No Knowledge Without College

Since being appointed Museum Director, Dimpy (Dimples) had really brought the place to life. There were no more dull exhibits and long-winded labels, strange opening hours, and bans on food and drink.

Lucerne Valley Museum had become a destination! Young people now came here and brought their friends. Old Fashioned Friday was a monthly dance night that drew people from the City and beyond. A few things had been broken, and others had disappeared, but that was the cost of doing business. You gotta break some free-range eggs to make an organic Western omelette.

The annual Debaters night was also a hit. Last year’s debate between the horny old world god Cernunnos and lovely St Lucy, both wanting to be named “Founder of Lucerne”, and Dimpy’s going into labour and giving birth to her daughter Tasha right there, had become local history itself.

Dimpy had also made peace with the trustees, though they would not forgive her for discovering Lucerne’s great secret. The Old Families still kept it locked in the museum safe.

She had salvaged an Upper Valley cabin about to be torn down – the owner was convinced he was a bear; he had been hospitalized and his property sold – and she had conceived the concept of the Future Museum celebrating technology. Artificial Intelligence, programmable matter, nanobots, cold fusion, and space solar power, would all one day affect Lucerne as much as any place.

Overall, visitor numbers had quadrupled. Dimpy was pleased with herself.

The Chair of Trustees, Mr Roseman, came by one day. He said, “Can I please see you in the boardroom?”

When she entered, she saw that the whole board was present. Mr Roseman said, “I’m afraid I have some bad news, Dimpy. We all agree that you are doing an excellent job. However, The Authority’s new accounting system requires us to look at the CPV: Cost Per Visitor, for every aspect of the museum. As you know, we are all volunteers. You however are very expensive, and don’t fall within acceptable parameters. We have no choice but to cut your pay or let you go. What do you wish to do?”

Dimpy had maintained regular contact with the trustees, and attended all scheduled board meetings. This was the first time that anything like this had ever been mentioned; it was a total shock. The scheming swines! She had to think quickly to keep her post.

“What if I remained on the same daily rate but reduced my days?”

Mr Roseman said, “Well that is another possibility. Is that your preferred option?”

Dimpy had heard that Lucerne Valley College had received a grant and was keen to start new courses. Maybe she could do something there – teach a course in Museum Studies or Basic Archaeology. Maybe World History or Cultural Anthropology. Or something crazy like The Evolution of Human Consciousness and Development of the Bicameral Mind. She would think of something. But she also needed to keep what she could of this job.

She said, “Yes, how about three days a week?” The trustees said that they’d discuss her proposal and respond tomorrow.

That night Dimpy meditated upon her favourite mantra – Be Here Now.

Two words appeared in her mind – Spatial Studies.

She didn’t quite know what to make of them, and fell asleep wondering. The next morning she opened a book of quotes she kept by her bedside. St Augustine said, “Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.”

Dimpy realized that Lucerne was the space she occupied now. She could teach and study its living treasures.

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