classics saved via sacrifice: classic

by emilymattison

It is no secret that the future of the Classics here at UVM does not look bright. There is a serious lack of funding, and ever-increasing concern for the fate of the department. These poor students, who had dreamed about studying the Classics ever since they read Percy Jackson in middle school, are having their already bleak futures crushed. It’s one thing to have no job prospects, but to potentially lose their chances of even earning their useless degree? Outrage from the students has increased since the school chose—rather than increase funding for the department—to buy a $120,000 statue of… a giant “pi” symbol? That amount of money could easily fund the salaries of 10 classics professors! 

Many ideas for funding were considered within the department: bake sales and bottle drives. Inspiration struck for these desperate students during a lecture on the ways Greek and Roman citizens would appeal to the gods through offerings and ritual sacrificing. Figuring anything is worth a shot, the students started small: at a meeting for the Goodridge Classical Club, as they gathered around lamenting their wasted education, they fueled a fire pit with crushed chips from the bottom of the bag, olives picked out of food and snacks gone stale.  

When a student casually mentioned this to a professor, they were surprised to find him outraged: “this is not how you make a proper offering to the gods! You cannot offer what you would not have yourself, it carries no meaning! If anything, it is disgraceful. The gods do not want your stale snacks and rejected foods, they want to be honored with your finest wines and gourmet meals.” Thus, the rest of the department’s budget went toward such expenses.  

Students and teachers alike would bring food and drink to offer at the beginning of classes; a first-year was even blacklisted by her peers for thinking stolen dining hall food would meet the tastes of the gods. Soon enough a pyre could be found in the bedroom of every single classics student. “I got a fake ID just so I could buy wine and earn the blessing of the great god Dionysus” reports one student, and he claims he’s not alone. I have also been assured not to worry: the fires caused by pouring wine into the pyre weren’t nearly as large as the fire department made it out to be, and the student’s hands have healed! 

When questioned about the disappearances of various students’ pets on campus, members of the department deny it has any connection to their ritual sacrifices. They also felt it necessary to mention that cats have nine lives. In addition, students in the Wellness Environment should watch out: their final appeal to the gods will likely be a virgin sacrifice.  

Categories: around town, sept. 28, vol 25

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