In the Ghetto


I was walking along science row at UBC with a school buddy last week and he started pointing out the state-of-the-art buildings. Earth and Ocean Sciences, Beatty Biodiversity Museum (the one with the blue whale in the atrium), Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory, one after the other, state-of-the art green buildings.

“And look where they put us,” my fellow ed studies friend said, “in the portables.” He started singing an old Elvis tune, In the Ghetto.

“You’re right,” I said, “We’re trailer trash.”

Then I remembered an email I got over one of the university listservs a couple weeks ago, alerting me to yet another colloquium. But this one caught my eye and I didn’t delete it: ACADEMY-INDUSTRY RELATIONS: A TALE OF GREAT FEARS AND GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Angus Livingstone, the Managing Director of UBCs University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO) was the speaker. According to the notice: “The UILO conducts the technology transfer and commercialization activities at UBC. UBC consistently ranks among the top ten North American universities for its patenting and commercialization activities. The University currently has over 250 licenses with companies around the world and has actively supported the creation of over 149 spin-off companies.”

I suspect the Faculty of Education doesn’t hold a lot of patents. On a cold and grey Chicago morn, a poor little baby child was born, in the ghetto…


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