Prof. Josiah Carberry misses Fri. Sept. 13th lecture, lets down Brown


I won’t lie — school has been wearing me down. Classes have started to take their toll; I’m tired, hungry, exhausted and I think I stepped on the Pembroke seal earlier today.

For all these reasons and more I was particularly excited to see notices around school announcing that Professor Josiah Carberry would be lecturing today, Friday September 13th, on his specialty — psychoceramics (the study of “cracked pots”). This year the topic was “metapsychoceramics,” a groundbreaking topic the depth, width and length of which far exceeds the Blog’s scope.

Was today to be another Watson and Crick (and Franklin?) announcing the double helix structure of DNA? Could it compare to the moon landings? I was confident it would at least dwarf NASA’s supposedly exciting news this week that Voyager I, a spacecraft launched in the 1970s, has become the first man-made object to leave our solar system.

For Carberry, I didn’t spare a single thought to that hunk of metal wandering 11.5 billion miles from Earth carrying the recordings of Blind Willie Johnson, a man who lived in abject poverty his whole life, whose stepmother blinded him with lye, and whose music just left the solar system.

Instead I was reading up on all this year’s important advances in psychoceramics — from Paula Deen’s treatise on “[African American] culture in Post Bellum America” to Jenny McCarthy’s appointment to the National Academy of Sciences The View.  The field of psychoceramics often seems like the fastest-growing scientific discipline, and in Josiah Carberry, Brown basically has a Nobel Prize winner.

So I went this morning at 12 to Salomon 001, giddy, shaking, practically convulsing in anticipation. Writhing, I descended the stairs of Salomon but to my disappointment, the professor was not there. Not even the free candy and food that was promised. (That’s what he meant by “dulce et decorum est desipere in loco,” right?)

I hope the professor had a family emergency or something dire to attend to and not just some crackpot excuse…

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