Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Bomb

Today we had a bomb threat at the campus where I teach. I know, I know, it's so 1970s' junior high school, I could cum in my bellbottoms. I mean it, boyo, very clever April Fool's Day prank--you could have knocked us over with a feather.

So for an hour faculty and students stood out in and around the parking lot discussing fly-fishing, something called Steel Erection, and the drought (an ever-popular topic in central North Carolina)--occasionally threatening to just split and pick up a few beers somewhere.

One thing I can say is that, though the bomb threat failed to break the monotony of the semester post spring break, it did expose the depths of monotony that afflict us faculty and students alike. Even a hilarious prank or a near-tragic brush with mass destruction failed to get a rise out of any of us.

Speaking of getting a rise, this morning, my office-mate Jim and I discussed the etymology of the expression "bone up on," only to find none of the possible origins was convincing or half as titillating as we had hoped. Apparently the expression dates back only to the 19th century (its first documented use in a letter sent by General Custer's wife), making it even more surprising that its genesis is shrouded in mystery.

Yes, we are that bored.

This afternoon I graded six causal argument papers (about all I could stomach in one sitting). Some of them are wonderful--it helps that everybody had to pick a topic relating to human sexuality--but some students managed to make even sex boring--one of today's papers helpfully pointed out that teen pregnancy and STDs are 100% attributable to sexual activity.

Yes, some of them are that slow. Another reason, perhaps, the erotic tension between professors and their students is far short of Greek nowadays.

“Life is intrinsically, well, boring and dangerous at the same time. At any given moment the floor may open up. Of course, it almost never does; that's what makes it so boring.”
--Edward Gorey

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