Things Change

ImageA new semester beckons, and with it a fresh season of online reflection.  I’m teaching rather a lot this term, but I’m hopeful that as I do my thoughts will be all the more enriched by the experience.

I often say that it is a privilege to be able to do what I do…and it is.  I’m thankful for it.  Even so, I’m reminded that higher education as we know it is going through substantial changes.  In only a few years the world I and others like me have long known may be passing away into a new paradigm.

A recent episode of Downton Abbey gave me pause to think this morning.  Early in this new season, Lord Grantham faces challenges that threaten to overwhelm his family’s estate.  In changing times, he says, he feels “like a creature in the wild whose natural habitat is gradually being destroyed.”Image

Mine is a different life and a different era, but I’m right there with him.  Whether or not the smaller undergraduate colleges we have known for decades can stay afloat in such turbulent and advancing times is one question; whether those that do will look anything like they do now is another.

For now, though, there is work to be done…and much for which to be thankful.  Let’s begin the Spring Semester of 2013!

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One comment on “Things Change

  1. CRGardenJoe says:

    I’m just getting addicted to Downton Abbey. I wonder if you haven’t indirectly identified why this show is suddenly “hot.” It’s not just this century’s well-made “Upstairs-Downstairs,” it’s also a story about people who don’t know their place in a radically evolving world, who feel the winds of change and can’t figure out where things are headed. Sort of like everyone’s life today … but, yes, as another professor at a small liberal arts college, I would agree, particularly in higher education.

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