Ask Not What You Can Do for the Kennedy School


Dean of the Kennedy School.

P.S. By the way, this afternoon a lovely couple, both filthy rich, visited my office. They asked for the same thing as you but offered $499,980 more. Now that I think about it, I might give your affiliation to them.

To: the Dean

Dear Dean,

Enclosed is $35--keep the extra and buy yourself a hat. As for those rich folks, let me tell you this: are they willing to arrange teas? I bet not.


At this point the correspondence breaks off. Under a pile of dirty laundry in Wise's room I also found a smoking revolver with fingerprints indicating it had been fired by a studious Harvard senior. On the wall, a message was scrawled in lipstick (in violation of dormitory law, by the way): "Stop me before I violate grad school ethics". Under the words, tell-tale scratch marks.

To my mind, which is not unlike that of a trained detective, these clues can only mean one thing: scandal. The writing on the wall was obviously a red herring; as every Encyclopedia Brown knows, there is no such thing as "grad school ethics." Thus the sequence of events must have been as follows.

One day, Jeffrey Wise was trying to tunnel out of his dorm room with his fingernails, while at the same time firing off his hand gun at random. The noise attracts a curious Kennnedy School dean, who happens to be followed by two rich Texans trying to gain prestige by disbursing cash. The four confront one another and, after a heated argument, strike a deal to set up a chain of "Harvard Grad School Diploma Shacks--instant while-u-wait" services in shopping malls throughout the country. Then they go off to have lunch. After they leave, a studious Harvard senior wanders in and fires off the pistol once more.

Shocking. And what's worse, Wise didn't cut me in on the action.

Rutger Fury, former editor of "Essays that Failed," is a former friend of that weasel, Jeffrey J. Wise.

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