Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's all very peculiar

I've been quiet for a long time, I know. Things are pretty nuts around here. And I decided not to post my last entry, which was a pointless (but impassioned! Ever so impassioned) screed re. my salary.

Anyway, I thought I'd break the silence by telling you about something peculiar and a little ridiculous.

A while back, I was asked to provide a quote for this economic assessment magazine thing for the Greater Ordinary City Area about the important role that higher education plays in economic development. Actually, I wasn't asked to provide a quote. I was provided with a quote, and asked if they could put my name on it.

I found this, in a word, strange.

The organization was legitimate, but I wasn't thrilled with what they had me saying. So I revised the quote a bit, added in something about citizenship! and critical thinking! (i.e. higher ed is about more than making good employees, though yes, sure, it teaches job skills too), and sent it back. (This all went through the college's PR person, by the way, so I wasn't just operating on my own.)

Now they want me to be on a panel about economic development in the Greater Ordinary City Area. On television.

On television!

Local PBS, that is, so it's not like I'll be popping up on CNN or whatever. But I am to appear as a Community Leader who Knows Something about These Things. Which I don't, clearly. And I'm totally nervous about this whole production. Even though it's not a terrifically big deal and there will be 8 people on the panel, so, I mean, how much will I actually have to say, anyway? Still--television! Should I wear make-up? Is it weird that I'll be massively pregnant? What if I say something stupid or get in a fight or something?

Well, I agreed to do it, with the vague idea of insinuating my CRITICAL THINKING! HUMANITIES!!!! agenda seamlessly into the discussion, thereby changing the mainstream discourse about higher education forever.

See? Isn't this just a weird thing to have come up? I think it's completely absurd--and that's probably the main reason that I agreed to do it at all.

5 comments:

ntbw said...

If your local PBS is like the station where I grew up, this could be a route to immortality! When I was 16 or so, I was on a local PBS show demonstrating how to play the French horn as part of a program on the orchestra. They STILL air that show from time to time--and I am now 42'

Dr. Koshary said...

Heu Mihi, humanities ninja. I fully support your sneaky agenda!

heu mihi said...

Wow, ntbw--I guess local PBS is a pretty slow news venue. I'm sure it'll get around; I pop up in the local paper now and again (for things like giving a talk to my colleagues or getting promoted or even buying a house), and everyone around here seems to remember these things.

Dr. K, I appreciate your support!

Belle said...

I'm pleased that they let you change your 'quote.' Our campus newspaper doesn't usually let you know what they attribute to you, much less allow you to change it. Or even deny it. So get out there and spread the word! Yay!!!

Dr. Virago said...

Ooh, I was also on local PBS. I got to be Laura Linney-ish and introduce a medieval-ish tv series a couple of years ago. It was actually also something I didn't know a lot about, but at least more vaguely related to what I do (and I could do the research to inform myself enough to write 13 intros).

Anyway, definitely wear makeup. If your PBS is like mine, they'll have the gross stuff on hand (used! ew! heavy and cakey! ew!) but I did my own with my own products.