Thursday, September 02, 2010

Department of Intimidating Gifts

by J J Cohen

Last May in Kalamazoo I had a pleasant dinner with a large group of faculty and graduate students at restaurant called Food Dance. A great deal of wine may have been involved. At one point I told someone who had been accepted into GW's graduate program and who was about to relocate to DC that we have a tradition of locking each arriving student in a steel cage with a faculty member. Just as in Thunderdome, only one combatant emerges from the Cage of Scholarship conscious. I believe I described the cage fight as one of our more beloved GW English traditions, something that everyone eagerly looks forward to as a rite of passage.

Why I make this shit up I have no idea. I blame the great deal of wine.

Imagine my alarm to have found the pictured gift waiting on my desk this morning. The note card states, with quiet menace, "See you in the cage, Jeffrey." I know its sender practices krav maga. Tauntingly, the cotton hand wraps she gave me are labeled NOVICE. I wonder if she will settle for being taken out to lunch instead? Please?

10 comments:

Another Damned Medievalist said...

I cannot find words to describe how much I love everything about this!

M.K. Foys said...

WWRBD?

(What would Roland Barthes do?)

Simon Gruening said...

What do I have to do, to become a PhD student at GW? And why are German scholars so stiff?

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

WWRBD? He'd throw himself in front of a bread truck in despair.

M.K. Foys said...

"There are people who think that wrestling is an ignoble sport, Wrestling is not a sport, it is a spectacle, and it is no more ignoble to attend a wrestled performance of Suffering than a performance of the sorrows of Arnolphe or Andromaque."

Eileen Joy said...

I was at that dinner and know exactly who this is, and kudos to her! You can't back down now, JJC. Remember: she lost a hand-wrestling match with Jonathan Jarrett, so maybe you have a chance [?] . . . NOT!

prehensel said...

FYI, after a bit of research, I learned the GWU Hospital is a certified Level 1 trauma center, so you've got that going for you.

Moria said...

... I think Penn English just acquired a new tradition. And the women of Penn English just collectively acquired a new hero.

I feel certain that this woman will succeed in all her endeavors. To you, JJC, I can only wish the best of luck.

BLB said...

As we all learn, our rash boons will catch up with us.

tenthmedieval said...

It's she, is it? I would not fight that woman! (The fact that I would not, if possible, fight any woman, or any person at all, should not be taken into account here or my statement will lose all its impact.) Your correct response is clearly to develop a timely heavy cold and nominate a champion. I'm afraid I shall be a bit busy, what with the new term and all...

My word verification is `likings', which I think is a very important thing to bear in mind at this time don't you? I thought you would.