On The Ground
Third year students are informed that, while they will not be fully compensated for the missed travel or countless other opportunities lost in the entire second half of their graduate education, the school will be buying their caps and gowns. Clearly resigned, they’ll take anything they can get at this point.
Less resigned, though equally depleted, one in five second-year students request a leave of absence for the coming school year. Four in five consider it.
First year students lament that the weekend-long competition to design a new dog house for Handsome Dan XIX didn’t launch before the career fair so that they’d have something more legitimate than their Image-Objects to put in their portfolios.
Handsome Dan XIX pays a special visit to Rudolph for the first time. Now with an actual reason to go into the building, students rush from their apartments only to find that he is already gone. Left to awkwardly stand around staring at each other, many try to remember how to make small talk and find themselves wondering, “does that person even go here?”
Students are asked for input on what to call the End of Year exhibition of their work which will be online-only, yet again. Third years recommend “Orange Block / Blue Block” and “Six Feet Apart, Together Forever.”
Dean Berke sends a scolding email accusing first years of trying to eat their pasta trusses.
Vaccinated faculty arrive on campus for in-person crits. Awkwardness abounds and Zoom is unavailable as an alibi.
A globe appears in the drawing room, barely able to support its own weight—an obvious calling card for Joyce and Bimal’s Venice Biennale team. Now an elusive cult, involved students continue to dupe their peers into joining with the pipe dream that they’ll all be sipping Campari on the canals together in a few short weeks. No one can blame them.
First years begin shop training. Tim Newton forgets to mention his glass eye in the first ten seconds, makes up for it in the next hour and a half. Faced with the prospect of actually doing their jobs, shop monitors wonder if they still remember how to use a table saw.
Structures II students continue watching videos of classmates’ pasta bridges for a second class. Of particular note is a video of a “pasta” bridge made of fishing wire and a lone bow-tie, set to Kanye West’s “Lift Yourself.” The bridge supports two 20-pound dumbbells and has an astounding load:weight ratio of 2591.957. Poop-diddy, whoop-scoop.
Weeks after it happened, one person gets an interview from the career fair, leading their ten friends to pretend that they did too.