by David Provost
On February 1, 2014, the University Student Senate and Sewanee Administration’s decision to disband the “cstudent” e-mail distribution was enacted. Not only those on campus but modern conversationalists stretching across the tri-state area were largely impacted. The following is a fictional retelling of the aftermath since email was changed forever.
“I get a ton of e-mails everyday…” Lex Bingham, (C’17)
Fire in the streets. Fire in the buildings. Fire in the water (Lake Cheston seems to be doing very well, don’t fret). A University awry. Our hero, the Purple Knight, finally slumps out of his depressive 2-week stint locked in his closet to make a change. He hears cries of all kinds, only half being from infants.
Someone screams, “What’s for dinner today?! I never enjoyed Google Mail!”
A drunkard stumbles out of the now abandoned pub shouting, “Maybe I wanted to audit an astronomy class! Who could make that judgment?!”
Distressed, our hero climbs upon his noble steed and treks towards somewhere not too far away because his legs still hurt from a hike he took four months ago. After hours of searching, he finds one of the few buildings still intact. Hopping of his high horse, he enters with caution. A single office down the hall shimmers hauntingly with its almost-dead fluorescent bulb. Our hero wishes to kick down the door but doesn’t have the required leg strength so just ends up knocking politely. The clickity clacking of a Newton’s Cradle is the first sound the Purple Knight hears before the vibrant “Hello!” of Sewanee’s only present dean.
Enraged, our hero yells, “Who is responsible for this?!!”
“Quite a few people, actually,” the dean responds.
“Dean, how do I fix this? Cstudent isn’t just the hero Sewanee deserves, it’s the hero she needs right now,” the Knight expresses, fighting back tears. With a mighty nod of affirmation, the dean slides a playing card across his desk. On it two separate coordinates of the Mountain are scratched on. “Play your card right, the answers will follow.”
The Purple Knight nods back and right before exiting the office we hear, “… and Purple Knight. I had a lot more fun when cstudent was in place. Let us have fun again.” With these words, our hero gallops towards the first destination of his destiny.
“It hasn’t really affected the SPO that much yet.” SPO Master “Johnny Hughes”
After 30 minutes of struggling to tie his horse to the bike rack and get his ID card to scan correctly, the Purple Knight enters Gailor with a shockingly small amount of light. The only sound in the entire building is the furious typing of a keyboard coming from the upper wing.
“Cstudent, are you alright?!” are the first words the Purple Knight yells into an empty classroom. He receives back a gaze so powerful, so perfect, he immediately realizes he’s made a huge mistake.
“Astudent, I’m so sorry. From behind I thought you might’ve been-”
“Do I look like a sorry Cstudent to you?!” she replies.
“Oh, I mean… my apologies, Astudent.”
“That’s better. Now, what’s the matter? I’m working on my graduate school dissertation,” the motivated freshman replies.
“This is a mistake. I need to find Cstudent. The culture of her campus is on the brink of implosion!”
“Don’t I know it, Bstudent hasn’t unglued from his Instagram feed in hours. What’s that in your hand?” The Purple Knight confidently hands over the coordinate card despite not knowing the whereabouts of the second location. “You do know where this is, don’t you?”
“Yes. But I’d love to hear you say what I already know.”
“This is the the very spot of the All Saint’s bell.” A dramatic dun-duh rings in our hero’s heart.
“B-But it’s getting unseasonably dark outside.” She nods herself in agreement. “And it’s really ominous being in that Church alone…” Nod #2.
Our hero is on the verge of quitting his mission, until the Astudent slaps him across the face with a very expensive gently-used chemistry textbook. “I thought you cared about Sewanee. I thought you were our savior. Your GPA doesn’t stand a chance this quarter, but you still have time to do great things.” The Purple Knight realizes what he must do.
“Go to the bell?” he asks.
“Ding-Dong,” she answers.
(While checking e-mail)
“There’s nothing like waking up to the sun rising to make you hate everything.” Anonymous, (C’14)
Gong. Our hero has finally reached the bell tower, softly humming “Wagon Wheel” to himself for imaginary warmth.
“Cstudent!” No answer.
“Cstudent!!!” No answer. The Knight hears the not so subtle breathing of another person echoing in the room. Shaking with fear, he circles around the bell, keeping an eye open in all directions for any bats or other scary things.
“I’m not Cstudent anymore,” the husk of the artist formerly known as Cstudent finally replies.
“Don’t you ever say that! Things have changed for the worst since you were fired. Everyone realizes, maybe you over did it at times, but hey, you made the school unified. Cstudent, please come back,” our hero pleads.
“I don’t know. I can’t say I miss those Asian Culture quizzes, and I’ve become pretty damn good at beer pong. It’s all about the […]” Cstudent says, miming the proper arm positioning for the game of champions.
“That’s really neat, man, but I don’t think you know how terrible it is out there. People miss those obscure and often irrelevant mass e-mails. It filled a space in the heart of every Sewanee Tiger in a way only you could fill.” Cstudent nods in utter disbelief.
“Hey, Cstudent.” Cstudent turns slowly. “What’s on the agenda tonight? No one knows, Cstudent. No one knows.
“… A meeting at 7:19 in Carnegie for conflicted International Agnostics! They need this meeting, they need it so bad.” The Purple Knight smiles in Cstudent’s re-ignited passion.
“Purple Knight, boot up my smartphone.”