James Franco: Yale's Favorite Student

And The Ivy League: The New York Times' favorite subject

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Yale is fascinated by its most famous overachiever: James Franco. And whatever fascinates Yale fascinates The New York Times, apparently.

An article in today's New York Times zooms in on one of the many gigs Franco is currently pursuing--life as a doctoral student--as seen through the eyes of those lucky enough, or hoping to catch a glimpse of him on campus. The actor/writer/painter etc. may have received some flack for ditching his own Oscar party after a debatably lame performance as the show's host, but his return to New Haven was greeted with open arms from a fawning Yale professoriate. Michael Warner, chairman of Yale’s English department, tells the paper, “we have had experience before with students pursuing parallel degrees. Although the scale of his obligations is something that we’ve never seen before--but who has?” He also says Franco is good at "blending in." And Cokey Cohen, a Yale Daily News columnist admits, "we're all really fascinated and awed. To see someone who has what we all consider to have an ideal life--with a fun, successful career--to be voluntarily doing so much schoolwork all the time is both really admirable and something I can’t even comprehend.”

But a quote from one poor undergrad, whose double major in international studies and African studies probably leaves her with scant time for Franco-watching, shows not everyone at the Ivy League school is obsessed with their movie star classmate. "It doesn't make a difference to my experience here," Stacy Diaz tells the Times. "I think it's weird that people are so wrapped up in following his every move." One might say the same about the Times' Ivy League obsession.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.