Friday, March 8, 2013

The "Colby" Tag

My former college - Colby College - just turned 200 this year, and everyone is wishing it a happy birthday. I've been trying to ignore it, but everyone's talking about it, so I thought I would do something to celebrate. Colby, this is your birthday present:

For years, I've referred to "college" on this blog without mentioning the school name. I didn't do this for you. I did it for me. For privacy reasons, I don't include my last name or any info about my physical location on this blog. I used to have icon instead of a real picture of myself. The idea was that only people who knew me in real life would know that this was my blog. Saying that I went to Colby was an identifying factor, allowing someone who stumbled upon my blog to figure out who I am. But now that I upload pictures, there's no reason to hide where I went to school. Anyone who knows who I am will recognize me in the pictures anyway.

I also didn't want to be contradicted. Colby is ranked one of the top schools for student happiness, so I don't exactly have other people on my side. I was afraid of getting invalidating messages from former Colby students, saying that it wasn't that bad and it's my own problem. As long as I  didn't reveal where I went to college, then no one could say much against me. But in the process of protecting myself, I was also protecting you. I prevented prospective students from reading what I had to say and using it to make their decision about Colby or about other schools like it. I gave away my own power of influence - my power only goes so far when my readers don't know the full story.

You and your fans have informed me many times that you turn 200 this year. You've asked me to send you a birthday card, a donation, or something to acknowledge that it's your birthday. So I'm doing it: your birthday gift is a "Colby" tag on this blog. It won't show up on the sidebar, but it will be linked to all the posts that I want linked to you.  Now, when people search for you, they can find me. This is your present. Happy Birthday.

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