MICHAEL ALLEN (@MikeAllenW)
WASHINGTON – Tragedy struck SAIS last week when a lone, unspent bid point faded into digital obsolescence on September 10th at 6:00 AM. SAIS students gathered in the Kenny auditorium this morning to mourn its passing. It was 1.5 years old.
The point was owned by an MA student who chooses to remain anonymous for his fear of his personal safety. The repugnant wastrel is on track to graduate at the end of this semester at which point he will re-enter a world in which bid points carry no value and confer no status whatsoever.
The moment the news of the unused bid point broke on Blackboard, SAIS students around the world collectively wailed in the realization that somewhere, somehow, a paying student’s utility had not been fully maximized. By midday, grief had given way to anger as students seethed in the knowledge that one single bid point can so obviously mean the difference between a happy, productive life as a graduate student and a miserable waste of $80,000.
An autopsy is underway on the ex-bid point in order to determine its marginal utility. Until that value is known, there will be more tears and little closure for the SAIS family.
“Maybe if the students and the SAIS institution seriously employed the lessons we teach in our economics department then we wouldn’t be wracked by these awful emotions,” said Economics Professor Matthias Matthijs, rolling up the cuffs of his perfectly crisp, baby-blue dress shirt. “It nauseates me that our future world leaders are not soulless rational actors who make perfect decisions every time, or worse, that students’ bidding behavior is constrained at the last second by some illogical notion like ‘fear’ or ‘panic.’”
Funeral services for the bid point are expected to continue into the afternoon despite anonymous threats nailed to the door of the registrar’s office, stating that it’s “total BS” that we should have bidding on a core course like macro. “I mean seriously,” continued the threats, “What’s with that?”
Still, Dean Vali Nasr, who gave the eulogy for the bid point, sees this tragedy as a somber reminder to reflect on our greater purpose here at SAIS. “As students of IR, we must deal with the world not as we want it to be, but as it is,” said Mr. Nasr at the wake for the now worthless SAIS currency. “Thousands are dead from Ebola in West Africa, ISIL is beheading journalists, Russia has invaded Ukraine, and the bidding system at SAIS kinda sucks.”
“Our charge is to make the world a better place knowing that these are the challenges we face,” added Nasr. “Also don’t be so stingy the next time you bid on Multilateral.”
Editor’s Note: This piece runs in our weekly Satire column.