Joke Issue: Students in 'Monk' class arrested for public intoxication and arson
To rebel against the class, students burned the white sheets they wore to class
April 3, 2012, 11:40 pm · Updated April 4, 2012, 11:41 pm·
Never has the punishment to “sit and think about what you’ve done” meant quite so much to college students.
Three Penn students were arrested at 11 p.m. last night for public intoxication and arson, Division of Public Safety reported. All three students said they knew each other through a common class: “Living Deliberately: Monks, Saints and the Contemplative Life.”
“Living Deliberately,” a seminar in the Religious Studies Department, teaches students how to ignore their friends and family, write with feather pens and count how many times they chew their food during meals.
DPS said Penn security guards approached the students on Sansom Street near Pottruck Fitness Center, where they were “shouting expletives and trying to light a pile of white sheets on fire.”
Those sheets were part of the required dress code for the class, said College junior Friar Williams, one of the three arrested students.
“I kept hearing that little voice inside me, which I’ve been training myself to listen to more often,” Williams added. “But after a round of Bloody Mary’s, it was just like, ‘Burn it, man.’”
College sophomore Sister Rothstein, who was also arrested, said no one planned beforehand to commit arson.
“The whole thing started innocently enough,” Rothstein said. “We were sitting around just talking. I haven’t been allowed to talk to anyone in weeks!”
The students believe their actions might have sprung from their collective disillusionment with living like monks and nuns.
College freshman Saint Reynaldo said he had grown extremely tired of “Living Deliberately.”
“Literally,” he added. “I woke up that morning at four o’clock to think about what kind of animal I would want to be. I was studying for the midterm.”
Religious Studies professor Justin McDaniel, who teaches the class, declined to comment with his voice. After making several failed attempts at telepathy, he wrote down on a piece of paper, “VERY DISAPPOINTED.”
For more information, check out this related story.