Badami ’11: Emma Watson at Brown

So it is done: wand-wielding wunderkind Emma Watson is among the newest Brunonians gracing College Hill this fall. Like her fellow classmates, she has the very rare opportunity to attend one of the proudest, most selective, most eccentric academic institutions this side of the Atlantic Ocean. I am genuinely delighted for her.

Notice my preposition there. I am delighted for her, not because of her. Unlike many of my peers, I am not allured by the media frenzy surrounding her arrival. Nor am I particularly ecstatic about the syrupy fawning she will undoubtedly receive from our Harry Potter fan-experts in residence.

But it cuts both ways. Certainly she will be the butt of many a poorly crafted joke, enduring a remarkable amount of undue attention in the dining halls and libraries. As she told MTV, Emma simply wants to be a normal, “geeky” student, studying literature and trying to make her mark in the sea of scholarship we call academia. So, it is without a trace of facetiousness that I say this: I could not care less that Emma Watson is attending Brown. And I don’t think she would want it any other way.

A recent headline from the prodigious Daily Beast dubbed Brown the “College of the Stars.” Indeed, one cannot deny the sheer number of celebrity progeny that elect to cross the Van Wickle threshold every year. Why are they drawn to our institution? I could venture a few guesses. The open curriculum, our superb faculty and students the happiest of any undergraduate body (back at number one!) come to mind. Brown is a school that, like many of the celebrities traversing its greens, lives outside of convention.

Welcome to Brown, Emma. Now everyone stop this fuss!

— Anthony Badami ’11, Opinions Columnist


  1. EP2

    Badami’s ignorance is as appaling. The attention he is loathe to acknowledge is well deserved of any individual who has accomplished so much as she dis at her age. It is especially deserving of children in the arts.
    Contrary to Badami’s flawed perceptions, child stars usually endure a brutal childhood while under the thumb of a maniacal parent. It is frequently too much for the child, leading to a miserable adult life.
    Badami has likely achieved very little at anything, and is actually fawning but in his own “loser” style.
    Badami: grow up.

  2. a. badami

    So, let me see if I understand this correctly: Ms. Watson is a child star (is the term wunderkind now pejorative, because I thought I acknowledged this?) who endured a “brutal childhood” at the hands of a “maniacal parent,” (I don’t want to make any unfounded assumptions here) therefore, we should pay obsequious attention to every aspect of her college life, as some of my peers do (i.e. where she lives, what classes she is taking, who she has befriended, etc.). You believe this is a more rational course of action than JUST LEAVING HER ALONE, or, at the very least, treating her like every other normal student that attends this university?

    Then again, I’ve “achieved very little at anything,” so who am I to speak of such things? As everyone knows, only successful people should be allowed opinions.


  3. I think you make a very good point. If I was Ms. Watson I would not want it any other way than to be a normal student at university.

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