If Breaking Bad's central conceit — that a harried high school chemistry teacher and his former student team up to enter the lucrative world of methamphetamine production — seems too outlandish to you, here's a strange case that demonstrates just how life can mirror art.
The Boston Globe reports that 74-year-old university mathematics professor Irina Kristy and her 29-year-old son Grigory Genkin are being charged with cooking meth in their Somerville, Massachusetts home. Kristy is an adjunct instructor at nearby Boston University (where she still teaches) and Suffolk University. I don't know the specifics of her academic history, but I can imagine that having no tenure could inspire some pretty dire action:
A lecturer in the math department at BU since 1987, Kristy teaches three courses each semester, said school spokesman Colin Riley on Friday [...] Kristy also taught math as an adjunct professor at Suffolk University from 1985 until Monday, when "after the university learned of the charges,'' she was "placed on administrative leave through the end of the semester,'' school spokesman Greg Gatlin said Friday. [...]
On Nov. 7, in a daylong search of the second-floor residence at 19 Oxford St. that Genkin and Kristy share, investigators from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies recovered evidence that the site was being used to make methamphetamine, Somerville police said in a statement last month.
Authorities disposed of "a large amount of materials believed to be hazardous," and the bomb squad detonated further dangerous substances. As a former student writing for The Suffolk Voice noted:
The evidence that the Drug Enforcement Administration (D.E.A.) gathered from the duplex are ingredients commonly used when making Meth. The list includes: solvents, cold medicine, and reactive liquids in old Snapple bottles. (Being a student of Professor Kristy myself, this evidence is shocking, because she has never taught a class this semester where she wasn't drinking from Snapple bottles) [...]
Geez Louise, even Jesse Pinkman quickly learned that you never cook where you eat. Speaking of her students, none seemed overly enthused with her classroom demeanor, but they found Professor Kristy to be an easy grader. After this incident, there really should be an unofficial, pan-collegiate statute guaranteeing students free As if their professor is accused of cooking crank.
Breaking Bad portraiture by Cara Thayer & Louie Van Patten.