During the 2009 Faculty/Staff Christmas luncheon on December 22, the following original masterpiece was shared by our own poet laureate, Mick Williams, Reference Services and Serials Librarian, in Nyack's Bailey Library on the Rockland campus. Columbia College had its Clement Clark Moore; Nyack has its Mick Williams.
With Apologies to Clement Moore, this is...
A Visit from Dear Middle States
‘Twas the night before Midterms, when students will grouse,
And the slackers were feeling as low as a louse;
Their iPods were dangling with hardly a care,
In hopes that a nifty tune soon would be there;
Few students were drifting to sleep in their beds,
For visions of essay tests danced through their heads.
Now the Prez in his best suit, a fine one with snap,
Was alone in his office, reviewing a map,
When far down the hillside arose such a clatter
He sprang from his desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the window he flew like a flash
(And hoped that the market would not again crash.
When alumni would give oh his face would just glow,
Which in turn brought great joy to us all, as you know.);
When, what to his wondering eyes should appear,
But the Middle States crew—which brought twinges of fear.
Such a crack team of scholars, so sharp and so quick,
He knew in a moment that this was no trick.
More rapid than eagles his thoughts went and came,
So he needed his helpers and called them by name:
“Now! Dave, and now! David, now! Carol Ann Freeman,
“Help! Ben and Andrea, Help! Cory and Meehan.
“To the Document Room! Double check one and all!
“We need every word! Every word, great and small!”
As dry syllabi at semester’s end fly
When they meet with a garbage can ever so nigh;
So to their computers his helpers they flew,
With clear guidance of just what they needed to do.
So, heartened with certainty there’d be no goof
He waited for Middle States to ask for proof.
As he drew in his breath and was turning around,
Up the stairs came the Middle States Team without sound.
They were all dressed in suits, from each head to each foot,
Quite like pirates they came, seeking truth as their loot.
Each clipboard with forms seemed poised to attack,
And they seemed as ferocious as wolves in a pack.
Their eyes—how they glistened! Their clipboards—how scary,
Their suits were like armor, each held a Blackberry.
Each quizzical mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the look on each face made his blood turn to snow.
A cell phone of sorts was by each set of teeth;
As they walked up the hill each was slipped in its sheath.
At last they got close, and he knew in his belly
That all would be fine, though the waiting was smelly.
“They are friendly and nice,” said the Prez to himself,
“Though I know they’ll inspect every binder and shelf.”
“To think of the stress I’ve endured from this dread;
“I’m glad I can get it right out of my head.”
They spoke just a bit, then got straight to their work,
And jotted on clipboards while guided by Turk;
Though once in a while he’d quote Milton or prose,
The Veep was prepared for each question they’d pose.
The Prez hit his stride, and his team, tough as gristle,
Led their guests to each binder, old file, and epistle.
When the visit was through, ere they drove out of sight,
The Prez knew in his heart everything was all right.
(c) 2009 by Mick Williams