Adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen!


If you grew up in the 60’s you know that headline is from the end of the Lawrence Welk Show, something I hated as a child but now think is pretty cool.

But that’s not what this is about.  After years of trying to effect some change in our profession via gentle nudging, I’ve decided I’m signing off the NACAC Forum and Community Discussions email list, as well as the new Facebook page that was created as a response to the limitations of the NACAC-supported.  I know when I’m beat.

It’s very sad to me that no one seems to care much about the issues–the really big issues–facing our profession.  Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that no one wants to talk about them.  Typically, when I send a link to the e-lists, I’ll get 600–700 people clicking through, but no responses, other than from a handful from people I already know.  This is in stark contrast to what frequently happens:

  • Need to know the best college for the snow-hating, left-handed, vegetarian, red-haired piano virtuoso with dyslexia in your junior class?  Just ask, and you’ll get lots of opinions.
  • Want to rant about the thing that colleges do that really annoys you?  Spout off on the list, and you’ll get lots of company.
  • Too lazy or too incompetent to Google?  Just ask 700 of your closest friends.  Why learn to fish when people will throw you a mackerel? 
  • Talk about growing inequality among rich and poor? Or selective colleges’ perpetuation of social class?  <crickets>

There’s a Twitter Hash Tag called First World Problems. It seems our profession is loaded with them.  And I understand, at some level.  If you have, and the amount of the thing to have is fixed, making sure others get means you’ll have less.  Who wants less?  This is hardly unique to our profession.

And I do understand that perhaps everyone just has different expectations from the list or the Facebook Group.  But if people in admissions and college guidance want to know why they’re so frequently not taken seriously in the Academy or in their school, they really need look no further than their own lack of interest in the fundamental issues of the day, and the ostensible lack of interest from anyone in the profession.

We could do better.  We just don’t.

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