BOOM, story time:
Once upon a time there was a hilarious and criminally attractive student named MRG. Now, MRG didn’t like “science.” In fact, whenever she wrote about it on her critically-acclaimed, award-winning* comedy blog about historical sex scandals, she used quotation marks to ridicule a vastly important branch of academia that she didn’t understand because deep down she felt inadequate as a lit major with a lot of smart science friends who did things like develop a sustainability plan for the Chesapeake Bay watershed while she read books about feelings and wrote papers about her feelings about those books about feelings.
But the Registrar at her college knew that science was MRG’s weakness, and that she’d been putting off that science gen-ed requirement like her life depended on it.
But the Registrar, like all good villains, was omnipotent and knew MRG’s plan. So it did what any antagonist would do – it sent her a very polite listserv email at the beginning of the semester reminding her that she needed to take another science class to graduate. And MRG, valiant bitch that she was, went to said Registrar and apologetically and politely asked to be added to the introductory Psych class. Then the Registrar gave her a hard candy.
You might be thinking that the Registrar won, and if so, you’re fucking wrong. Because on the second day of class, MRG’s professor (who talks EXACTLY like Jimmy Stewart and looks EXACTLY like a gray-haired Stephen Colbert and therefore is married to the luckiest woman in the world) said “blah blah blah theories blah blah blah blah the most famous psychological sex scandal in history blah blah blah hypothesis blah blah” during a lecture about experimental design.
MRG is a red-blooded American woman, so she got a little turned on. But she knew what she had to do: she took care of her lady boner, fanned herself a little, and started frantically taking notes. The following post is a result of that most serendipitous happening. Serendipitous because 1) she’s learned something in a science class and 2) because it’s topical as shit now that school’s started again.
Way the fuck back in the 1910s and 1920s, psychology was still a burgeoning science. That Freud guy was getting really prominent with his theories about sex and stuff, and other psychologists (who probably weren’t actually referring to themselves as psychologists yet, but you get it) were also trying to make names for themselves. This thing called “ethics” wasn’t really too big yet, either, so all kinds of crazyass illegal experiments on people’s brains and shit were happening. All in all, a great fucking time to be a scientist.
John B. Watson smelled what everyone was stepping in. He was a researcher at Johns Hopkins, and he liked to observe kids. Not in a pedo way, but in a SCIENCE way. And at some point in 1920 he realized that kids are so fucking annoying.
“They turn into pansy-ass bitches when they hear loud noises or see scary images. I bet it’s because they haven’t been conditioned to keep their shit toether,” hypothesized young John. “YES, I HAVE FOUND MY CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY AND TO SCIENCE.”
Really what he decided to do was to train a living, breathing, honest-to-god human infant-child to be terrified of white rats, just to be a douche and/or for SCIENCE. We’ve noted my lack of scientific acuity. Maybe that’s why I’m a little nauseous right now.
Rosalie Rayner, his alliteratively named, sassy, sexy, smart graduate ladystudent lab assistant, felt a little differently. Namely, super-crazy-science-horny. She was like, “AWWWW, I hate when children are very reasonably terrified by scary things, too! We’re totes soul mates, JB.” And then she probably unbuttoned her lab coat a little, because JB subsequently asked her to conduct the study with him.
I’m not going to get into the experiment too much because it’s apparently really famous. It’s the “Little Albert” study. Google it. You don’t even have to do that, because I’ve linked the Wiki page right fucking here. Anyway, suffice it to say that JB somehow found a loving mother who didn’t give a white rat’s ass (SEE WHAT I DID THERE? Because there were rats in the experiment??! Damn, I’m good.) about her child’s brain/future life and then he proceeded to work his science voodoo classical conditioning magic on lil’ Albie until the poor guy literally pooped his pants at the sight of anything white and furry. Okay, maybe that’s not true. I wasn’t there. But I do know that JB and Rosalie went ahead and decided NOT to bother reversing the conditioning. Which is really fucked up. But I’m pretty sure it’s because they were too busy embarking on a steamy, sciency, professor-student love affair to give a shit about Albie’s “life” or the consequences of “irreversibly fucking it up.”
That’s right. We’ve come to the secks. These two were doing it all over the place, and probably in the lab, too. I feel like a lot of beakers were shattered. Remember that episode of Boy Meets World where Fred Savage guest stars as a hot professor who tries to bang Topanga, and she’s all, No, I have morals, I’m married to Corey? Remember that? I’m pretty sure Rosalie had the exact opposite reaction to JB’s advances. She was probably doing really gross and phallic things with test tubes, and then he was probably all, “Don’t gotta be a psychologist to know what’s on that bitch’s mind, AM I RIGHT?!” She also probably could get him some pot. I can’t deny that there were perks. Anyway, the the inappropriate banging ensued.
And of course JB was married. Of course. These two were also really shitty at sneaking around, so Johns Hopkins found out. After JB refused to just send Rosalie abroad for a little while (cause you know, that’s how these things are solved), ol’ Johnny Hopkins asked JB to step down. Which was good of them, morally…………….until you remember that they let this motherfucker alter an eight-month-old baby’s brain permanently in the name of science, undisturbed. But fucking a student, that crosses a line.
Either way, Mrs. Watson divorced her asshat husband quicker than you can say “irreconcilable differences,” and Rosalie and JB were married in 1921 and stayed that way until 1935, when she died.
Listen, ladies. I get it. You get it. We’ve all had a crush on at least one of our male professors. They’re smart, they’re endearingly thin (because the eight-year PhD didn’t allow time or money for food), and they’re passionate about things. I know for a fact that should a certain British professor who knows how to werq an ascot propose marriage to JAF, our ginger friend would arrive at Heathrow in head-to-toe Vera Wang within 10 hours. I get it.
But here are some things that should impede a pedagogue-pupil relationship:
1) Possible loss of job/credibility.
2) Breaking up a marriage.
3) FUCKING WITH AN INNOCENT CHILD’S FUCKING BRAIN AS AN EXCUSE FOR BONING TIME.
*These are inaccurate adjectives.