Friday, August 25, 2017

Colledge signage

A sign outside a bar, right across the street from a campus in Anytown, USA:

ASK ABOUT OUR
DRINKING DEGREE
SOMETHING U CAN
GET ALL A S IN
Yes, that’s a space between the A and the S. If I were a student, I might laugh — for a few seconds. And then I’d think about how this sign is serving to cheapen my school’s reputation and my degree. If I were a prospective student, I would wonder whether the school right across the street was a good choice.

I have no animus against alcohol or humor. But I do think of college as a serious endeavor, not something to treat as a joke. The joke is what I call colledge: “the vast simulacrum of education that amounts to little more than buying a degree on the installment plan.” Colledge students and college students can be found on the very same campus, perhaps right across the street from some bar.

I have brought this sign to the attention of those who might be expected to have sway. Right now the sign still stands. And on another corner, in front of a rental property:
WELCOME BACK STUDENTS.
WE’RE GLAD YOUR HERE!
*

August 29, 9:48 p.m.: Just saw that, for whatever reason, the bar sign has been removed. Something beginning with LADI was taking its place as I drove by.

Related reading
All OCA colledge posts (Pinboard)
Homeric blindness in colledge
#finals

comments: 4

Frex said...

Maybe the "S" went with "-IN".

(OK, that doesn't make a lot of sense, but I truly did see it that way at first--thought they were going for some sort of pun...)
--Fresca

Michael Leddy said...

I wondering if the sign could be a come-on for some sort of gimmick, a punchcard for ordering Absolut, Amaretto, Amstel Light, but I was overthinking it. It’s just “drinking degree,” hahahaha.

Diane Schirf said...

You may be assuming students go to college to learn, but many seem to go because it's an expected obligation on the career ladder, even when that career ladder requires a degree but doesn't actually require a degree. It's the new high school.

Michael Leddy said...

“You may be assuming students go to college to learn”: some do! I’m well aware that the goal for many is to get their working papers, so to speak. But I’ve also seen students get excited about learning in ways that took them by surprise. I still want to resist the transformation of college into something other than college.