I had quite an inspiring week at work, and by that I mean it was filled with great struggle and strife and pain, which inspired me to write my very first song.
I’m a bit afraid to post this little ditty, though. At first I thought I was afraid of getting fired if the wrong person saw this. That gave me a nice belly laugh, as I recalled all the times when the hope of being fired was the only thing that got me through the work day. Then I realized what it really is: I’m superstitious about posting a song about the Fifth-Year Interim Report being finished when said report is not actually finished. I told myself to wait and post this after the thing truly is done on Monday (or Tuesday…or maybe Wednesday…there’s more than one way to get a package from here to Atlanta by 3/15/17). But life is uncertain, and the way things are feeling, I might not make it to Wednesday, and then my song would die with me, and that’s a tragic thought. I thought of all the institutional researchers and assessment and IE people who would never get to hear this tune, and realized I just couldn’t let that happen.
So I offer you the song below, premature as it may be. It’s not going to make much sense to anyone outside of higher ed, and it might make Leonard Cohen roll over in his grave, but I think he’d understand if he’d ever had to work on an accreditation report:
Hallelujah (A Song to Sing When the SACSCOC Fifth-Year Interim Report is Finished)
Now I’d heard about this Fifth-Year Report
That it would be long and of great import
But you don’t know about accreditors, do ya?
It goes like this: the policies,
the core requirements, the QEP!
But I wouldn’t have to compose it, Hallelujah.
They said they’d need some data from me
and some copy editing, that’s all it would be.
The drafts came in, some not much more than doodles.
The work tied me to my office chair,
It broke my hope, it brought me despair
But at least I didn’t have to write anything, Hallelujah.
Well lady, I have been here before
Shoulda known that no matter what they swore
It’d end up being, “You write this standard. Screw ya.”
So I sat down and did it, I wasn’t deterred.
There was a blaze of light in my every word.
But when they read it all they said was, “Cite more proof. Yeah.”
And when we thought the draft was done
There was still tons left to do, we were under the gun
Our software sucked, it wasn’t worth the moolah.
The links, the tables, the formatting,
The eight thumb drives, the labeling!
But at last we got it finished. Hallelujah
Thought we’d be so happy walking to the Fed Ex store
We thought we’d cheer, we thought we’d roar
But our lips can utter not a single, “boo-yah.”
Our spirits are tired, our eyes are parched
So this is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
SACS, we did our best, so please don’t thwart
Our desire not to write a Monitoring Report.
We told the truth, we didn’t come to fool ya.
And even though we OD’d on coffee
We stand before the Review Committee
With nothing left to say but Hallelujah
Happy Friday y’all. May you get to spend the whole weekend not proving to an outside audience that you do what you say you do.