Harvard Adds Banjo Prerequisite

Ivy League School Makes Historic Move

Inebriated Press \ Tabloid Division
March 20, 2008

Harvard University says it’s no longer enough to have a high GPA and elite social skills to get into their college.  From now on, students must also be able to play the banjo.  Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust told the assembled media yesterday, that the classic instrument adds a lighter mood to serious students, and the combination of high level knowledge and banjo plucking will be crucial for successful leadership in the future.

“Harvard prides itself on being the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, and the least innovative,” said president Faust, while pruning some ivy and speaking to reporters from under a hedge at the University.  “This foray into the banjo requirement is new and shows that we are not only an open minded institution now, but that we have our fingers on the pulse of trends in high finance and executive training.  We’ve determined that fine banjo playing is going to be the hallmark of future statesmen and superior executives at the highest levels.  And I’m not just saying that because I think banjos are fun.”

Not everyone is convinced that Harvard is really going to require banjo playing as a prerequisite to attending the university.  “I’ve heard some unusual things come out of Harvard, but banjo playing has got to be the strangest I’ve come across,” said Hasty Brown-Sugar, a Harvard alum who originated in Cajun Country to become the youngest executive at the Four-Coroner Banjo and Microwave Club.  “But based on my personal experience, it’s an idea whose time has come, if they’ll really go through with it.  In reality I think the media was talking to a drunken gardener.”

Harvard University is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., and a member of the Ivy League.  Founded in 1636 by the colonial Massachusetts legislature Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.  It is also the first and oldest corporation in North America.  The banjo is a stringed instrument developed by enslaved Africans in the United States, adapted from several African instruments.  The name banjo commonly is thought to be derived from the Kimbundu term mbanza.  Some etymologists derive it from a dialectal pronunciation of “bandore”, though recent research suggests that it may come from a Senegambian term for the bamboo stick used for the instrument’s neck.  If implemented, the banjo playing prerequisite at Harvard will be the first of its kind in the nation.

“I like banjos and chewing gum,” said Nigel Williams, a long shore man and philosopher who often contemplates viscosity and helium during the summer months.  “I don’t currently have children, but if I did, I might not stop them from going to an Ivy League school if banjo playing is part of it.  But all these schools still have to lighten up on the gum chewing prohibition before we can really call this a free country.  I have to give Harvard credit though; the banjo playing is a start.”

In other news, the Harvard women’s hockey team advanced to the Frozen Four this year and while few have given credit to the trend toward banjo playing, they’ve admitted that the ability to hit things with a stick is proving to be a critical asset.  “I guess chewing gum and playing the banjo aren’t far behind,” said Harvard coach Katey Stone.  “Who’d have guessed?”

(C) 2008 InebriatedPress.com

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