by Dan Toomey
NORRIS THEATER — CTCS 190 students were thrown into shock on Monday when, in the middle of an impassioned speech on the importance of décor in “Meet Me in St. Louis,” Dr. Drew Casper evaporated into a shower of silver flakes, floating to the great beyond.
“We all thought it was just part of the lecture at first,” explained bewildered Freshman Johnathan Griffen. “But when his eyes rolled to the back of his head and he started floating, things got really trippy,” he said.
Witnesses say the day had started like any other Intro to Cinema class – a hush washing out the room’s chatter when the powerful, boundless strides of Dr. Casper made their way to the front podium. Things took a turn, however, when the famed Professor began speaking in fluent Latin and revealing two, fully crystallized palms to the class.
“He was saying something along the lines of, ‘is it the power of the almighty? Or is this all just mise en scéne?” said Sophomore Julia Wright, who had taken two units of Latin her first year. “That, or some stuff about Joan Crawford.”
Soon enough, sources say that a beam of light broke through the roof of the theater followed by a loud, thunderous voice from the skies as Casper’s bottom half was replaced by a levitating cloud of grey sparkles.
“‘My time. It has come,’” he was heard saying as light streamed from the cracks in his face many once believed to just be the wrinkled skin of age.
Students allege that as Casper levitated higher and higher, he cooed a rendition of “Ave Maria” in a subtle, tear-jerking vibrato. Winds from an unknown breeze swelled the auditorium as papers and school supplies were sent into a swirling vortex around the professor, now completely dissipated into an oval of shining mist.
Many are unsure as to what Casper said before being absorbed into celestial orbit, but sources say his final words were ‘meeeeeet me oooover theeere.’
“I’ve never heard a grown man mirror the voice of a young Judy Garland so well,” said a watery-eyed Lucas Thiel. “For a moment, I, too felt like I was in St. Louis…and there’s not many professors who can do that,” he said.
The immaculate ascension was accompanied by the sound of swelling violins and timpani rolls that built to a climactic explosion of light and shredded 35mm film strips.
Following his departure, a chilled silence fell over the room. This only lasted momentarily, however, before a small armada of front-row TAs began fist-fighting each other for a taste of the former Professor’s podium.
Students filed out of the auditorium before the class’ subject film could air, eyes still bleeding from the sublimity they witnessed that afternoon. “I mean, yeah the whole dissolving into God’s kingdom was cool and everything,” recalled Junior Leslie Pierce. “But does this mean we’re still gonna have a final?”