Look, This Isn’t Working out, I’m Just Really into Museums Right Now: An Open Letter To Campus from President Skorton

Listen, Cornell, these past eight years have been great. I mean, like, really great. But I just feel like we’re going in circles. Right now I’m looking for someone who can help me grow, and grow with me, someone like…oh, I don’t know, an official United States museum network.

It’s the same thing every year, I ask you to change, and you simply refuse. I begged you to stop hazing, you kept hazing. I got rid of the kegs, you still just ended up drunk. I love you Cornell, I’m just not in love with you anymore.

Look, I just need some air and space right now. I’ve packed a bag and am staying with my parents this weekend; we’re going to the National Air and Space Museum, home to the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. They’re good to me there. They make me feel wanted.

Please say something, Cornell. It’s like I can’t talk to you anymore. We built up these walls, these fences, then we tear them down just to put them back up again then tear them down and – oh god – I mean how much longer could we really keep doing this?

I thought this year would be different. We needed a change. We even tried moving to the city. Roosevelt Island, sigh, it was a fresh start. But you never really could change for me. Washington – now that’s where I need to be right now – for me. Sunny skies, politics, class field trips, it will be a good change. I need this.

The Smithsonian can just provide for me in ways you can’t. SO I WANT SOMETHING MORE! IS THAT SO TERRIBLE? Can’t I want whats best for me? I don’t want a clocktower, I want the Washington Monument. I don’t want fourteen thousand undergrads, I want thirty million annual visitors and fifty million lobbyists. Screw Qatar and Weill, I want to see the world, travelling to one of the Smithsonian’s 168 locations. I don’t want a Big Red Barn, I want a motherfucking zoo! They have pandas there! Pandas! There I said it. Are you happy now?

This isn’t how I wanted things to end. It’s funny the way things work out, or don’t, in life. I’m sorry this didn’t end up the way you wanted, Cornell. But maybe, who knows, one day, years from now, you’ll be revamping the Cornell in Washington program, trading some rare manuscripts, or updating research records against the national archives, and we’ll run into each other again. We’ll laugh about the old days, and forget about why we ended things. And we’ll both agree, things worked out for the best.

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