There’s something very, very strange in these old halls. Did Senior Staff Writer Jake Tibbetts’s classroom mix-up stem from a lapse in memory… or was it something more similar? Read on to find out.

It began like any other Monday morning. After passing out in a pile of printed-out readings (that I never got around to actually reading) at some point the night before, I rolled out of bed at 9:40 am, grabbed my bag, snagged a cinnamon raisin bagel with garden vegetable cream cheese (don’t knock it ‘til you try it) from Ferris, and ran to my 10:10 seminar.

But it wasn’t like any other Monday, you see. Because it wasn’t a Monday. My professor had rescheduled the class for Wednesday. As a result, we were not meeting in our normal spot, the brutalist assault on the eyes known here as “IAB.” We were instead heading to… another location. I vaguely remembered my professor saying something during the previous session, but I couldn’t quite recall what he said. I checked my notebook and saw what I had written down the first time he mentioned the switch over a month before: Fayerweather. Being a gym rat, I knew exactly where to go—I had to head to the building right near the entrance to Dodge. When I got there, I looked up and saw the name of the building engraved above the entrance: …Havemeyer?

I didn’t think too much of this apparent mistake at the moment. Though I was convinced that it was Fayerweather right next to Mathematics, perhaps I simply misremembered. After all, I spend very little time in either Fayerweather or Havemeyer. I looked up where Fayerweather actually was and made my way there. When I arrived there, I saw my professor.

“Sorry for being a bit late,” I went to say. Before I could get the words out, though, he said the same thing to me.

“I thought that we were meeting on the other side of campus,” he said. “Turns out the building that I was thinking of was Havemeyer. But it turns out we’re meeting here.”

I told him that the same thing had happened to me, and we both laughed at our apparent lack of knowledge of campus geography, despite the fact that I have been here since 2017 and he has been here since the U.S.S.R. was a thing that political science students and professors discussed in the present tense. Again, though, at this point, I thought very little of it. Two people made the same mistake—what’s special about that?

When we got to the classroom, no one else was there. We both glanced at each other, confused and slightly unnerved, and decided to wait a few minutes before commencing. Students soon began to trickle in, one after another. “Sorry,” each would say. “I accidentally walked to Havemeyer.” Every. Single. Person. And it was then that I finally realized what was going on.

This was a textbook example of the “Mandela effect” — when multitudes of people share a collective false belief not rooted in any semblance of reality. It’s named after a belief that many realized they held after Nelson Mandela died in 2013 that he had died decades prior while he was in prison. (If this were the case, the Matt Damon/Morgan Freeman film Invictus wouldn’t exist, which would be a shame.) The most famous example might be about a series of children’s books. Many people remember a family of fictional anthropomorphic bears with the last name Berenstein, even though they were actually named Berenstain. Perhaps the most hilarious example is the fact that huge amounts of people across the Reddit-sphere have memories of a Shazaam, a children’s movie from the ‘90s starring Sinbad as a genie who befriends two young children. I don’t get it either.

There are many possible explanations for the Mandela effect. Some might say it’s simply a memory glitch. But that’s ridiculous. So many people’s memories glitching in the same exact manner? Ridiculous. The real answer, dear reader, has to do with parallel universes. We exist in a multiverse. Events from a parallel universe, at times, can cross with events in ours, leading to undetectable changes in space, time, and space-time. Well, almost undetectable. Some of us remember that, in our universe’s real past, Nelson Mandela died in prison (and Invictus was never made), The Berenstein Bears taught young children valuable life lessons, and Sinbad made the best genie film this side of Aladdin.

And in our universe’s real past, Fayerweather was once called Havemeyer, and Havemeyer was once called Fayerweather. (There is probably another Mandela effect thing happening with those who remember “Hayermeyer” and “Fayerwether,” but I don’t have time to get into that.)

I do not know why everyone in my seminar picked up on this subtle shift in the space-time continuum. And I do not know why it seems like nobody else at all seems to have done so. But the claim in the previous paragraph is absolutely irrefutable, especially when you put the so-called “facts” aside. “Facts” are but a tool that he uses to keep you from uncovering these truths. Who is he, you ask? I won’t tell you explicitly, but I will tell you that he uses an Audi to get around and exists, in a parallel universe, as a dinosaur.
EDIT: So anyway, I later found out that the professor had said something in the previous session about our meeting in Havemeyer due to a slip of the tongue, even though we had always been scheduled to meet in Fayerweather, as he said a few weeks before that. His slip-up might have had something to do with everyone else heading to the wrong location. The only reason I messed up despite having the right location written down is that I’m a headass who can’t remember where anything is.

Or am I? Perhaps I know too much, and perhaps something or someone has shaken up the space-time continuum once again to make me question my sanity.

Nah. I’m just a headass.

the picture that doesn’t exist via U.S. Government Publishing Offices