By Grant Abston, Sports Editor
Dr. Jeff Childers opened the door to his office and was surprised to see it ready for painting. A chair and desk, picture frames, a couple of paintings and a computer were wrapped in white packing paper. But two steps into the room quickly turned Childers’ confusion into two simple words: April Fools.
“I thought, ‘Wow, it was an enormous amount of work,'” said Childers, associate professor of Bible, ministry and missions and Carmichael-Walling Chair of New Testament and Early Christianity. “Clearly, we’re not giving students enough to do.”
Every item in Childers’ office had been individually wrapped in white paper, including the hundreds of books lining his bookshelves. The only visible item that had been spared was the replica painting of a 6th-century icon of Jesus at St. Catharine’s Monastery in Egypt.
“It was a combination of respect for the Lord and a deep abiding sense of guilt for what they were doing,” Childers said.
But as Childers sat at his desk, narrowing the list of suspects, the large number of faculty and students passing by pointed out this had not been the first time Childers was the receiving end of a prank. This was merely a 10th anniversary present after Childers’ office previously was switched with another professor’s, so detailed that even Childers had a hard time recognizing his own office; however, those students were caught and required to move everything back.
“I can imagine once I have a good idea who’s perpetrated [my office], assigning a service project might be a good idea,” Childers said. “I’ve got a good idea, but I can’t say.”
While Childers continues to narrow his list and gather facts to pursue the pranksters, he just wishes the painting could unwrap.