The Stanford Occasionally’s 2020 ‘Naughty or Nice’ list

Nov. 19, 2020, 7:18 p.m.

Oh! It’s (almost) the most wonderful time of the worst possible year! A generation-defining plague, a historic election, a social revolution… The Stanford Occasionally looks back at this year, and we’ve realized that A LOT has gone on. As such, we’re getting in the holiday spirit by giving you all an unwarranted, unappreciated and definitely unwanted “Naughty or Nice” list.

Nice: StanfordVotes

Did they spam your mailing lists way too many times? Yes, they did. Did they partner with every student organization you’re a part of? Yes, they did. But did they register a lot of students to vote? Absolutely. And for that, we forgive them. —Richard Coca ’22

Naughty: Stanford Link

Not since Starbucks’ peppermint mocha has there been a better blend of unrealized commercial expectations, sexual intrigue and misleading statements about database security. If you were foolhardy enough to entrust your heart’s desires to this crossover between a Google Form and a colander then you can rest assured that your secret is safe with the North Korean online operative who just purchased the information for 23 cents from a website now in the possession of the FBI. It’s for the best, though — they don’t like you back. —Benjamin Midler ’23

Nice: Map Guys

Somehow neither what the nation needed nor what we deserved, Map Guys took over every broadcast news station — your CNNs, your MSBNCs, your Fox Newses, your… the other ones — and proceeded to enlighten America with about one datum/hour for the entire Election Week with a tenacity before unknown. As we speak, John King is still asleep on the CNN floor. Steve Kornacki is wrapped very tightly in a space blanket. Phil Mattingly isn’t done wiping off all of the wax they used to make him shiny enough for air. I don’t know what we would have done without them.  —Lana Tleimat ’23

Naughty: Re-Approaching Stanford Emails 

Why would you give us false hope? What have we done to deserve this kind of manipulation? Fool us once, that’s on you, but we refuse to be fooled again. Cases are rising and you expect us to believe we’re gonna try our luck with hybrid learning now? You can try your best to tell us that we’ll be all fine and dandy and back in the winter, but we can see you sitting on that throne of lies, Provost Drell. —Simran Tandon ’24

Nice: First Year/Peer Mentors

In a traditional year, RAs would welcome all the frosh and transfers dressed in rally and with pep in their step. This year, their role has been transformed to simply sitting on Zoom for an hour and hoping frosh show up, so not too different from a normal year’s on-call. —Richard Coca ’22

Naughty: Gene Kim 

You killed our GPAs with true or false, but entertained our questions with sarcasm. You are one of the most vibrant and entertaining professors, and your quizzes will go down in history, as will your Zoom backgrounds. Hopefully the frosh fare better in 51, but I am guessing they will not. —Jenna Ruzekowicz ’24

Nice: North Dakota 

For the first time, North Dakota made it into the news cycle, and they did not disappoint. A dead man being elected to the legislature was actually on my 2020 apocalypse bingo, so thanks for the freebie. But seriously, the man died on Oct. 5. It’s not like you cast the vote before he died; all of you were actively aware he was dead and STILL voted for him. Stanford students don’t even have that kind of commitment to their majors. Mad respect for that one, ND. —Simran Tandon ’24 

Naughty: Zoom Breakout Rooms

Uncomfortably staring at your own reflection as you wait for your classmates to show up. Awkward greetings. Long pauses. That one girl with mic and camera off who you know is FOR SURE not participating in this discussion. An inescapable yearning for the sweet release of death (or the close of the breakout room, whichever comes first). —Michelle Fu ’24

Nice: The Los Angeles Lakers

We didn’t think that 2020 would get any worse when we heard about the tragic death of former Laker and basketball legend Kobe Bryant. That was in February. Thanks in large part to Pixar-villain-turned-NBA-commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA was able to resume its season, and the Lakers won the championship for the first time in 10 years. Even if you don’t like the Lakers, you can’t help but feel a glimmer of hope in the universe. —Charlie Kogen ’23

Naughty: Jeffrey Toobin

You know why. —Charlie Kogen ’23

Nice: Stanford Communities Project

Thank you, nameless, faceless figure that collects my most personal information and dispenses Amazon gift cards. I’m not really sure why you want to know who my friends are or if I eat more when I’m depressed, but in this economy? $9.25 a week is very, very much appreciated. —Lana Tleimat ’23

Naughty: Bike Thieves

Look, we aren’t even on campus. How is it that there are bikes to be stolen? Also, what are you planning to do with these stolen bikes? Are you going to take a multi-day trip in the Rocky Mountains? In this economy? Isn’t there something better you could do with your time, like watching the entirety of “Grey’s Anatomy” while rage-tweeting about how much “Grey’s Anatomy” sucks? —Kathryn Zheng ’24

Nice: Anthony Fauci

Gallant Sir Anthony, what hath we done to deserve thee? Were it not for thy steady guiding words we all would have surely perished in the plague (though we may yet). Thy extensive knowledge and sweet Brooklyn tones hath soothed the souls of each and every tree.  If thou wert as a stalwart sea captain, then the state of American Public Health would be as a noble ship besieged by pirates, set on fire and thrown about in a giant f***ing tornado. I beg of thee, mind the flames and guide this blasted ship to safe harbor.  —Sarah Lewis ’24

Naughty: Chemistry Department

The chem department did make an effort to make classes enjoyable by sending us cute lab boxes with pH meters to test the acidity of our urine, but their midterms this quarter definitely flopped. Maybe if we got to blow stuff up from the comfort of our own homes, they’d be on the nice list, but the heart-wrenching Gradescope notifications were too much.  —Lorenzo Del Rosario ’24

Nice: Sir Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart saying the words “tortellini” and “to-MAH-toes” in an Uber Eats commercial was something that none of us wanted, but all of us needed. —Charlie Kogen ’23

Naughty: Mike Pence

😉  —Mother 

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 the Satire section at satire ‘at’

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