Monday, January 10, 2011

Too Damn Much

Every year, MIT has a tuition riot.  It has been having tuition riots ever since it was a Howard Johnson's in Cambridge in the Sixties (Howard Johnson was an adminstration official at MIT at one time).  This year was particularly significant because MIT expanded the franchise to Cambridge, England.  Yes, there were tuition riots in the United Kingdom, and even Prince Charles got into the act by donning a suit with a target on the back and allowing himself to get pelted with rotten tomatoes.

The reason for the riots, here and there, is that tuition has always been Too Damn Much.  It didn't matter whether tuition was under $2000 a year (which it was in the Sixties), or whether it had soared to $3800, as it did the year after I left...or even today, when it is easily close to $50,000, it was Too Damn Much.  MIT was always one of the most expensive schools in the country, duking it out annually with such pishers as Bennington College or Sarah Lawrence University (they at least had ski lifts!).  Harvard and Yale and even Stanford could try to grab it, but nobody could take the crown away from MIT.
So, of course, Stickles had to weigh in.  I wrote a couple of gags about just how high tuition was.  I never wrote about room and board, because after all, someone has to live in Simmons Hall, aka Hollywood Squares Gone Wild (I always thought that I'd find Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly living in adjoining rooms).  And someone has to pay for all the fresh coats of paint applied to Transparent Horizons every  year.
These days, that price would be equivalent to an Escalade.

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