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Posts Tagged ‘Reamy Jansen’

Glorious, heroic, fruitful for his own Time, and for all Time and all Eternity, is the constant Speaker and Doer of Truth! If no such again, in the present generation, is to be vouchsafed us, let us have at least the melancholy pleasure of beholding a decided Liar. Thomas Carlyle, “Count Cagliostro”

So here I am in my second year at ZU at a fall faculty meeting. And, after twenty minutes in, wondering, What the hell are you doing? Who is this person? Do I know you? The one suddenly shouting at the college’s President, Dr. D’main, and not only is this person—moi?—roaring—and three years later an amused colleague tells me, “You’ll forever be known as the guy who went ape-shit in front of Dr. D”[1] I’m also watching my left arm wind-milling like Pete Townshend in “Won’t Be Fooled Again” when I mean to be pounding the chair’s tablet, which I then do—it’s on the right-hand side–and the little librarian to my right tells me that my hammering is causing him to levitate in his chair.

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Monsieur had all the varieties of incapacity which such a post required.

–Balzac, Lost Illusions

I almost thought that I began when it began, at Zirconium U., a county college dubbed by legislators, who had free miles on clichés, as the county’s “jewel in the crown,” which I had always thought means the Raj, but who knew? Not me. I didn’t know much thirty-eight years ago when I was hired full time as an instructor in the English Department, and where I realized the building I was interviewed and hired in was the building that housed almost all departments, administrative offices, and where the art studios were located in the attic of what was originally the Alms House for the county’s elderly and infirm poor; those considered “mad” were shackled in single, windowless cells, and shut in by a solid door with a single slot. Here, then, was the cafeteria–three snack and soda dispensers—a few steps from the mailroom and the college’s two duplicating machines. From the outside, the not-overly-large, mid-nineteenth-century, brick building looked as if it had been teleported out of Dickens’ Coketown. (The bricks were some of the last manufactured before the county’s largest industrial accident—a massive brick slide that drove workers, townspeople, the bricks forming the factory, straight into the Hudson River.)

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