Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
The Gazette checked in with former College President Cal Blooming to see how NYU Abu Dhabi is progressing. “I’m lonely,” he said.
“I don’t know why I’m here,” said Blooming. “I feel like I’ve given up everything I ever loved to work at this sterile faÃ§ade of a college. Superficial opulence. That’s all this city is, and I’m supposed to market it.”
Blooming sipped his tea mournfully. “I work in an 18-story building made entirely of glass. And every day, I sit at my desk and look out at my beautiful view of the Persian Gulf, and I cry. I have all the glitz and glamour in the world, but I’d trade it all for just one overeager freshman badgering me about funding for $60 quidditch brooms.”
“Maybe I was getting a little tired of Swarthmore, but you know what? We had a sense of community. We cared about each other. Ethical intelligence and all that crap. And now…what I wouldn’t give for a good old hubbub about card-check neutrality.
“This entire city is practically built on migrant slave labor, and what can I do about it? What do the students want to do about it? Nothing. In Abu Dhabi, social justice means a gilded statue of Lucretia Mott in the lobby.”
“Fuck this. I’m old. I’m very close to death. Why aren’t I surrounded by the people and students that I love?”