“When I first opened the door to Darnell’s office, I was greeted by strains of choral music and the strong scent of sherry.”
“With his three-piece-suit, pocket watch, monocle, and supremely erudite sense of academic zeal, Darnell appeared to be exactly what one would expect of a stuffy Ivy League academic chair. Although he looks as though he were plucked from Victorian London, Darnell actually hails from Prattville, Alabama…”
“His dog is named after King Antef II.”
“He banged on the wall of his office to summon Assistant Professor Colleen Manassa, the department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies, into the room. “Some people say I take the ‘assistant’ part of ‘assistant professor’ a little literally,” he said with a smile. Manassa, a sharp young woman with Cleopatra bangs, soon arrived.”
“Once, [Abdu, Darnell's assistant] and Darnell even managed to repair a dying [car] engine using rocks as their main tools.”
“[A student] has particularly fond memories of quirky moments in class, such as when Darnell accidentally took a chunk out of a classroom chair with an ancient sword, or when he taught his students how to send Roman smoke signals to each other.”
“Watching him range from his wild adventures to his love of mundane minutiae, I found him about as fascinating and inscrutable as the hieroglyphics he studies. Here is a man who deserves his myth.”
Read the full article here at the YDN.