I almost ran into the back of a bus today. I was leaving campus and the bus pulled out in front of me. This is not what caused my almost collision. It was the ad on the back of the bus. Advertising a local university (not the one whose campus I was leaving) it proclaimed: "The university that believes every student is a hero."
I was puzzled by this. Perhaps having taught at university and therefore being a tad cynical about the actual mechanics of teaching, my first thought was that believing every student isn't heroism, it is naivety. Then I realised that it was one of those statements that depended on pacing. It was saying that it believed the students were the heroes, not the university. Still, for all those advertising dollars, I think that they could have come up with a less ambiguous statement of their support of and for students.
At this point I paused to brake...
It was, however, a nice illustration of the wonders of the English language. And I did notice it, so if attention was the measure of success, it was a successful ad. Too bad I am not in the market for a university degree.
On the subject of cynicism and universities, I noticed that members of the tertiary education union at a different university from that advertising above, will exercise their right to strike by not answering emails and telephones on a particular day. Given the average response time to emails and phone calls at universities, I wonder if a) anyone will notice and b) if this is the most effective way of removing one's services. How will I be able to tell on the given day whether it is strike action or a typical day on campus?
I think that I had better simply concentrate on my driving.