Sunday, September 20, 2009

MIT charm school

Recently my friend, a MIT graduate student, told me that MIT has a charm school for guys, to learn social skills and how to woo women.

I am skeptical that attendance would be high. (Any MIT people want to confirm or deny?) Most guys I know who would most benefit from this service are also the ones most likely to shun it. Their motivation is lower than their actual skill. The low motivation is probably what led to the undeveloped skills in the first place.)

These guys say things like, "Why should I lend a woman my jacket when we're out at night? She should've thought ahead and brought her own jacket!"

The logic is reasonable, so it is usually useless to argue.

Misha says his retort to all these arguments is, "Dude, do you ever want to get laid?"

That would make a good tagline for the MIT charm school for men.


John K. Lin said...

"Dude, do you ever want to get laid?" - LOL. Sounds like something I'd see in CBS's "The Big Bang Theory" (which is supposed to take place at Caltech...)

My high school friend, who happened to be visiting last weekend from Boston, actually *teaches* some of the courses at charm school. We were briefly chatting about "Charm School." ( The "school" takes place between Fall and Spring semester during their intersession known as Independent Activities Period (IAP).

From what I know of Caltech, I think Caltech students are much more socially inept than MIT students. I personally know 3 people(who are socially normal and adjusted) who transferred out of Caltech to Stanford, Harvard and MIT because of how socially awkward the whole campus is (and they are definitely not academic dummies - no who gets into and goes to Caltech is).

At least the women I've known who have gone to Caltech seem pretty normal, maybe with the exception of you - LOL :)

Tom Galloway said...

It's been going on for a good 15 or so years during the January Independent Activities Period. The format is a bunch of mini-courses during a day, with certificates given for each one completed. An early one had Judith "Miss Manners" Martin as a "Commencement Speaker" (I showed up for her speech, which I recall had as a key point her delight at the concept of netiquette, in that it showed that social rules and customs were needed and would evolve naturally in new human interaction environments).

There's a website for it; the link to example courses is

Anonymous said...

Dan said...

"Charm school" is a single afternoon during IAP -- basically a fun time with a bunch of presentations and skits and stuff.

It's not "for guys", and it's not about "wooing women", though dating etiquette is a popular subject. I have never been, but I doubt they spend much time convincing guys they need to loan girls their jacket. In any case, it is neither pitched nor presented as remedial social skills for nerds. You can read their web site yourself.

John K. Lin said...

The past few years, my friend has taught these courses at Charm School: "Table Manners", "How To Throw A Party: Things & Logistics", "How To Throw A Party: People & Manners".

Niniane said...

Those courses sound useful.