A cacophony of boops, beeps and “ERROR ERROR ERROR” messages plagued campus this past weekend, as students from the Nebula Scholars Program protested the OWHL’s recent banned books display.
Celeste E. Ahl, one of the five scholars, creaked, “My kult-cher hez bin off-ended. Fill-eps Akhademy is not my housing terrain a-way fruhm my housing terrain. My people are not a-loud here. They har bahhnnud.”
Celeste was referring to the banning of “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov, and, while the book is considered science fiction, Celeste insists that it is based in fact and that “Comrade I-sak is a memburrr of my people. He is luhved by ahlhalhalhal.” The rest of her broken jargon could not be understood because of her crying.
Celeste’s emotional distress hasn’t been the only consequence of this shattering experience. Her health has suffered too, since her tears have damaged her internal hard drive and rusted her face, which has caused self-confidence issues and an ensuing identity crises.
However, Celeste isn’t the only student who’s upset. Ever since the Intergalactic Merger with the Nova School for the Extrasensorally Gifted in 2274, Andover’s demographic ratio has been 50:35:15 people-alien-miscellaneous creature. Smith Michael Valentine, a new Lower, lived the inverse life of the protagonist of Robert Heinlein’s “Strange in a Strange Land” and wept for the first time in his life when he first saw the embers in the display symbolically burning that remarkable book. “Heinlein’s book really helped me find myself, and to see it propped among fake coals and cut out paper flames hurt far more than that time I got a fourth degree burn from an imploding white dwarf.” The tears springing from his eyes made him realize just how far away from home he was, since water does not exist on Mars, and he had to go to Graham House for extreme planet sickness.