After the frenzy of finals week and a nice long weekend, the second semester of the 2010-11 school year begins in a little more than two hours.
I woke up early this morning - around 4:00 - and was unable to go back to sleep. I contemplated going out for a run, but my left knee has been bothering me for a few weeks and I do not wish to aggravate it any more than it already is. So I remained in bed feeling a mix of nervousness and excitement for the semester ahead.
In other and, perhaps for many, more interesting news: just last week, yet another event occurred that confirmed for me that if our Jesuit community is being haunted that I know the identity of the one haunting it.
Last Monday, the final day of classes before exams, the Student Senate office was PACKED with kids after school. From the midst of the crowd I heard an, "SJ! SJ!" and then saw one of my students emerge from a crowd with a photograph in his hand. Thrusting the photo into my face, he asked me if I knew this particular Jesuit. Taking it from him, I looked at the picture - apparently a former math teacher - which appeared to have been taken sometime in the 1970's I didn't know who it was and asked him where he got it. "I was in the library and went to look up a word in the dictionary and it fell out of the book." Unthinkingly, I turned the picture over with the hope that I'd find a more precise date and saw, much to my horror, that on the back of the photo there was a name: ____________, the very person I believe to have had experiences of in the past.
Now I'm a pretty big skeptic in such matters. It is entirely possible that one of my community members is playing a joke on me, finding in the archives an old photograph of Father ________ (who left the Society of Jesus in the 1970's and died one year ago this month) and then giving it to the student to pass along to me. Indeed, it's even probable that this is the case. Nevertheless, I think I know my brother Jesuits pretty well and I haven't detected any bit of mockery or joking about this...a strange sign, as we joke about nearly everything. Either they are pulling one heck of a prank or, as I might fear, they aren't involved.
It'd also be possible that one of the students is behind this. Again, more than probable and this is, indeed, my strongest suspicion. Yet the student who brought me the photo is a guy I have never taught...which makes it unlikely that I'd have shared with him the story (I usually tell stories in class as a reward for cooperative behavior).
Anyway, I'm not letting this factor too greatly into my life. I'm pretty skeptical about the whole affair although, I will admit, the surfacing of this picture does give me momentary pause. As the anniversary of the man's death approaches, perhaps there'll be more haunted happenings!