UCLA is in the news today because yesterday a former student shot a professor, a man noted for his kindness and concern about his students. What is even more senseless is that this professor allegedly moved heaven and earth to help this student completed his PhD.
Unfortunately, this is not as bizarre as it appears to be. I once had a student from Guam who was equally unsettling, but thankfully, not armed.
This student, who was of mixed race, must have had a difficult time growing up on Guam. This of course is only my supposition, since you can't ask a student, "how did you get so crazy?"
A couple of years after he'd been my student this man came into my office and asked me to stop getting him fired from his jobs.
I remembered him but had no idea how he'd been faring the last two or three years. Apparently he hadn't been successful in the real world.
I tried reasoning with him and explained that I hadn't been following his career, but he did not believe it.
Every once in a while, in the next year or two, he would stop by at the University and beg me to stop controlling his life.
This guy really attributed powers to me I didn't possess. One day he stopped coming in and I never saw him again. Thankfully, he never became a Republican or joined the NRA. Of course, that's just my wishful supposition.