Found Object: Spring Cleaning

Location: Discovered yesterday in a stack of books on a bookshelf in ECS 025 (one of our term instructor offices), as we prepared the office for temporary use by Modern Languages while Eisenhower Hall undergoes some renovation this summer.
Object: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 5th edition, 1999, with the name of Jaimie Hays (MA ’03) on the title page.
Observations: 1) Jaimie Hays (now Kirby) last taught for us as a term instructor in Spring 2009.  2) This book and the others nearby on the shelf evince a surprising degree of resilience to the passage of time, outlasting a rotating set of office occupants in the intervening years. 3) The post-it, with its template citation format for an online database, references Lexis Nexis. Now Nexis Uni, in the 1990s and 2000s Lexis Nexis was one of the key databases for searching and accessing full-text periodicals online. Today, we’d likely turn first to Google and to ProQuest. 4) I’m not sure whether to be impressed by this book’s staying power in ECS 025 (the office that Jaimie used before she left for her next job), or concerned that it slipped through ten years of spring cleanings.
Location: A large desk with a soft brown linoleum top in ECS 022, an office used by faculty and term instructors.
Object: Star Wars stickers.
Observations: 1) The MLA Handbook‘s staying power in ECS 025 pales by comparison to this desk and its firmly affixed decoration, which came to ECS from the GTA bullpen offices on the 2nd floor of Denison Hall before that building’s demolition in 2005. The desk spent time in one of the GTA offices in ECS before moving to ECS 022. 2) Given the desk’s earlier location in Denison Hall, the stickers most likely pre-date the 21st century. 3) Whether admired or discreetly covered up by various office occupants during its time in ECS, the linoleum desktop and its stickers persist. 4) If we have the opportunity to acquire a newer (and less decorated) desk, should this one stay or go? 5) If any graduate student alum / former GTA recognizes this desk and its stickers and remembers when they first acquired their 20+ year home, please let me know!

Karin Westman, Associate Professor and Department Head



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