Friday, December 4, 2009

Let's Talk Turkey

There’s been a lot of talk about turkeys lately thanks in large part to the recent holiday. Around my house, there has been a lot of post-Thanksgiving talk on the subject as well. Specifically, the talk has centered on what we’re going to do with all the leftover turkey now aging in our refrigerator. Since the great Thanksgiving Day feast which featured the grand old bird (with “all the fixin’s”), we have now had cold turkey sandwiches, hot open face turkey sandwiches (twice), turkey tetrazzini, turkey casserole, and turkey melts with cranberry sauce on Boboli pizza crusts. Help!

Don’t get me wrong. I like turkey and I love turkey sandwiches. But I think you can indeed have too much of a good thing. This may be the reason for another oft-used meaning of the word (lower case “t”) “turkey” – as in “a person or thing of little appeal; dud; loser” (

This meaning could certainly apply to the 2009 edition of the Chicago Bears. “Turkey” could also apply to a Broadway play that opens, is panned by the critics and closes down almost immediately. It could most definitely apply to the flying saucer / mother ship re-design of the home stadium of the aforementioned-already-well-into-hibernation Bears.

A few blogs ago, I mentioned seeing a wild fox on this campus. I dare say we see a lot more turkeys than foxes on campus. Not wild turkeys. (Not Wild Turkey, either.) Turkeys that were constructed for various and sundry purposes and which now find themselves somehow magically deemed appropriate to be incorporated into the UIC campus space inventory.

Perhaps, in their present usages, it would be more fitting to call each of them not a turkey, but a turducken, a multi-fowled concoction composed of a turkey stuffed with a duck which in turn is stuffed with a chicken – something that certainly isn’t now what it started out its life as.

We currently have on campus:
an (how can I say this delicately?) undergarment factory (CUPPA Hall)
a staff apartment building (Marshfield Avenue Building)
a tuberculosis sanitarium (Applied Health Sciences Building)
a bank (Roosevelt Road Building)
a shopping center (Student Services Building)
a nurses’ residence (Medical Center Administration Building) and
several former medical buildings of various types (Clinical Sciences Building, Disability, Health, and Social Policy Building, and the School of Public Health and Psychiatric Institute, among others)

In its previous incarnations, what is now called the Human Resources Building was once the home of the College of Pharmacy, which was supplanted by the Illini Union, and then the Administrative Services Building.

Finally, until very recently, we even had the former St. Mary's Convent, shown on the list of campus buildings as the School of Public Health – East, but, thankfully, it was torn down several months ago.

I’m sure these re-purposed (isn’t that a great consultant-speak word?) structures are not the only turduckens or straight out turkeys sitting around campus, but far be it from me to comment further. It’s your turn.

Question of the Week: What turkeys / turduckens have you had to live / work / learn / teach in at UIC and what makes them qualify as full-fledged, fowl-ish facilities?

Until next Friday…

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