Remembering Carpenter (and wondering where it is)

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Isabel Dubert, Charming Dissident

 

Students were met with a tidal wave of shock Monday morning when they found that their fondly cherished and deeply loved Carpenter Hall had completely vanished from sight. On the ground where it stood is now a dark and murky bog, which resembles the Slough of Despond, featured in John Bunyan’s own Protestant allegorical classic, “Pilgrim’s Retreat.” The campus has been draped in a pink and white shroud of cherry blossoms as all mourn the loss of the classics and modern languages departments.

Early Monday morning, just before dawn, a meager yet resolute handful of classics students were spotted paddling around in a rowboat where Carpenter Hall once stood, searching for remains. All that could be fished up out of the muck and the mire was a battered old copy of “Moby Dick” in the original English.

Photo by Rebecca Rosen Visited by few, mocked by all, Carpenter Hall knew good and well that her dilapidated state left her open to ridicule by students, faculty and visitors.  Perhaps this is why she left our judgmental campus during the darkness of night.
Photo by Rebecca Rosen
Visited by few, mocked by all, Carpenter Hall knew good and well that her dilapidated state left her open to ridicule by students, faculty and visitors. Perhaps this is why she left our judgmental campus during the darkness of night.

Speculation abounds as to the origin of the abrupt appearance of so vast a quantity of mud beneath the foundations of the first building ever built on campus. Some say that recent substantial rainfall was the source of a nocturnal mud-flood that probably enveloped the unfortunate hall. Authorities believe it was a deluge that brought an unsightly end to the decrepit and desultory building.

Whatever the case may be, there is no doubt that connivers and conspirators labored to “unburden the public of such a displeasing disgrace of a structure” while the campus slept. This scurrilous statement was seen on fliers, which were printed by an unworthy band of students shortly before the disappearance of Carpenter Hall to incite a revolt intended to bring about the poor old dame’s demolition.

Others, however, have given credence to current rumors that the dear aged lady felt disrespected and neglected, not to mention slighted and rebuffed in favor of more appealing lecture halls such as the leviathan and stately Baronet Braniff, or the dignified and gallant Earl Gorman. She had suffered savage blows to her pride since the 1950s when she was forced to endure the appellation of a gentleman (for she was named after a John W. Carpenter, Esq.). She maintained too that her name was originally meant to be “Lady Cavendish Hall,” after the childhood friend of Queen Elizabeth II and lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. To her great dismay, however, no one ever believed her. It may be noted here that when the blights of middle age began to strike her countenance with the sagging of her skin and the wrinkling of her cheeks, all of her former admiring occupants reverted instead to the incessant and belittling mockery of her outward fall from glory.

Once excavations of the foundations are complete, the administration has promised to begin construction on the new and updated edifice, which will again house the classics and modern languages departments, and will be modeled after the ancient (albeit forever lost) design of the great Library of Alexandria. The estimated date of completion for this project is 2074. The university also plans to buy the Rosetta Stone from the British Museum in central London to adorn the center of the atrium.

A funeral dirge will be held at the Temple of the Reincarnation on the Ides of April at high noon. Uncertainty remains, however, as to Carpenter Hall’s sudden disappearance. We can only conjecture. Join us as we mourn the loss of this great monument of knowledge and true learning.

 

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