mixed reviews from students of Code in Place.
“It was nice how much he wanted to adapt to the new Zoom format, but it got pretty awkward when most of us stopped pretending to catch it,” remarked high school senior Lindor Ghirardelli ’20. “There’s always a few minutes of silence after the candy drops to the ground and he finally looks up at us with these puppy-dog eyes, acting offended that no one tried to reach.”
One of Mehran’s TAs, Star B. Urst ’20 reported similar sentiments as Ghirardelli.
“It’s just depressing to see him still somehow miss the student he was supposed to throw at. He says he’s getting better, but honestly, if people disagreed, he would get super unmotivated to teach,” Urst said. “This got to the point that it’s now a TA’s duty to literally punch through their laptop screen to make a ‘real grab’ for the fallen candy and cheer him up. I broke two laptops so far and I’m not even being reimbursed.”
Despite reports of dissatisfaction, Sahami remains zealous to his noble cause and is cited as a faculty role model for exemplary commitment to adapt in-person coursework to an online format. Ending the interview, he enthusiastically commented that there may be plans to officially make turning on Zoom video mandatory and include candy-catching attempts under participation points, with noncompliance leading to automatic fails and blacklisting from Stanford.
Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.
Contact Tanya Watarastaporn at tanyawat ‘at’ stanford.edu.