The Chapin Archives are mourning the great loss of the Oldest Book, which was ravenously torn up yesterday afternoon. The student responsible for this has not yet been identified, but the Haystack have received many reports of the student being “mild mannered,” “really quite nice,” “someone who was probably under a lot of pressure,” and “a student who deserves forgiveness.”
Based on these eyewitness accounts, to the best of our knowledge, from what the Haystack has been told, the scenario probably went down something like this: student arrives at the Chapin Archives seeming really down. It just looks like someone had kicked them while they were down. The student requests to see the Oldest Book for their paper very politely. They sit down to read it, but begin feeling really very sick when they realize how badly their paper is going to go. They really just get really stressed about their paper. They accidentally rip the page they were holding. It started as an accident, but they got carried away. They ripped apart every single page in the Oldest Book. It’s possible that the student ate some of the paper but doesn’t quite remember doing it. They then felt really really bad and said I’m sorry a lot and ran away.
But I don’t actually know what happened; those are just reports. I wasn’t there.
These reliable sources ensure that the student couldn’t have really meant any harm. Dr. Library McLibraryface, head librarian of the Chapin Archives told the Haystack, “they just seemed like they were under immense pressure, the kind that nobody deserves. The kind of pressure that makes people do things they wouldn’t normally do. And when they finally release all that pent up stress and confusion and anger, maybe by way of using Hulk-like strength to turn the Oldest Book to paper Corn Flakes, they probably understand that what they did was wrong and they’re sorry. Also, I didn’t see the student take their teeth to the Oldest Book and really eat that old paper. But even if they did eat the old paper it’s okay.” Dr. McLibraryface urges the student body to join her in telling the student that they do not need to come forward, because nobody is really that upset, it’s okay. Nobody should be upset at this student.
After countless hours in our office investigating, the Haystack has come up with a possible explanation for the outlandish behavior that couldn’t have possibly been done in someone’s right mind. Rumors around campus have told us that students in HIST 456: Top Ten Oldest Books have a really really long paper due soon. And the professor really hasn’t adequately prepared these students, so they’re feeling really really stressed. And the professor keeps canceling his office hours so the students can’t get help even when they really want to succeed but the paper is due on Wednesday and maybe one of the students really just was having a bad day and reached their breaking point when they were having a really hard time reading the tiny baby print they used in the Oldest Book in the Chapin Archives.
But I don’t really know I’m not in the class; these are just things I’ve heard from people.
Williams College fully forgives this student and wants them to know it’s okay to remain anonymous. If you have any information on the student who destroyed the Oldest Book, we at the Haystack would love it if you kept it to yourself. Don’t go around telling people. It makes my tummy hurt when I hear that people are talking about me in a mean way and I feel really really bad. I’m sorry.