The Freshman Fishwrap / IHTFP Gallery

Conception and Construction of the Cathedral

The idea for the Cathedral surfaced in April or May in a brain storming session. The idea grew out of two things:
  1. ORK (The Order of Random Knights -- a hacking group based in Random Hall) had done a performance hack during finals one year in which they wandered down the Infinite Corridor in monks robes and carrying course course catalogs. They handed out flyers for "Our Lady of The All Night Tool" along the way. The flyers which were available in Cathedral Seven were slight modifications of the ORK original.
  2. Lobby 7 is very cathedral-like.
Around June, the "Archbishop of Tooling" (to be known as Father Tool for short), became quite inspired by the idea and decided that it would really go over well if everything could be brought together at once. Each little piece was nice, but many hacks have been lost because people just wandered by during their busy day and failed to take note. One theme here was to transform the lobby sufficiently that no one could help but notice that something was amiss. Once you get someone to stop and look around to see what's abnormal, then he/she will get a chance to take in what is really taking place. So, the faithful tools decided to bring together a very strong transformation.

Owing to the scope of things, Father Tool appointed several ministers each to be in charge of a separate portion of the hack. The idea was to divide the task into manageable portions and allow each sub-group the freedom to do their part very well. A "Heavens Crew" was responsible for the skylight, a "Stained-Glass Crew" was responsible for the 77 Mass Ave. windows, an "Organ Crew" was responsible for the construction of the organ, an "Electronics Crew" was responsible for the audio and working computer (Father Eliza), a "Media Crew" was responsible for the actual music and signs, and a "Grounds Crew" was responsible for the ground floor artifacts (gilded computers, pews, altar, relics, etc.). Alas, as a matter of practical application it was necessary to omit some of the original ideas (e.g. adding a Michaelangelo-style painted false ceiling...).

Each of the ministers then proceeded to prepare their portion. The ministers and Father Tool coordinated on interactions and high-level issues while all the details were arranged within each ministry. It is impossible to quantify exactly how many hours each sub-group spent preparing their portion. Most of the groups had about a dozen people at various stages of preparation. Earnest construction and detailed planning started just after Rush Week. On average, groups probably met for major work sessions once every other week between Rush and deployment.

Thursday night (Friday morning) the faithful tools (numbering in excess of 60 by this time) met at midnight. Father Tool gave a brief sermon concluding with a prayer for a successful evening. Many workers suited up in monks robes for deployment. The tools waited for Physical Plant to vacate Lobby Seven before beginning deployment. Once initiated, the bulk of the installation occurred within half an hour. Father Tool then offered a prayer giving thanks to the successful construction and blessing the Cathedral and its constructors. Monks and faithful tools hung around and added finishing touches for another half an hour before calling everything complete.


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