8 types of SLE students you’ll meet

Oct. 22, 2020, 8:41 p.m.

It’s the middle of fall quarter now, and if we were on campus right now you might hear faint groans coming from FloMo as the SLE students attempt to decipher Plato’s Republic. In honor of the latest cohort of philosopher-kings, here are the 8 types of SLE students you’ll probably meet.

The Sleeper 

For this student, the lure of hearing a tenured professor talk about medieval Germany lost out to the lure of uninterrupted sleep, lulled by the stuffy air and the lecturer’s monotonous tone. Busy Stanford life turned us all into this student at some point.

The Bullshitter 

This student never does the reading, and yet they somehow glean enough info from other sources to still contribute to the discussion. Is it Sparknotes? Wikipedia? Whatever it is, your section leader and fellow sectionees will never know. 

The Nerd

That’s right, this student is even nerdier than your average SLE student. This student’s knowledge of some obscure topic rivals that of the lecturer. This student also enjoys badgering the faculty about how Kant or Hume are not on the syllabus. 

The Socialist 

This student begins SLE loving the promise of a better society and hating their corporate sellout peers. Marx week in spring is their time to shine, and the socialists’ ranks always swell during that week. 

The Film Junkie

SLE films are either colorful foreign films with subtitles or drab affairs with overwrought intellectual ideas. No matter which it is, the film nerd manages to bypass the ideas in the film and instead relentlessly questions the camera angles, soundtrack and lighting. 

The SLE Hater 

This student claims to dislike SLE because of the organization of the course or the readings or the balance of Western/non-Western authors, but they’re still super invested in the class and churn out deep analyses of the texts. 

The Memer 

This student is your one-stop shop for all SLE memery and they are unafraid to poke fun at the texts, the faculty and the assignments. This person says what we’re all thinking upon each assigned vague paper prompt. 

The Talker 

There’s lots of these at Stanford, but it is my personal opinion that the ones in SLE are the most insufferable. We can’t go a full hour-long section without them giving their spiel, regardless of how relevant it is or whether it adds anything to the conversation. They see discussions as an opportunity to work in saved-up SAT vocabulary words.

Contact Caroline Hintzman at cgh117 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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