I wish I could say that I am always tickled to see my alma mater in the news, but these days publicity is often painful. That is the case with today's Inside Higher Ed story about WVU faculty having to empty their own trash cans. All I can do is fall back on poetry, probably dross in its own right.
"'Empty,' the Emperor Said"
Sometimes trash connotes so much more than trash,
Remnants of some residue more sordid,
More sacred, certain to invoke anger
About the assumptions less transparent
Than the clear plastic bags that line the cans
Now to be emptied by the credentialed
Employees unaccustomed to menial
Activities deemed beneath their place.
Recycling is merely another term
For doctoring, without open deceit,
A conscious act vital to save the earth
From the lazy and from the uncaring
Masses these employees set out to save
With sustainable sorting of papers.
What is being easily disposed here:
Banana peels, Poland water bottles,
Or the faceless janitorial staff
To balance the new emperor's budget?
Trash is sometimes more about cash,
Just as stance is sometimes more dance.