"So far as the colleges go, the sideshows are swallowing up the circus"
- Woodrow Wilson
About this Quote
Woodrow Wilson's quote is a metaphor for how the college system has ended up being focused on the "sideshow" activities, such as sports and extracurriculars, instead of the "circus" of academics. He is suggesting that the college system has ended up being too focused on the non-academic aspects of college life, such as sports and clubs, and has forgotten the main purpose of college: to provide an education. He is implying that the college system has become too concentrated on the "sideshow" activities and has actually disregarded the "circus" of academics. This quote is a cautioning to colleges to refocus their attention on academics and not let the "sideshow" activities take control of. It is a reminder that the primary function of college is to provide an education and that the "sideshow" activities must not be the primary focus.
"The students that, like the wild animal being prepared for its tricks in the circus called "life", expects only training as sketched above, will be severely disappointed: by his standards he will learn next to nothing"