Investigative reporters for the Williams Haybale have been vigilantly walking around on campus. A few weeks ago, two of our best and brightest found themselves sitting in on Art History 387: Ancient Rubble and Art That No Longer Exists. Taking place from 1:10 to 3:50pm in Williams College’s warmest, darkest room, Professor Paul Franklin powered up the projector at precisely 1:09pm, reminding students to please, pick up a term sheet.
Haybale reporters were able to get their paws on a ARTH 387 Syllabus from a student sitting nearby, which revealed that alongside 130 poorly-scanned pages of theory, this week’s assignment also included Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
As Professor Franklin began today’s lecture, titled “Individual Rocks In The Desert,” reporters noted that every single student was immediately entranced in a hypnosis-like state. As Franklin began to speak, an intense wave of exhaustion washed over the class. Then, 2 slides and 16 minutes in, eyes became impossibly heavy, and many students gave into the beckoning sleep. However, reports indicate that despite Franklin’s knack for inducing a relaxed state for others, he had never considered a career in ASMR.
Waking in a feverish sweat at 3:42pm, students were confronted with a mostly-destroyed wood carving of Jesus and some other guys on the projector as Professor Franklin began to wrap up.
Reflecting on the intoxicating sleep they experienced, reporters met with Professor Franklin to discuss his effect on students.
TH: Everyone fell asleep during your class, is this because students are bored or because of your extremely calming, soothing, sleep-inducing voice?
F: Students do like my coursework. In fact, I have students write theses under my supervision yearly. I think my voice is normal.
TH: Your voice is not normal, it is special somehow. Was the thesis cool?
F: Yes, he wrote a fascinating defense about types of domes in cathedrals that fell down 4000 years ago.
TH: How do they know what the cathedrals looked like?
F: Take my class, ARTH 365: Buildings That Have Been Gone For 4000 Years, next semester and find out.
TH: No. Have you ever given a lecture without someone falling asleep?
F: Not in a long time, this college works you kids very hard. If a student falls asleep in my class, I try not to take it personally.
TH: We think your soothing voice is like comforting white noise and sleep is inevitable for most students. And the classroom is very warm and dark. So, in the best way possible, you should take it personally. Can you start putting your lectures on YouTube? I’m having trouble falling asleep at night.
F: I have never considered how soothing my voice is, but I do think the room is warm and dark.
TH: There is a lot of money to be made in YouTube ASMR, perhaps you could tap a niche audience interested in falling asleep to really old church stuff.
F: I’ve never heard of ASMR. What is that.
TH: Look it up, it could double your salary. We have to go, we’re tired because you are talking.
After concluding the interview, the Haybale left Professor Franklin a list of YouTube channel name suggestions including “VintageCatholicismASMR,” “SleepytimeArtAndArchitecture,” and “CathedralsForSleepers.” In the weeks following the interview, we have been monitoring YouTube dot com for possible new accounts under these names – however, no accounts have surfaced as of yet.