I’m thrilled to trek home to SF and LA for the end of the year.
Indiana Jones Mystery Package
We don’t really even know how to start this post. Yesterday we received a package addressed to “Henry Walton Jones, Jr.”. We sort-of shrugged it off and put it in our bin of mail for student workers to sort and deliver to the right faculty member— we get the wrong mail a lot.
Little did we know what we were looking at. When our student mail worker snapped out of his finals-tired haze and realized who Dr. Jones was, we were sort of in luck: this package wasn’t meant for a random professor in the Stat department. It is addressed to “Indiana” Jones.
What we know: The package contained an incredibly detailed replica of “University of Chicago Professor” Abner Ravenwood’s journal from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. It looks only sort of like this one, but almost exactly like this one, so much so that we thought it might have been the one that was for sale on Ebay had we not seen some telling inconsistencies in cover color and “Ex Libris” page (and distinct lack of sword). The book itself is a bit dusty, and the cover is teal fabric with a red velvet spine, with weathered inserts and many postcards/pictures of Marion Ravenwood (and some cool old replica money) included. It’s clear that it is mostly, but not completely handmade, as although the included paper is weathered all of the “handwriting” and calligraphy lacks the telltale pressure marks of actual handwriting.
What we don’t know: Why this came to us. The package does not actually have real stamps on it— the outside of the package was crinkly and dirty as if it came through the mail, but the stamps themselves are pasted on and look like they have been photocopied. There is no US postage on the package, but we did receive it in a bin of mail, and it is addressed to the physical address of our building, Rosenwald Hall, which has a distinctly different address from any other buildings where it might be appropriate to send it (Haskell Hall or the Oriental Institute Museum). However, although now home to the Econ department and College Admissions, Rosenwald Hall used to be the home to our departments of geology and geography.
If you’re an applicant and sent this to us: Why? How? Did you make it? Why so awesome? If you’re a member of the University community and this belongs to you or you’ve gotten one like it before, PLEASE tell us how you acquired it, and whether or not yours came with a description— or if we’re making a big deal out of the fact that you accidentally slipped a gift for a friend in to the inter-university mail system. If you are an Indiana Jones enthusiast and have any idea who may have sent this to us or who made it, let us know that, too.
We know this sounds like a joke/hoax… it’s not (at least, from our end). Any hints, ideas, thoughts, or explanations are appreciated. We’ve been completely baffled as to why this was sent to us, in mostly a good way, but it’s clear this is a neat thing that either belongs somewhere else— or belongs in the halls of UChicago admissions history.
Internet: help us out. If you’re on Reddit (we’re not) or any other nerdly social media sites where we might get information about this, feel free to post far and wide and e-mail any answers, clues, ideas, thoughts, or musings to firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, we did set up an email account just to deal with this thing).
This is humbling.
The devastation seems unreal.
It’s nearly midnight on the night the storm hit. In fact, many parts of Manhattan and the surrounding areas are still feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy. While I’m filled with a deep burden at the immense devastation experienced by both my neighbors and the East Village I’m also filled with great anticipation at the way many will come to the aid of friend and stranger in an effort to help, serve, love, care for and rebuild what was lost in the storm.
Several from our church plan to survey the area as the sun rises over the very river that’s flooded into our streets on Tuesday morning, October 30th. Hopefully we’ll get a real sense of the impact. We will have practical and immediate ways to serve and help. But you can also help now. We’ve set up a special relief fund that you can contribute to. These funds will be used to serve the victims of the storm - the residents of Lower Manhattan who have been impacted the most. Simply click the link above, sign in and select “Hurricane Sandy Relief” from the menu. Every dollar helps.
The church in the East Village stands poised to help. Thank you for joining us in this endeavor. We’ll keep you posted on ways to help and pray and of course share stories of renewal that come from the cleanup effort.