Burch and Emslie Engage in Nonsense-Off
In the grand Periclean tradition of oratory, last week former provost Barbara Burch and current provost Gordon Emslie locked horns in a competition to determine who could utter the longest unbroken string of administrative nonsense. What began as a friendly challenge turned into a grueling 37-hour marathon duel of nearly perfect, unintelligible adminspeak that pushed both contestants to their limits.
Attending faculty dared each other to see who could stay awake the longest. Most of Potter College was napping two hours in. “What a bunch of wussies,” scoffed the Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport contingent. Faculty drank gallons of coffee and pinched each other in a generally unsuccessful effort to stay awake, while two college deans punched each other just because.
The winner of the dare, Retta Poe of the College of Education and Misbehavioral Sciences, remained awake, smiling, and well-coiffed for the entire thirty-seven hour event. She won a lifetime supply of tribbles (one) and was forced to move a short time later in search of more storage space.
In hour 37, as if by magic, both the Provost and Provost Emeritus simultaneously uttered the phrase “To engage the spirit embiggens even the smallest of us,” and were immediately declared co-champions.
Unfortunately, at the end of the competition Parliamentarian Joan Krenzin declared the entire contest grammatically incorrect and suggested that the participants begin again.