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An Allegorical History of Higher Education

The Washington Post has a great little article up about the history of all the problems in American post-secondary education, called Dropping the Ball.


No. Wait.

It’s actually about the Inaugural Ball(s).

But, it’s sort of funny if you read it as an allegorical tale about working in higher education.  At least, when I read it, I couldn’t help but draw the comparison.

Allow me to quote:

A sample PIC [Presidential Inauguration Committee] agenda from 1881: “Appointment of Persons to Have Charge of the Hat Boxes.”

Followed by:

At one 19th-century meeting, members proposed such ideas as charging female guests double because of their large dresses.

At another, the chair of the civic organizations committee received special thanks for dealing with the “women suffragists” who “have greatly added to the troubles of the inaugural committee.

It occurred to me that government isn’t really an institution or a collection of offices.  It is a methodology.

Higher ed is essentially the same, save the collection of loopy humanities professors (ahem, who “teech”es art?).

Anyway.  As fun as it is to laugh at the troubles you’ve left behind, let me remind myself here that I did, indeed, just leave higher ed to work for a government agency.

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