Jim Amidon — December 15, 2008
‘Twas the night before Finals, when all through the land,
The students were cramming, not playing Rock Band.
Their papers and notes all ordered with care,
In hopes that Winter Break soon would be there.
The professors were nestled all snug in their beds,
While dreams of straight-A students danced in their heads;
The Dean and the President, wise in their words,
Hoping the men would ace finals… like nerds.
When out on the Mall there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to my computer I flew like a flash,
Opened my Google and searched Wabash.
The glare on my screen prevented my view,
Of thousands of entries, most of them new!
Oh, how my fingers worked quickly to find,
Website postings of every possible kind.
A sharp young hacker, mind nimble and quick,
Had crashed the system with a couple of clicks.
More rapid than broadband the postings they came,
Pleading for extensions to professors by name;
Please Butler! Now Rogers! Now Hudson and Howland!
On Phillips! On Polley! On Herzog and Helman!
To the top of old Baxter, to the top of Hays Hall!
The hacker sent emails to one and to all!
As dry leaves were crunched tiny and small,
Campus Services had cleaned every inch of the Mall.
So over to campus I ran without pause,
A finals week crisis without any cause!
In Center Hall, I saw a flickering light,
Twas a professor in office, preparing all night.
I walked down the hall on a curious quest,
Peered in an office, saw a man at his desk.
He was dressed all in plaid, his khakis bore wrinkles,
His suspenders criss-crossed, his eyes all a twinkle.
A bundle of papers stacked high in a pile,
Red ink trashed them all… and done with a smile.
His eyes — how they focused! His pen with such might!
His beard was like pepper, all black and all white!
His glasses all smeared, he barely could see,
The papers he marked with emotional glee!
He had a broad face and good-sized belly,
That shook when he graded like a bowlful of jelly.
A good Wabash man and wise old prof,
An earnest worn face, in spite of his coif!
He listened to Mozart and stayed to his work,
And graded those papers from every young turk!
Soon Santa Blix put his red pen away,
For finals week starts on this very day.
The hacker’s email flurry for A’s and for B’s
Is more likely to result in more C’s and some D’s.
Begging and brown-nosing does nothing but shame,
A student who slacks is clearly to blame!
For at Old Wabash, a student must sweat,
Mastering Plato and physics his only bet!
Blix strode to his car while scratching his head,
He wondered how quickly he might be to bed.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove to his den,
“Good luck on Finals, ye good Wabash men!”
With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore.