Happy Thanksgiving From Dean Awn (And A Turkey)!!!
Written by Bwog Staff
General Studies Dean Peter Awn sent out his usual Thanksgiving message to the GS student body today, and as usual, he induced laughter hard enough to leave one short of breath as he ventured through Paris with a turkey. Because we love you so much, we’re sharing his hilarity. Happy (early) Thanksgiving, Columbia!
I am known for many strange obsessions, especially my blind devotion to that wondrous of birds, the Turkey. I have never revealed, however, the extent to which my fowl passion has driven me to unearth the secrets of this iconic creature. Truth be told, yes, I am a “Turkey Whisperer”.
My unique skill was fully tested this weekend when I was in Paris for meetings at Sciences Po. As I walked down the Rue du Bac after the morning session, I espied, huddled under a Peugeot, a pulsating feathered form. When he raised his noble head and shook his weathered wattle, I knew I was in the presence of a demigod. I dropped to my knees, ignoring the puddle, seized the Turkey and put him inside my jacket so he could share my warmth. Unfortunately, my “Turkey Whispering” had not yet penetrated his brain, for soon my shirt was blotched with red from the fierce pecking and scratching. I was not deterred. I redoubled my rapid eye movements and ritual flailing. Suddenly, a blood speckled head shot out from under my lapel. He fixed his gaze upon my face; I had whispered well. His eyes radiated unconditional love, as if I were the Methuselah of his species. I plucked a hair from my beard, and he a feather from his wing. We exchanged plumage and, like Glaukos and Diomedes of old, pledged eternal loyalty to one another.
“Tell me,” I pleaded, “how you journeyed to a land where only your wild kin abound?” He spoke in winged words of lost baggage and shipping crates, of Paris, Texas and Paris, France, but soon exhaustion overcame him. “May I carry you back to your native soil in my briefcase?” I begged. “I know it will be a tight fit, but the flight is only eight hours or so.”
“Silence, pathetic old man. I am here for a reason. You see, I never took the Global Core seriously. In retribution, a global immersion experience has been forced upon me. Nevertheless, I must finish my Core, even if I end up in slices on someone’s plate.”
“I assure you, Blessed One, that you will remain unsliced. In France, in fact, in all of Europe, your flesh is scorned. Frankly they much prefer Le Big Mac.” We walked together silently, until we reached the Jardin du Luxembourg, where we parted. I watched from a distance as he pecked greedily at the grains of grass, tourists snapped photos, and a kindly old gentleman dropped a tiny beret by his side. I wandered aimlessly, eventually finding myself at Les Invalides and the tomb of Emperor Napoleon. As I looked down from the gallery at the red quartzite sarcophagus below, I suddenly understood the meaning of my cosmic encounter. For we too have a tomb complex on Morningside Heights. No, not Low Library, but Grant’s Tomb, whose sarcophagus is modeled after that of Napoleon.
My mission is now clear—to place by the side of Ulysses’ sarcophagus, another one equally majestic, filled with Turkey bones, to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice Turkeys have made for generations to grace our Thanksgiving tables. May the beak of the Cosmic Turkey pierce your breast, metaphorically speaking, of course, and fill you with her spirit of gratitude and love. And may you all use this most American of holidays to give thanks for the extraordinary people in your lives and for the goodness you may find, even under a Peugeot.
Peter J. Awn
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