art department

Immortals, Long Cons, and the Building Fury of the Art History Department

I’ve mentioned my favorite art history professor to @systlin a few times, but there’s one story of him that stays with me. So for you, Plant Aunt, I’ve crafted a tale of one immortal spitefully making sure another immortal finally gets his:


The running joke among David’s students is that our beloved professor is clearly an immortal. How else could we explain his small office crammed with illuminated manuscripts, Scythian and Mongolian bows, 3rd cent. Roman gladii, near-Eastern rugs and ancient swords? The way he sighed wistfully in class and told us how beautiful the Parthenon was when it was new and, “not just a damn tourist attraction”? It wasn’t uncommon for us to see him hefting a sword over his shoulder, leather trench coat flapping in the wind, flipping off the head of security who really should have stopped trying by now.

It was also a running joke that our favorite immortal just did not get technology. I worked at our Help Desk for all four years of college, and David would always request one of his students to come and fix his computer. 

“This computer isn’t fast enough,” he told me once, polishing an enameled chalice. Google maps was still loading on the page, trying to parse the coordinates he entered. It was likely looking ten centuries too late. “It needs more of that RAM. Really. I could be soaring over ancient Rome like a bird!”

After repeat requests, he got a brand-new Macbook Pro, which he promptly abandoned for his antique slide projector. 

“I just don’t get the new technology,” he shrugged. “You can’t get the feel of things.” 

That was the only sentiment he shared with his nemesis. 

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2

After-hours

Without lifting her gaze from the leather folders she was carrying, Hermione hurried into the elevator and distractedly slammed her palm against the button of the ground floor.

“Staying after-hours again, Granger?”

Hermione flinched at the voice that had spoken over the metallic rattling noise of the golden grilles sliding shut and cast a glance over her shoulder at the man leaning against the far wall. She bowed her head in reluctant greeting.

“I’ve got… paperwork,” she muttered, turning away and trying to ignore the heat creeping up her neck.

“Sure. Paperwork…” hummed Malfoy, drawing out the last word in an almost indecent purr. “What about taking this paperwork somewhere else?”

Hermione’s gaze flickered to the golden grilles; they were nearing the Atrium. Malfoy’s office was the closest but they would still have to go back down a few levels.

“I was actually going to suggest my place,” sounded his voice again as though he had guessed her thoughts.

Hermione turned around, a crease appearing between her eyebrows.

“Malfoy…” she started.

“Yes, Granger, I know…” sighed Malfoy, rolling his eyes. “As soon as we take it home it becomes personal. After six months of your repeating it every other night, I get it. What I don’t get is what would be so terrible about it?”

Hermione stood still, taken aback, as the elevator screeched to a halt.

“I don’t- I don’t know…”

“Right,” cut her off Malfoy, his face suddenly shutting, although she glimpsed a flicker of bitterness in his gaze. “After you…” he said coolly, waiting for her to exit the elevator.

Hermione didn’t move.

“I was going to say I don’t know your address,” she said quietly, stepping out into the half-deserted Atrium.

Next moment, she felt a hand settle in the small of her back, firmly steering her to the row of fireplaces.

“Well, that can be easily fixed,” whispered Malfoy’s voice into her ear.

So the head of the art department has been subbing in for my Portfolio and Campaign class because our regular prof had spinal surgery and now has six million follow-up appointments, but the point is, she thinks I’m a Responsible Adult for some reason, and since it’s a studio day, she asked me to put on something “Seasonally Appropriate”

KLEZMER MARIACHI IS TOTALLY SEASONALLY APPROPRIATE.
HANUKKAH COMES FIRST THIS YEAR ANYWAY.

Anyway, that’s set off a game of “Music that’s ‘Seasonally Appropriate but not actually Christmas carols” and let me tell you I’ve never had the cass agree on a playlist before, nor have I seen somebody embody the “I don’t know what I expected” meme as hard as my Department Head is right now.

So far we’ve had:

-Celtic solstice music, very pretty.
-Kwanza music (BALLER, will try to get the name of the band after class)
-Trans- Siberian orchestra’s Carol of the Bells, which is technically a carol but fuck you it’s awesome and it’s welcome here.
-MORE KLEZMER
-Heavy metal Cellos version of “Dance of the Sugar Plum fairy”
-Weird Al’s “The Night Santa Went Crazy”

…and Kati’s queing up the barking dog version of jingle bells. One moment i need to prevent a riot.