In July 2006 I became Associate Chair of the ECE Division
and moved into the corresponding corner office
in the administrative office suite.
we had unusually cold weather in Ann Arbor
and the heating system in the building
seemed not quite up to the task.
The black pipe with the brand new white caulking
at the top center of this photo of my (former) office
froze, and water with 150 psi pressure sprayed out
causing the ceiling to collapse
and flooding the entire office suite.
I was in an administrative meeting
a few doors down and when I first heard
the rushing water I thought
"oh good, the radiators must be working again."
A few seconds later the fire alarm system sounded
and I went towards my office to get my winter coat.
I decided not to open the office door
when I saw water streaming out from under it.
Apparently, corner offices do have their disadvantages.
Amazingly, my trusty Mac G5 on the far corner
of my desk seemed to stay mostly dry
and still seems to be working,
at least for now.
And most of the books seem fine.
But all the "important works in progress"
on my desktop became paper pulp.
Needless to say,
I even more behind in all my work now.
I finally moved back into this office
after it had been completely gutted and restored.
On shelves near the window
I put some of the stacks of crinkled papers
that had been dowsed and later dried
that I still had not sorted.
During my first meeting in the office
a tornado siren went off in town.
I looked at the stacks of papers
near all the windows in this corner office
and thought that
if a tornado came through and wiped them all out
again, then it would truly be a sign.
But it was a false alarm.