Phantom's future

The Phantom Professor lost her job as an adjunct writing instructor at Southern Methodist University, possibly because of her blog, but now has a shot at a movie deal, reports the Houston Chronicle.

The educator’s anonymous Web log, set at an unnamed university “in the South,” spun tales of spoiled-rich “Ashleys” with their $500 sandals and $1,500 handbags, eating disorders, plagiarism and drug use, legal and illegal.

. . . Surrounded by students sporting French manicures and plans for spring break in Cabo, the blog’s author told stories like the one about “a certain member of a Middle Eastern royal family who got a new Mercedes by convincing a frat buddy to crash his one-year-old model into a wall” or how one stall in a certain ladies room was known as “the purge-atory.”

Phantom Elaine Liner used no names, but “students and faculty began recognizing themselves in the phantom’s prose. A student in SMU’s corporate communications and public affairs department discovered the blog had quoted the content of e-mail she had sent to one of her teachers.”

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  1. SuperSub says:

    Not a big deal ont he free speech front. Her blog was unprofessional and demeaning to the university, and the school had every right to dismiss her because of it.
    As for the truth of her stories, I’m sure that the same core student body exists at all universities, and that most of the stories were true, but I wouldn’t be surprised if many were embellished for dramatic effect.
    She went from 18,000 a year to possible book and movie deals, so she’s probably still grinning from he whole experience.

  2. J_Crater says:

    An assistant professor had no trouble identifying herself in another short posting about a faculty member who was “fresh from a mediocre Midwestern University with a Ph.D. in something no one cares about.”

    I find this particular line to be the most troublesome.
    This professor could actually do this. Exactly who goes to college attempting to get a degree, an advanced degree at that, in “something no one cares about” ?

  3. JuggleBoy says:

    In certain corners of the engineering world “a degree in something no one cares about” loosly translates into a liberal arts degree. Particularly one with the word “studies” in the title…

  4. All too true… I had a female friend at SMU. She was not one of the richer ones there. Upon spending all of my hard-earned money to fly out there, I was disappointed by her spending more of Daddy’s money on makeup than I spent on the plane ticket. SMU has appropriately earned the nickname “Southern Millionaire’s University.”

    When I traveled there to help her move in, there was a freshman girl with her dad in the parking lot. Her dad was giving her a “going away to college gift.” A CD player? A small refrigerator? A laptop? No…

    A Porsche 911. She did not know how to operate a manual transmission.

    One weekend, I received a phone call of complaint. She said “my parents are limiting the money that I can spend to $500 per month.” The money did not include food and gas. Basically, it was her spending money for Thomas Pink, Faconnable, and Nieman Marcus. Her hallmates were outraged at the injustice of her parents.

    As a product of state and private universities, I have still never seen anything quite like SMU. In my opinion, the Phantom Professor hit the nail on the head and got nailed for it. I don’t think it would have made anyone mad if there wasn’t so much truth involved.