By Maria D’Anselmi
English Major Who is Not Planning on Teaching
Disaster has struck the University of Dallas with the disappearance of the Muse, the Greek goddess who inspires works of literature and art. The mythological divinity has consistently inspired writers such as Homer, Virgil and Milton, as well as UD students throughout the ages. This past week she has seemingly gone on strike for unclear reasons. Ever since, the prayers from students who invoke her have been met with silence.
According to one English professor, who asked to remain anonymous, the Muse has left because she is “starved for worthy topics of compositions.” Whose fault is this?
“The students of course,” he said knowingly. “She got bored.”
Unfortunately, UD, which has always been a fertile dwelling place for the goddess, seems to have become a barren home. The professor blames the student’s procrastination for this inhospitable environment.
“Before a Lit Trad paper is due, the heavenly calls resonate in the dorms at about 2:30 in the morning,” the professor said. “The Muse is sleeping at that time and seldom, if ever, responds.”
Procrastination and other such habits have easily driven the Muse away. Now, bringing her back again is the challenging task at hand.
“Well the Greeks would have put out bowls of honey and unmilled grain at the entrances of places where she could be found,” said the professor, who alluded to “faculty offices” as such places where the Muse commonly abides. “[She] is never found in dorm lounges with televisions … there is nothing interesting there.”
Quite simply, students must change their study habits, according to the professor.
“The Muse does respond to the written word,” he said. “If [the students] read carefully, the Muse smiles.”
Some members of the student body have been experiencing internal crises, as the previously reliable spirit has left them bereft. Sophomore English major Joe Flynn related the negative impact he is feeling from the Muse’s departure.
“It’s really hard to see Homer’s work,” Flynn said. “It just no longer has the power of the Muse.”
Flynn also suggested that gift offerings might entice the Muse to return.
“I think that since we are UD it would behoove us to leave her packs of cigarettes and handles of whiskey,” he said.
Ed Houser, a sophomore philosophy and English major, conveyed his disorientation at the Muse’s absence.
“The Muse is everything,” Houser said. “She guides my footsteps through the dark waters of non-beauty to the light of beauty.” Houser agreed with the professor’s speculation that her absence is due to poor student study methods.
“There are far too many of us who neglect reading in classes,” Houser said. “I know I myself have several times chosen to dedicate my time to Netflix instead of the works of the Muse.”
Houser describes the Muse as “a jealous lover.”
Freshman Rosa Forget, who is considering an English major, thinks the Muse has possibly left because the university has turned to “false gods.”
“She probably just got jealous of the Groundhog,” Forget said. “We give him so much attention she’s probably been like, ‘I do so much for this campus, for these intelligent beings, and what do I get? Nothing. And this Groundhog gets a week-long celebration.’”
According to Forget, celebrations and revelries in the Muse’s honor might rectify hard feelings and bring the students back into her good graces.
Apart from a deteriorating intellectual life, the situation has triggered destructive behavior among some in the student body. One distraught junior, who asked to remain anonymous, admitted that she finds solace from her pain in alcohol.
“In the words of the great poet A.E. Houseman: ‘Many a peer of England brews / livelier liquor than the Muse, / and malt does more than Milton can / to justify God’s ways to man.’ Houseman is right,” the student said. “The Muse has forsaken us but who needs her? Whiskey is just as effective.”
Flynn voiced his concern on the increase of substance abuse, which has skyrocketed over the past week.
“A lot of my friends have picked up heavy drinking, and it’s really hard for me to see them do that, and occasionally I partake in the heavy drinking and smoking as a means to inspire my writing,” he said.
Has it worked? “Well, when I’m drinking I think it works but then it really doesn’t,” Flynn said.
Forget also confessed to indulging in destructive activities to fill the void.
“I find myself in Old Mill a lot these days, passed out next to a sink,” she said.
The UD administration is urging students to remain calm. Fortunately the crisis has not yet escalated into a full-blown panic, but all students are advised to cope with their anguish in a responsible and mature fashion. Counseling is available in to those experiencing emotional trauma, and measures will be taken by faculty members to ensure the Muse returns.