Luck in the Library

A student came to my office for a meeting yesterday. As our discussion of his paper revision wound down, he stared at his bag, looking vaguely abashed. 

"Also..." he said, after a moment, "I'm, um, writing a paper for another class about the ideas we talked about from Aristotle earlier in the term." He leaned over to take a slim, battered volume from his backpack. "So I went to get the Poetics from the library. And there was an envelope in it." He finally met my eyes. "And inside, there was a note, and it talked about you."

"Um." (I said wittily.)

"It told me to come to your office."

"Oh!" I sighed, both relieved and strangely disappointed in my Da Vinci Code speculations, "That's my student's documentary. My Honours students each have to document one class from the term, and turn it into a work of art. This student was dealing with a class in which we discussed and practiced Dadaism, and talked about chance relationships with documents and archive. So she made her documentary in the form of a paper chase, in which her colleagues (or other random students) would encounter the clues when they opened library books, and either discard them or follow them as they wished."

"Okay," he said slowly, while I laughed and laughed with the delight of chance success. 

Halifax, NS
Tuesday, November 20, 2012