Lies My Teachers Taught Me

"It's the market," they say, spreading their hands to show me how helpless they are.

As if they spoke only the language of bullying and threats: "I have an outside offer."

As if The Market were the ultimate arbiter of academic excellence.

As if it were not fully in their power to count experience over celebrity, service over speed.

As if one's salary and rank said anything about one's significance as a scholar other than that one was able to sell oneself to the highest bidder.

As if fellowships and awards were less indicative of the quality of one's work than willingness to move.

As if they trusted only other institutions to decide whom they should hire or promote.

As if it really mattered when what is at stake is only our intellects--or our souls.

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