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Curious Word of the Week Contest Winners

First Place | Second Place | Third Place

Photo of the Curious Word Contest winners


First Place

A Rolvaag Squib
By Katherine Parent

The library is my midnight haunt
I sit in Rolvaag, oscitant
A pale noceur, whose yawning drumble
Belies a pukka need for slumber.

Pug-nozzling, I squint to see
My treatise on oology.
There, like a horrid revenant
Its bleak estate before me vaunts.

With furtive groan I swiftly see
My thesis' nullibicity.
Figures blur and, mocking, jollop.
Than cappuccino packed no wallop.

For hours, in silent Reference Room
I steep in frigorific gloom,
Attempt to write, but tensely listen
As every creak gives me a frission.

In Writing Place , on trackless path
I seek the pavid polymath.
At times, amid the torturous stacks
I doze on turgid piles of facts.

But do not think that I traduce
The library's charms or power to soothe.
Or that this squib, by venting spleen
Purports its annals to demean.

For oh, when Friday waxes late
I gambol, sing, I ululte
Embrace with joy the clipsome tomes
My day is done, I'm going home.
Irenic night – yes, happy fate:
Rolvaag isn't open late.


Second Place

A Short Piece of Satirical Writing
By Christina Koch

Frankly, Barney just wanted to be at home with his books. What was a polymath of his stature doing out and about with a bunch of noceur misfits on a Thursday night?

The things he did for his friends.

But he would be a good sport about it, and so he sat calmly by the bar, reducing his most pukka beer to nullibicity as Ben and George gamboled about on the dance floor, jolloping like there was no tomorrow.

It was in the middle of his third pint that Barney noticed the rather clipsome girl perched at the other corner of the room. He felt a frission of excited nervousness that was not the result of his frigorific glass, but rather, her eyes flicking toward him in a furtive glance! She looked like an intelligent girl; perhaps she would be interested in his latest hobby – oology.

He had barely made it across the bar and tapped her on the shoulder when a burly man approached him and drumbled to his face.

“What?” Barney couldn't understand.

The man pug-nozzled in response. Barney supposed it might have been cute… if the man was a pug.

“I'm afraid I don't understand,” he said.

Then the man began to traduce him and Barney found that he was a bit more pavid than he liked to think, cowering back against the wall. Luckily the bartender stepped in with irenic calm and Barney stopped worrying about the possibility of coming to know revenants on a first-name basis.

As he left the bar that night with his alternately oscitant and ululating friends, Barney decided that, if nothing else, he could write up his experiences the next morning as a squib.


Third Place

Rolvaag's Rambling Rembrant
By Katie Rogotzke

Since St. Olaf's establishment, students and professors have populated the halls and pathways of our campus. Not long ago, St. Olaf homed a far more unique resident: Remus, Rolvaag Library's own revenant.

Remus, a rowdy and bawdy, yet clipsome ghost, arrived on campus one frigorific February day, the type of winter weather that runs frissons down the spine. Many theories explain why Remus chose St. Olaf, like a possible obsession for polymaths or fascination with the pukka oological collection. However, most agree the reason related to the students' dismal depression; they were to solomn and pavid. Remus chose Rolvaag for his dwelling, and furtively set to work on grand entrance preparations. Remus decided the most effective delivery would be the library's overhead announcement system. The time was late, twenty minutes until close, and students sat in the reference room, expectantly waiting for the closing warning granting them permission to leave. They heard the PA's click, listened for the familiar monotonous voice, and instead received a jollop, then some ululation, and then the following, drumbling squib:

Good evening, my name is Remus.
Traduced for bringing fun to campus,
Only liveliness is what I grant
In my life as a rambling rembrant.

In irenic greeting and felicity
Have no care for my nullibicity.
I aim to drive despair away
Jokes and happiness alone will stay.

Now a place of stress and fear,
Olaf: leave this state so austere.
Go forth, make hast, your changes are rife,
Entertainment and academia, combined for life.

Students felt renewed, and Remus left for other places, but all agree he will return to St. Olaf if more pug-nozzling or jolly-making is needed.