Thursday, September 07, 2006

A morose Shriner under heavy rain

Doesn't that sound like the title to something submitted for a Creative Writing 101 "vivid imagery" poetry writing assignment?

It isn't, even if it should be. The morose Shriner is a little plastic figurine who perches, betopped by a tiny fez, on the ledge of my office window. When downpours greeted the beginning of the autumn term last Tuesday, the mini Shriner became part of my new office's unexpected water feature. He stood in grim solitude as the rainwater cascaded through a faulty window seal and splattered over and around him. As the puddles grew and the waterfall turned from an annoyance to a soothing, spa-like feature that cried out for colored lights and Enya music, the morose Shriner became for me a profound and overdetermined symbol.

A symbol of what, I have no idea. He seemed vaguely linked to the instigation of my reign as department chair, on a day of rain and missing adjunct appointment papers and tearful students declaring that they couldn't get into the classes they had to take before they died. In the end, though, the sodden Shriner seemed loaded with inscrutable meaning. He is now installed on that drying ledge as my minor household (or, at least, officehold) god.

Chairish duties have kept me away from the blog all week, and will continue to do so for a while. Luckily, The Inimitable Professor Joy has prevented this forum from slipping into mere void.

1 comment:

JKW said...

As a concerned GW alumnus I'm attending a town hall meeting at the Princeton Club on Tuesday, at which meeting many concerned alumni are going to discuss the future of GW ("as we approach 2021, the two hundredth anniversary of our foundation," as the bulletin puts it). I'll be sure to mention that you'd like your window sealed.