David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
The History of Higher Ed (As Told Through Limerick)

May 23, 2019

Because I want to . . .


Before I start, allow me to proclaim

I'm taking a few liberties to frame

The subjects via rhyme,

Requiring twists in time,

Perhaps in fidelity just the same.

I. Rhetoric

Students, we must begin with rhetoric,

Initial offering so historic,

Some pretty persuasion

For romantic occasion,

Sold to the Athenian electorate.

II. Logic

Alongside the tongue we slid in logic,

Applied reason to every topic.

Glorified man's knowledge,

Set the stage for college,

Absence of women near hyperbolic.

III. Grammar

Grammar completed the first trinity,

Because rules are close to divinity.

Who could have predicted

Its impact as inflicted

By a future of sour grammar nazis?

IV. Astronomy

The realm of science started with the sky.

After all, aspirations were so high.

Between planets and moons,

Pomegranate and prunes,

To choose astronomy is no surprise.

V. Arithmetic

Course in Logic takes us only so far;

Astronomy showed us only the stars,

Needed study of math

To calculate the path

From the lyceum to dimly lit bars.

VI. Theology

Let us to jump ahead a thousand years

To subjects addressing our deepest fears.

Here is theology,

No, not mythology,

This course covers vatican-endors'd spheres.

VII. Ethics

Not satisfied with just linguistic rules,

We sought out ethics as sadistic tools:

Codify behavior,

Ethics of our savior,

In glory of mighty monastic schools.


It would be only a matter of time

'Fore ethics had to be applied to crime.

Fast as summons are serv'd,

Our torts got preserved,

'Long with the first jokes of lawyers as slime.

IX. Arts

Slowly, surely emerged liberal art,

Humanities have a literal start,

Acknowledge aesthetics,

Study wax'd poetics

For sensitivity's critical part.

X. Social Science

When Freud and friends argued with defiance

That their fields had joined in alliance,

A new wave of courses

With strength of their forces,

Gave us the new realm of social science.

XI. Business

Soon business wanted some of the action,

Economics provided the traction.

Didn't take very long,

For it to come on strong:

Management, Marketing, more expansion.

XII. Professionalism

New millennium on the horizon

We're shock'd at what we need to advise 'em.

Welcome to etiquette,

Your greatest deficit,

Good grief, you do not live on an island.

XIII. Introduction to College

In the end, as the world spins into chaos

Fearing students' ignorance betrays us,

We have a new welcome,

College Skills 101,

And a flooding of tears from the dais.