Tuesday, May 30, 2017

How Closely Does the Department of Ed Resemble Room 101?

Last Wednesday night, I read this on the interesting site Futility Closet:
Orwell scholar Peter Davison writes, “In Nineteen Eighty-Four O’Brien [says] the thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world. The understandable impression is that this is something like drowning, death by fire, or impalement, but Orwell is more subtle: for many, and for him, the worst thing in the world is that which is the bureaucrat’s life-blood: attendance at meetings.”
On Thursday morning, I went to a curriculum meeting for the New York City Department of Education that lasted from 9:30-10:30. Throughout the course of the session, I was asked to fill out five different sign-in sheets. In the DOE's defense, one of the sheets actually asked for our e-mail addresses. The other four were just run-of-the-mill "Print Name/Sign Name" numbers, though. Now that I think about it, a few of the sign-in sheets were different colors. Extra credit to the DOE for creativity and differentiation.

Point is, bureaucracy is alive and well, people. Carry on (and, if you haven't yet done so, please sign the sign-in sheet before you leave).

If you want to subscribe to How Blank, just type in your email address on the right side of the page. You'll get a notification every time we post new content.

Follow Francis Tolan on Twitter @frantweet12