College student asks English professor for help getting a date—now the internet is taking notes

"The real masterpiece was next to me the whole time."
November 3, 2017 3:40 pm Last Updated: November 3, 2017 7:17 pm


Jake Moreno wanted a chance to take his crush Hannah out on a date, but the 22-year-old Salt Lake Community College student wasn’t exactly a smooth talker, until now.

“I have about zero skills when it comes to texting girls,” Jake said in a tweet that’s since gone viral, which is why he turned to the one person he knew was a master at the art for help: his English professor, Shannon Atkinson.

Moreno wasn’t confident he could get his crush to agree to go on a date with him. So he asked his English professor for help crafting a text message that would persuade her.

(Facebook/Jake Moreno)

“Jacob approached me after class wondering if the triangle and Aristotelian Rhetoric could be used to ask a woman on a date and I was intrigued, thus my help,” Atkinson told BuzzFeed News.

Atkinson, a philosophy of religion professor, explained that the key to the art of persuasion is in creating the delicate balance between the three modes of persuasion: ethos, logos, and pathos, of course.

Ethos is an appeal to ethics, or an attempt to convince the audience of the character or credibility of the persuader. According to Jake’s diagram, his ethos argument is that he’s a nice, cool guy looking for a friendly, pressure-free outing.

Logos is an appeal to logic, an attempt to persuade the audience through reason. Moreno’s reasoning? “It’s free food, a break from work” and a “good, low-stress time.” Brilliant.

Pathos is an appeal to emotion. Moreno’s Aristotelian triangle of emotional appeal is “it will be fun!”

Together, the two of them crafted the perfect approach to texting Hannah.

(Twitter / @squidslippers)

Atkinson said he helped his student with his pathos argument—a process that took only five minutes to craft. 

“My only real input into this whole thing was having him really appeal to the pathos part of the triangle and be sensitive and cognizant of the ‘details’ of her life situation, as often in rhetoric of this type that is what is going to put him over the top, so to speak,” he said.

“This is where Jacob brought up how she was moving, he wanted to create a stress reliever, and then the kicker, her dog.”

“I thought including all three would appeal well to her pathos,” Atkinson said. “The logos and ethos sides were pretty straightforward and he had these pretty much settled.”

And it worked! To Moreno’s surprise, Hannah said yes.

After all, it was a pretty smooth text.

“We straight ethos, logos, pathosed my way into a date!” Jake enthusiastically wrote.

(Twitter / @squidslippers)

“I still can’t believe she said yes,” Moreno wrote in a tweet that’s won the hearts of thousands.

The two went on a date on Friday evening. They watched the sunset and finger painted together—that’s right. They finger painted. Didn’t Moreno say he had zero skills? Clearly he had the date activity department down. The cute couple also had dinner at a burger joint and hung out with Hannah’s dog, Winston, who Moreno said is “very chill.”

The adorable post included photos of the lovebirds after their date.

“We finger painted the sunset together, it was so amazing and the painting was good but the real masterpiece was next to me the whole time,” tweeted Moreno. Awwwwwww.

Clearly, Moreno was thrilled.

Now the internet is rooting for them.

And thousands are taking notes.



Moreno said he told Hannah about the strategy behind the text. She said, “Honestly, I kind of thought it was funny.”

“I guess it was quite successful because Jacob said she said yes, went on the date, and now perhaps matchmaker will have to go on my resume in the near future,” Atkinson said proudly.

It’s safe to say we may be seeing a wave of students signing up for Professor Atkin’s philosophy course at Salt Lake City Community College.