We’re in a room with computers on several workstations. I’m working on stuff with my small team. The big boss over at the other end of the room gets everyone’s attention and tells us her laptop case has gone missing, and we all start to comb the room in search of it. My team leader has given me a long list of work assignments, and I am carrying a stack of books and other related materials. I take my pile of books out of the room and down a number of hallways until I come to a big tall ceilinged chamber, a lunch room of sorts for the university. I sit at one of the empty tables. An older black teacher comes and sits down with his food and starts eating. I look at him expecting he’ll want to talk, but he seems content to sit and eat, alone even if sharing the table. Then another person comes and sets down her tray on the table. I have the sense that it’s filling up and get up and leave. I walk through the hallways, taking a blind stab at direction and end up in a part of the school that’s completely unfamiliar. I can see tall, broad Gothic archesÂ off in the distance. I turn around and go in the other direction for a ways before I concede that I’m completely lost.
I go off with a small group of people looking for our department’s dumpster which has been stolen. We go into an alcove with two big green dumpsters side by side in it. We recognize one of them as ours and find a broken lock on a plastic-wrapped chain on it. An official shows up and starts working to restore the lock in preparation for returning the dumpster to where it belongs. I go around behind them and notice someone checking some kind of bins in the back underneath. I realize that they’re refrigeration elements. As I move closer, I notice that there are large tanks. In one of them I see several turtles swimming around. I point and exclaim, Turtles! with glee. The others come over to look, and I turn to the other tank and see an array of colorful underwater creatures in it. There are more turtles and something very big. I say, What’s that?, and then, as it turns and more of it comes into view, Is that a crocodile?? It is enormous and gorgeous with glistening skin moving in a musculature covered with patterns of many muted colors. It tuns in the tank, and we can see the ridges of its lighter belly. It looks powerful and terrifying, and I’m glad the tank is secure. Someone says, There is a boa constrictor. There’s something long and large and white with black markings twining around the crocodile. Then I notice that it has lots of small legs all down its length and say I think it’s a millipede.
A woman is standing at the opening of an alcove before an amphitheater full of people. She’s beginning an auction to raise funds for the endowment. She’s holding a fan of season’s tickets for the home team’s football games, and she’s saying she wants to top what they collected under her former boss, the University’s last president, $40 million. I wander off into the alcove behind her with a group of people from work. I say I’m thinking about getting tickets for the Michigan game, but it takes so long– first there’s the drive there, then the eternal game itself, and then the long drive back. I’ve been lying on the floor of the place and get up and realize my hands and pants are filthy. I try to brush myself off, but it does no good. I say, I have never been in such a dirty place.