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The Carletonian

Bill North brings copy of “The Odyssey” to Book Across the Bay: “This is not what I had in mind”

Book Across the Bay attracts a wide variety of people. From cross-country skiers to cross-country walkers, the diversity of activities present is awe-inspiring. Not all attendants, however, came with the same idea. Professor William North of the History department arrived to the banks of Lake Superior with a copy of Homer’s Odyssey. Many attendants seemed to sympathize with North’s confusion. Rahim Hamid, who wished to remain anonymous — a request we will be ignored because it’s Rahim — stated that it was “a big mood.” Hamid, who was not present at BATB but added that they felt as though they were “there in spirit,” thought that there was probably room for confusion, but added that “I’m not convinced that Wisconsin exists, so…”


Other participants, however, thought that it was a bit odd. Cy Clop, a senior Classics major, said, “I thought Bill was going to use the book as a dogsled. I kept waiting for the dogs to show up, but they never did.” Clop’s observation was responded to by Rebecca Reinhold ’25 who commented that “I was kind of jealous that Bill brought a book, but I never expected any dogs to show up. I thought about stealing his copy, but given that [as of the time of the interview] he still hasn’t graded my paper, I thought that decision might not bode well for me.” 


North was not without thoughts on the matter: “I thought that Book Across the Bay was supposed to be a dramatic reading of a good book across the bay. This is not what I had in mind.” North went on to add “I’ve done similar things before — take our annual reading of ‘Beowolf’ and ‘Don Quixote.’ It doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume that they would invite me for this.” But the confusion didn’t get North’s spirits down. North participated in the first ever competition of cross-county skiing. As North described, “It’s like cross-country skiing, but much shorter.” 


There was a moment when it seemed like spirits were low among participants due to the lack of snow, a near universal sentiment. This melancholy didn’t seem to bother North, who began a riveting rendition of “The Odyssey.” Several students commented on the experience, including Penelope Nestor, who stated, “This weather was weird. Back home in Ithaca we have similar levels of snow, so I think everyone was disappointed that there was no snow. The energy level was very low.” North agreed that this sentiment was widespread and harmful to the environment. “There was definitely a lack of will power there, so that’s why I started my rendition,” said North. “That’s why I started reading, because knowledge is power.” 

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About the Contributor
Bax Meyer, News Editor
Hey, all! I'm Bax (he/him), and I'm a junior Econ major with a Middle East Studies minor. I love talking about Middle East politics and American Indian Treaty Rights. I'll always send you good book or movie recomendations. You can probably find me on campus wandering the arb, on 1st libe, or at step areobics. I like dad jokes, American Indian Treaty Rights, shawarma, and publishing my hot takes in the Carletonian anonymously.
Red flags: econ major, will judge you for using the Oxford comma, and hates geese
Green flags: Middle East Studies minor, still uses the Oxford comma, and quotes the Star Wars prequels on the daily
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Bax was previously a Viewpoint Editor.

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