November 04, 2005

School Daze

Roger Clegg is worriting over in the Corner about colleges and universities that are starting to suggest the inclusion of "optional photographs" in their application materials. He frets that this might be a way for the schools to assure that their "diversity" students look "diverse enough".

Perhaps. But Clegg lists three or four schools that have started in on this sort of thing and I'm still staunching the flow of blood from my scalp where it scraped the desk when I fell over after spotting Hampton-Syndey on the list.

Hampton-Sydney? Hampster-Squidney?

Roger, it's been a while since I was in school, but I'm willing to suggest your fears about the Squidneys may be a bit overblown.

Allow me to relay a little anecdote - The Missus grew up in Connecticut, where people don't tend to pay that much attention any more to the Civil War. Hampton-Sydney is located in rural Virginia, not all that far from Appomattox Court House. It is attended by boys who pay a great deal of attention to the Civil War. To say that the dorms are full of Southern flags, banners and whatnot is a little like saying a Beam bottle is full of bourbon.

Anyhoo, the Missus, who was in her first year of college in Virginia, was talked into road-tripping over to Squidney one evening. The story goes that she walked into a room full of good ol' boys, looked around at the Confederate decore and said in her point-blank Yankee way, "I don't get it - I mean, y'all lost."

Well, I don't know if she was actually banned from campus for this. But I do know that not long after, she came to her senses and started coming over to W&L instead. And the rest, I'm happy to say, is history.

YIPS from Steve: Which is why we all love the Butcher's Wife.

Seriously, though, I think the Hampster is doing it to weed out the fat and ugly guys, interfering with their "seriously, we're not gay but we sure look like A&F model guys" thing they've got going.

On a more somber note, I was on a search committee once for choosing a "minority honors fellow" where one of my more aggressively POMO clueless colleagues wanted to know if we could request pictures with the applications to, I guess, determine who looked more minority. I went absolutely batshit, and 4 years later that whole humanities department still won't talk to me. The nerve of some people pointing out when the law is being broken.

Sheesh, if I only knew a civil rights attorney.....

Posted by Robert at November 4, 2005 04:13 PM | TrackBack

You have since taught her the error in her ways right?

It really is only half-time during The War of Northern Aggression; and just as soon as we're finishing lulling them Yankees into a false sense of security we'll rise again!!!!

Please tell me there's at least a life sized bust of Robert E. Lee in the entryway of your home?

Posted by: phin at November 4, 2005 04:40 PM

Nooo, but I WAS a member of the Lee-Jackson Dinner Society at W&L and, as the LMC will attest, sang "The Bonnie Blue Flag" as loudly as anybody else at our annual black-tie dinners.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at November 4, 2005 04:43 PM

See, Phin, this is why they keep me around, as I'm the only guy who can say "Tecumseh" with a straight face.

Burn, baby burn!

Posted by: Steve the LLamabutcher at November 4, 2005 04:45 PM

"Sang," that is. Never did recover from all that gunner's punch.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at November 4, 2005 04:46 PM

She grew up in Connecticut -- and said "y'all"? What is it in the magnolia-scented air 'neath the Mason-Dixon Line that has such a transformative effect on transplanted Yankees? (See Bush, George HW, and pork rinds.)

Posted by: MCNS at November 5, 2005 10:33 AM

During the 80s I was a member of First Parish Unitarian, in Cambridge Mass, across the street from Harvard Yard. We had a member, then in his 80s, who had worked for Harvard Admissions 60 years before. He told me they started requiring photos, so they couldn't be fooled by Jews with non-identifiable names. He said, "we had a saying in the office - 'they can change the "Moses", but they can't change the noses'".

Posted by: dave s at November 7, 2005 10:36 AM