The Flipside recently had the great privilege of interviewing Brett Pham, a frosh whose claim to fame in the virtual Stanford community consists of taking fifteen one-unit classes at the same time. Pham, who is known in his hometown for subtly bringing up his SAT score, described to us how he arrived at the idea of winning at college.
“I’ve always been good at multitasking,” Pham explained. “Studying while listening to music, cooking while masturbating, that kind of thing. And as I was browsing for classes whose content I hadn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of retaining, I kept coming across these ‘one-unit wonders’—and it struck me. I just had to buy fifteen computer monitors.”
Pham, whose skin has taken on the pallor of a tubercular Victorian child-ghost after being shut inside for half a year, could only describe the experience of hearing fifteen professors speaking at once as euphoric. “At first, I was overwhelmed. But ten, fifteen minutes in, and I could begin to tease out a signal in the noise, a harmony from the cacophony. Once I let myself go completely, I found peace.”
We roused Pham from a drooling stupor of memory for some closing comments. “I still pick favorites, of course—the Methods of German Ornithology series has been surprisingly magnetic, as has been Managing Your PhD. On the other hand, it’s clear that nobody gives a rat’s ass about Ethics in Computer Science. What’s really difficult is which I like best of Frontiers in Biology, Frontiers in Marine Biology, Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers in Molecular Biology, or Frontiers in Theoretical Biology.”