By now you’re probably tired of hearing me talk about Work Day, about how everyone works together and all, lugging, sweeping, raking, digging and generally getting more dirty and sweaty than they do in art history class. But I swear, this week’s Work Day was different. Maybe it was the beautiful sunny day, or the fresh composted manure delivered to fill new raised garden beds, or the phalanx of students who moved materials around the library like a well-oiled ant colony, or the volunteers stuffing bags with holy cedar (Batman) to raise scads of money for the Cross-Cultural Collaborative Service-Learning with the Diné and Lakota Peoples class. Whatever it was, by all accounts this Work Day was the best since they built the Pyramid of Khufu.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that Dan MacArthur (son of John MacArthur, retired physics professor) and his crew were there, raising the timber frame of the new greenhouse across the road from Persons Auditorium. It was very gratifying for everyone to see this project get beyond the foundation-as-conceptual-art-installation stage, and Dan’s hard-working and amazingly noisy and waggish crew set the pace for other projects nearby, such as building stone retaining walls for the greenhouse, building raised beds, cultivating soil and turning over the compost. I mean, if an alien happened to land there, he or she would probably think it was a chaotic rite-of-passage ritual or something, but to those of us caught up in the groove it was better than chocolate.
Before embarking on Work Day, students, staff and faculty participated in the chaotic right-of-passage ritual we have all come to love, known as “community photo.” As always, this is everybody and their brother’s excuse for pulling out their favorite costumes, flags, obstreperous banners and rowdy hand signals, as demonstrated in the video clip below.