As some of you may have noticed this past Friday, just across the street from McConnell Engineering, a sizable cross-section of FACE school-from faculty members to kindergarten students-hit the sidewalks, calling for the swift return of their school principal, Nick Primiano.
Primiano is known around the school for his unassuming demeanor and his availability to students-that and asking kids who skip class to pick him up a cup of coffee on their way back. While most high school students would immediately react to their principal’s disappearance with glee, basking in an authoritative void, FACE students have experienced the last few days with a uniformly mournful outlook. All have felt the bitter and abrupt loss of their principal; some have even lost a man they had come to see as a friend.
Seeing all those jaded faces on University was deeply saddening for two reasons. The first and most evident, is empathy. It’s always crushing to see a presence as appreciated as Nick Primiano’s ripped from its home. The second, with more tragic implications for many of us, is that we, as McGillians, may be incapable of the full emotional experience that is rocking FACE’s walls at this very moment.
What if Heather Munroe-Blum vanished?
It comes down to the age-old “lumberjack in the woods” premise. If HMB was crushed by a mighty cedar-proverbially-speaking of course-would it cause a single, solitary sound on campus? Would anyone notice? More importantly, would anyone care? A yin to Primiano’s lovable, omnipresent yang, Munroe-Blum has remained a ghost in many of our university lives, stoic and beyond our reach.
Thus, in the spirit of Nick Primiano’s straightforward-and occasionally cheeky-approach to running a school, here are a few suggestions to help HMB become truly loved.
*Challenge the sign-bearing anti-Semite outside the Roddick Gates to a bare knuckle boxing match. Only start off with an impromptu jab to the solar plexus and then go to work with some brass knuckles.
*Institute recess. We need it.
*No more McGill money spent on outsourcing the gardening work at your Westmount home. Consider working in conjunction with CAPS to have impoverished, starving, clothes-worn-to-tatters students tend to your shrubs and bulbs and make a reasonable salary. That way they wouldn’t have to be TA’s.
*Stop trying to convince us that Dawson Hall is a helpful and efficiently-run student resource. Let’s call a spade a spade. Hire Captain Insano (you know, the dude who rolls down Milton on a tricycle/chopper hybrid sporting Harley Davidson gear and the baddest ‘tude this side of the St. Lawrence) to man the Dawson reception desk 10 hours a day. Alone. Granted, Dawson wouldn’t run any smoother than it does now, but by golly, would students line up to see the goings on up in that heap. Just imagine the potential exchanges:
Student: Hi, I need to drop this course mid-semester for health reasons.
Captain Insano: FUCK YOU!!! Give me your CANS!!!
Crickey, you could even charge $1 cover per student. Just think of the revenues.
*Instead of the annual photo-op at SnoAP, throw a house party that no one at McGill will ever forget… or fully remember. How can you honestly proclaim to have truly been part of the university experience if you haven’t had a half dozen Wisconsinners (get it?) passed out in your hallway and another half dozen mandible-deep in the nappy dugout. Moreover, you could pay Captain Insano in empty bottles.
*Send Jennifer Robinson on vacation and take over your own PR. This eliminates the perpetual middleperson between HMB and the masses.
*”Education guaranteed or your money back!” If Ron Popeil can guarantee satisfaction, so can you. This means those of us who remain dense, ill-mannered, oafish simpletons after four years at your university ought to be entitled to full reimbursement.
*Continue parking in handicapped parking spaces, only routinely pretend to be handicapped. That would rule so hard.
But most important of all: be there. This could mean wearing a nametag so that the first years know who you are or making a point of taking public transportation once a week and shooting the breeze with a lucky few of us. You’re probably among the wisest and most worldly people in this learning institute. Teach us something. Walk among us dense, ill-mannered, oafish simpletons.
Maybe then we would protest if you disappeared. After all, it would acutally give the Flying Squad a purpose we could all get on board with.