Students get their turn to memorialize David Carr

Unlike his funeral this week, there were no big stars in Boston yesterday to remember David Carr, the Hopkins native and New York Times media critic who died last week. There were only kids — students in Carr’s class at Boston University.

Jasper Craven had Carr this winter. Because of the parade of snowstorms this term, Carr’s class met only once.

Carr’s course was the only one at BU’s College of Communication for which students had to apply. About four times as many students applied as were admitted. But Craven did not give up when he didn’t get in the first time. He found out over the summer that Carr was making an appearance in Washington.

“Afterwards, I came up to him and was talking to him a little bit and I was like: ‘Why didn’t I get into your fall class?’”Craven said.

“And he was like: ‘Well you seem like a smart kid, so you must have just done a half-ass job on the essay.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, you may be right,’” Craven recalled. “But he still … he then talked to me about my interest in journalism for 10 or 15 minutes, said he would try his hardest to make sure I had his class in the spring and invited me to visit his office hours in the fall.”

WBUR in Boston provides the story.

The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates is taking over Carr’s class.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post considers how many people drew upon a wealth of scorn once it was learned that Carr died from lung cancer.

But it can feel like if you get lung cancer, you earned it. You should’ve known better. The sympathy typically reserved for cancer patients is often missing. People with lung cancer can feel ashamed of their diagnosis. It’s a problem recognized by oncologists and medical associations.

The American Lung Association recently began a push to combat the stigma related to what is often called “the invisible cancer” because the disease is often not diagnosed until the cancer has reached an advanced stage, leading to just a 16 percent five-year survival rate.

Lung cancer is grim news. And the stigma of lung cancer is pervasive, casting a disapproving pall over a medical calamity, harmful to not only patients, but also to the disease’s prospects for research funding.

Related: David Carr's last interview: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras (Minnesota Public Radio News).

  • MrE85

    Thanks for the link to the Washington Post blog on the stigma of lung cancer. Simply put, nobody deserves lung cancer.