I spent this past week in Orlando, Florida. Ironically, the American Counseling Association was holding its annual convention here. During my stay, I befriended several counseling professors from a few universities. Although summarized, the following stories were garnered after a few drinks, with names and schools being omitted.
Story One – A Paid Vacation
“I came here for the conference,” the dean said. “I’ve been here three days and have yet to attend one conference seminar. I’ve been at Disney World the whole time.”
“Why haven’t you attended anything?” I queried.
“Well,” she exclaimed. “Others use the conference as vacation for years. So I got tired of it and decided to do it myself. The heck with them.”
“So the university paid for everything: hotel, airfare, car rental, dinning, gasoline and tolls?”
“Man! Gotta love the cost of education,” I noted.
Story Two – The Grant
“My school has given me the best grant ever,” he pronounced.
“And that would be?” I inquired.
“I received a grant to watch gay pornography and report on possible counseling techniques to counter pornography.”
“Yes. Seriously.” After a brief pause, “Guess what?”
“What,” shaking my head.
“In truth, I am a gay man.”
“So you’re a gay man. And you reccveived a grant from the university to watch gay porn?”
“Yes,” he laughed.
Story Three – The Email Spy
“I came to give a speech on data privacy.”
“Important topic,” I said.
“Yeah,” he said. “And if you run across anyone needing a software that can read emails, let me know. I built one.”
“You built one?”
“How does it work?” I asked.
“Well, I own a private security company on the side. I funneled university computer technology student interns to work at my company. Students built the software that I sold back to the university and then to the government. The software tracks and records all emails sent by students or university staff.”
“Yeah,” he said. “If you send an email through the university system … to Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail … whatever … If I turn the software on, I can copy, track it and read it. And you’d never be the wiser”
“And if the students and faculty ever find out, I’ll bet they’ll be pretty pissed.”
“Oh yeah,” he said.
Somewhere along the line I thought education was to better students, professors were leaders. But apparently, in some cases, it’s all about having students pay for stupid shit.