Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Bill Sheasgreen, London Center Director of long standing, has been to Bath more times than most of its visitors. Not to make too direct a comment on his age, there are rumors that he helped build the baths themselves.
Claire Mokrauer-Madden: Hi Bill! It's been a while since we last caught up. I hear you're just back from Bath?
Bill Sheasgreen: Yes, I was there last weekend. It's one of my favorite destinations. Though I have cut back to only going twice a year, I always look forward to it.
CMM: Ok. That's nice. What I'm more interested in is dispelling rumors-
BS: It wasn't me. Heather or Sarah did it!
CMM: I'm not sure what you're referring to, but that probably isn't the answer. No, the rumors that you have a long standing history with the Baths. Possibly even an ancient history?
BS: Yes, that's correct. I go way back the Bath, Heather and Sarah don't.
CMM: Is it true that you helped build the baths?
BS: Which incarnation do you mean? Mostly I can give yes as a blanket answer to that question, except I had nothing to do with the Georgians. John Wood the Younger and I didn't get on. It has to do with a dispute at Cambridge that I won't bore you with.
CMM: Yes, it's best that way.
BS: However, I did work with the Romans, and the Celtic Brythons (or CB's, as they like to be called). Let's not start a game of Guess-Bill's-Age, all I'm saying is that I'm pretty excited about the Y's dinner menu for seniors.
|Senior Citizen Specials...|
CMM: To what extent did you work with the CB's and the Romans?
BS: Before gaining enough world experience to pursue a career in academia, I was a brick layer. There's a little known fact about me.
CMM: Indeed, I wouldn't have guessed you have a bricklaying background!
BS: Yes, it was the family business, and I was very good at it. But I didn't work with the CB's in the capacity of a bricklayer. I was a devotee of Sulis and had the responsibility of washing dishes in the spring water for our community. It was a real honor, and to this day I'm very good at washing dishes.
|Talking shop about washing dishes|
CMM: That's true, I can commend you as a dishwasher. You seem to have an affinity for fellow dishwashers when hiring faculty. Is that where your bias comes from?
BS: I hope it doesn't appear as a strange form of nepotism, but seeing dish washing experience on a CV wins a candidate points in my book. I also look for synchronized swimming as a hobby of job applicants.
CMM: Is that why you hired me?
BS: It was a factor.
CMM: Back to the baths, how did you go from washing dishes to working with the Romans?
BS: The changeover was pretty easy. It was clear that Sulis and Minerva were incarnations of the same deity. The Romans told me I could keep my dish washing rights in their new temple if I helped them build it as a brick layer. It was one of the easiest yes answers I've ever given in my life. Since then I've been taking students back to see my handy work. I try to be humble about it all, but I really am very proud.
CMM: As you should be! Thank you so much for not letting me interview you! It's a pleasure making up what I think your side of these surreal conversations should be.
|I made this!|
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