Noshing is colleges’ best practice (satire)

Community colleges will be accredited based on food, writes Jeffrey Ross in a Cronk of Higher Education satire. Colleges will be required to demonstrate how food fits into their “strategic visions, core values, mission statements, assessment plans, curricula and feedback loops.”

Research shows the importance of potlucks, said Dr. Tusk Manger, a reviewer and taste-tester for the Highbrow Learn-ed Commission.

. . . community college staff spend about 65 percent of their salaried work day preparing for potlucks, grazing, sharing recipes, emailing notifications about dessert needs at division meetings, chatting over hummus or quiche in the faculty lounge, planning bake sale fund raisers for partnering organizations and orchestrating classroom “cultural” studies which mandate at-risk eating activities. . . .  hard-core paper plate beanie-weenie concoctions and crockpot food–especially at division meeting potlucks–may represent a significantly overlooked part of every community college’s curricula. Eating is the best practice at all community colleges.

“Potluck” appears in 41 percent of all email subject headings at one community college in western Phoenix, according to a study by Dr. Jeffrey Roz, Hamilton State University, and Dr. Jann M Kontento, Copperfield Community College.

. . .  37 percent of all the benchmarking college emails contain some reference to pies, cheesecake, left-over mushroom pizza, bagels, garbanzo beans, COM 209 ethnic awareness potlucks, donuts in the dean’s office or “almost-gone” sliced summer sausage and cheese snacks remaining from a governing board meeting.

Ross and Jann Contento are the authors of College Leadership Crisis: The Phillip Dolly Affair, a comic novel about the fictional Copperfield Community College.

Pop culture discovers community colleges

Community college satires — a TV show, a Hollywood movie and two novels — “laugh along with community colleges,” concludes Inside Higher Ed.

NBC’s “Community,” back on the air after a three-month hiatus, centers on a study group that includes a disbarred lawyer and a retiree as well as younger students.

 Community” is set at the fictional Greendale Community College. But it’s loosely based on the experiences of Dan Harmon, the show’s creator, who attended Glendale Community College in Los Angeles County about seven years ago. Harmon enrolled to try to save a foundering relationship with his then-girlfriend. She was taking a dance class there so he followed her — a common story in higher education.

The relationship tanked, but Harmon has said that he grew to like his fellow students in a biology class study group, most of whom he would never have met among his fellow screenwriters.

The show made fun of students’ struggle to register for classes before they fill up, a huge problem in California’s overcrowded community colleges.  On “Community,” students vied to win a paintball match to get priority registration.

Larry Crowne, which sent the laid-off Tom Hanks to community college to woo instructor Julia Roberts, did poorly.

Inside Higher Ed also mentions The Philip Dolly Affair, which makes fun of community college administrators and just about everything else, and Glorify Each Day, which features a part-time GED instructor at a community college.

Dreams of glory at Copperfield CC

The community college scene has its first satirical novel, College Leadership Crisis: The Philip Dolly Affair The e-book by Jann M. Contento and Jeffrey Ross, makes fun of everyone from  administrators with diploma-mill degrees in “leadership,” thinly qualified instructors, overwhelmed students, the campus janitor, the radical bartender at the local hangout and Wilbur the Duck.  The president of the fictional Copperfield Community College is hungry for prestige, which means adding four-year degrees and fielding winning sports teams starring foreign athletes. He doesn’t care about the college’s vocational classes, which prepare students for jobs in the community.

In an Amazon review, Allison N. Olsen praises the book’s “cohesive mix of poetic realism, surrealism, laugh-out-loud humor (If you must, read it solely for the Copperfield Community College Daily Email Post!), and unapologetic sarcasm.”

From a grant application:

Copperfield Community prides itself on being a Higher Education Leader in North New Mexico and the Great South East Mid South West. A significant portion of CCC enrollment comes from its Nursing Assistant, Butcher Training, Custodian Specialties Preparation Institute, Advanced Mortuary Science Institute, Meter Loop Construction Facility, Russian Motorcycle Repair Training, Home Beer Brewery Facility, Police Academy, Fire Academy, Cosmetology Department, Massage Therapy, Senior Citizens Book Clubs, and Developmental Education Departments.

Over 7000 students attended CCC recently– our 3 percent semester-to-semester student return rate ranks in the 97th percentile nationally for community college retention. . . . Nearly 80 percent receive federal funding or in-house Dean’s Grants—only about 4 percent have ever written out a check for tuition. [But the book store, well, that is another matter.]

CCC serves a diverse student population of developmental education students, students supporting their families on minimum wage work-study jobs and federal aid, working class adults hoping for a better life, athletes from out-of -state and out-of-nation [who aren’t quite good enough to get the universities’ attention but completely fill our residence halls], socialist activists, housewives who need time away from their kids, traditional-type students who don’t really have the money, ability, or inclination to attend Hamilton State University, and the cadre of technically-oriented students who take advantage of our excellent vocational programs, move forward in life quickly, and get great paying jobs soon after leaving CCC.

CCC has world class championship athletics teams that no one in Hamilton County has ever seen play. Coincidentally, no Hamilton County resident has ever played on a CCC athletic team [except for one kid from Rozwhel who became an MLB all star].

CCC’s excellent faculty and staff are here to adequately serve the needs of our students. Many of them couldn’t find jobs at universities or high schools but are quite happy to be here because of the salary and benefit package–especially the retirement plan.

Fifty four of our faculty are enrolled in an Ed Leadership Program because they, too, want to become administrators and earn inappropriately large salaries for attending meetings and out-of-nation conferences, and eventually purchase lake front property.

Most of our faculty members are excellent cooks and are well versed in topics concerning hummus, meat balls, pasta salad, quiche lorraine, tarts, malabi, and other numerous menu items suitable for potlucks.

They are excellent curriculum facilitators but are discouraged from creating curriculum which might impede our institution’s strategic vision.

Our Secretarial staff maintains superior Free Cell and other computer solitaire game skills and has read every vampire novel ever written. Most of the staff members here below the Dean level are former students–we are very proud of our Grow our Young-uns philosophy!

Many of our students love CCC so much that they take 5-9 years to complete one-semester certificate training programs.

The College continues to wisely outsource many of its custodial and maintenance functions.

When the grant project fails, the grantwriter promises that “CCC will be able to use shifty corporate language and period-relevant buzzwords to explain why.”