Just Lunch with Blonde Ben

A couple of weeks ago Ben sent a pinyin invitation to Jia have lunch with him:

Jia ni3 hao3,

Wo3 hen3 chang2 shi2jian mei2 you3 kan4 ni3. (Da3gai4 yin1wei4 wo3 bu2

shang4 CS191W ke4…) Ni3 yao4 bu2 yao4 gen1 wo3 yi1 qi3 chi1 wu3fan4 ma?

Xing1xi1 san4, si4 dou1 hao3. Ni3 you3 shi2jian4 ma?

(Do you understand?)

She sent agreement asking what time specifically would he like to come and have lunch with her and her roommate (this guy has a reputation so I guess she wanted a chaperone of sorts):

HI Ben,

Sorry that I didn’t get back to you earlier. Are you still interested in having lunch with me and Georgina? If so, let’s try meeting some time next week =)


He agreed:

Hen3 hao3, xing1qi1 er4 ke3yi3 ma? (Is Tuesday good?)

As it turned out, he was civil to her as he usually is–he spent the meal talking about classes and describing, in an amusing way, an incident where he got in trouble last quarter.

He got in trouble by spitting at a TA; he said, the TA basically said, “Please spit on me:” he insulted Ben’s intelligence in front of a group of people. The TA took some sort of action against him through the university and Ben was in danger of being suspended. He delayed the necessary appearance before the judicial board several times by telling them he was sick, out of town, out of the country…but eventually he had to go.

He argued, to the judicial board, that his misdeed was the result of the stress of his double-majoring in CS and electrical engineering and getting a master’s all in four years. He also argued that some members of the board were mistaken in interpreting his action, and that there was actually no precedent upon which they could base judgement of what should be his punishment…this is all according to him, but in any case he avoided suspension, and got off with 80 hours “community service.”

His community service is serving as a Sweet Hall consultant (he sits in the 24 hour computer facility and answers questions people have about operating computers). He told Jia, he was glad to pay his debt to the Stanford community. He can work on his own programs while sitting there and his fellow consultants “love” him because he performs their job as a punishment.

Ben is a pretty crazy guy.  He went on telling stories until Jia and I had to leave for classes.