...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Herakleopolite Gnome

(Note addition to the links bar: umbrellas are for transients, my friend Emilie's blog.)

My parents and I arrived at the Religious Studies department reception about an hour late, since the Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony started at the same time (and they didn't teach us the secret handshake! What's up with that??). When we arrived at the reception, Ellen and Tom both came up to me gesturing all excited and whispered that I should quickly go sign the card for Rob and then we could present him with the gnome; I thought it was thoughtful of them to wait for me to arrive before giving it to him. The gnome was about fifteen or sixteen inches tall and was holding a little ceramic shovel. Katie had written "Herakleoplite" in black sharpie on the base of his little red cap.

Katie, Ellen, Tom, Andy, Heidi and I all gathered together and pulled Rob out of the crowd, and Katie gave him the gnome on behalf of our Biblical Studies seminar. He was totally surprised. but got the joke immediately and laughed loudly for a long time. Actually, I don't know if I've ever seen him so genuinely tickled about something, including when he won Teacher of the Year. "This is the most perfect gift!" he exclaimed. "You know, I never made the connection between nome and gnome. This guy is going in my office." He said that he's going to take it with him to the upcoming American Society of Papyrologists conference, where he'll be presenting a paper about texts from the Herakleopolite Nome during the Ptolemaic period; Heidi suggested that he take it with him to Greece next semester and take its picture in front of various sites, like in Amelie. He thanked us profusely, and carried the gnome around with him for the rest of the reception. We were all so happy that he liked it so much; it really went off perfectly. It was a great way to end my Religious Studies career here.

This evening was the Senior Soiree, a fancy dinner for graduates and their families, and faculty; tomorrow is commencement itself, and Monday I'm interviewing at the preschool.

Quote of the Day: Dean de Paolo, at the Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony: "Congratulations on being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa; you will find that this key will open many doors...all of them metaphorical. It doesn't open any real doors."