It's that time of year again, when my place at the North Pole is alive with excitement and activity. The elves have never been quite so busy, and Mrs. Claus is sewing some buttons on the old suit. I've been making some repairs to the sled and preparing the reindeer.
I've also been making my list and checking it twice. Some people at Harvard will be rewarded for being especially nice this year, but those who have been naughty will face the wrath of Santa.
First, those kids at Phillips Brooks House (PBH) have been doing a great job. They've had to contend with a forced restructuring of their organization by an administration that has ignored many of their interests. They deserve staff members who are directly accountable to them. Santa will give newly appointed PBH administrator Dean Judith Kidd a pink slip.
Since Dean Lewis was not in his office for the recent PBH rally, he probably doesn't need the space too badly. Santa will replace the demolished Carey Cage by converting Dean Lewis' office into a gym for varsity athletes. However, due to limited space, this new facility wills only feature a Thigh master, a jump rope, and a copy of the aerobics video "Buns of Steel."
The Harvard Alumni Association ad hoc committee that wished to honor Harvard's Confederate war dead also deserves something special. Since their proposal was tabled by the Board of Overseers, Santa will build a memorial for them in the Yard. A plaque will be placed on a suitable tree, and a rope will dangle from one of its branches to salute one of the greatest legacies of the Confederacy lynching.
The Harvard football team had a dismal season this year, but they accomplished their one true mission: beating Yale. Santa will give each of them a copy of Vince Lombardi's autobiography.
Santa will also recognize some of the less well known Harvard athletes. The intramural teams of Cabot House are well on their way to winning the Strauss Cup for the second consecutive year. Santa will give Cabot House an altar on which to place the Strauss Cup so that all other house intramural teams may worship it.
Next on Santa's list are the members of the now defunct D.U. club. Santa's heart breaks for these poor boys. In a few weeks, when they open their stockings, each of them will find a copy of Down and Out in America: The Origins of Homelessness, by Peter Rossi, as well as a map and directions to the nearest homeless shelter in Cambridge.
This semester, Professor Sacvan Bercovitch has had to contend with dozens of rude students in his Literature and Arts A class, the Myth of America. Many of them sleep or chat with their friends during his lectures, or rustle their papers and books loudly as they leave fifteen minutes early. Santa will wire every seat in Science Center B to an eject switch at the podium. Then Professor Bercovitch can blast those who do not wish to pay attention clear out to Loker Commons.
Santa knows that the Association Against Learning in the Absence of Religion and Morality (AALARM) has been hard at work trying to restore morality at Harvard. For their efforts, members of AALARM will receive a $1,000 gift certificate to Hubba Hubba, the store in Central Square which sells handcuffs, whips, bondage masks and gimp suits, Santa is sure that they will enjoy the next few weeks getting "medieval" on each other.
And generally, all Harvard students deserve a real movie theater as well as better bars and clubs in the Square, within walking distance. A student center that sells cheap junk food like McDonald's and Taco Bell instead of sophisticated, higher-priced substitutes would be nice too. But I'm only Santa Claus--I can't work miracles. Merry Christmas, everyone.
David W. Brown's column appears on alternate Wednesdays.