The university’s burgeoning Alternate History Department is off to a rough start. The faculty charged with imparting to Wesleyan how sweet the historical timeline could be has found themselves engulfed in petty squabbling.
“It’s out of control,” lamented Department Head and Professor of Steampunk Studies Isaac Kolbridge. “Everyone in the department is supposed to be collaborating on a magnificent tapestry of possible alternate timelines. Instead we’ve got a bunch of nerds arguing over whether dragons could outrace atomic-powered motorbikes.”
“These are exactly the sorts of debates the department is supposed to be having,” said Professor of Cold-War-Going-Hot Affairs Wilma Venk. “They help us to arrive at amazing new syntheses of academic thought. And for the record, I don’t care if they can fly, the additional power provided by an atomic reactor would boost a motorcycle’s speeds to ridiculous levels, easily able to outpace a dragon.” This statement was closely followed by a cry of “Bullshit!” from down the hall in the vicinity of Associate Professor of Dragons Being Real Jacob LaHare’s office.
“That’s the sort of shit I have to put up with day in and day out,” said Professor Kolbridge. “It’s all just distracting us from what’s important in academic pursuits, like proving that hydrogen and helium powered airships are more feasible than the theories of unmanned flying machines [Professor of Clockpunk Herman Beckel] is trying to peddle.”
Kolbridge refused to comment on the incident wherein a tiny dirigible hovered outside of Beckel’s office and catapulted two eggs into the window.
“Personally, I think it’s very healthy for the department,” said Professor of Squids-Ruling-the-Earth Stephen Vara. “We’re not the most well-known department at Wesleyan, so these debates help to raise our profile. I think the only thing that could raise our profile more is if someone were to try and refute my theories on how, if squids had become the dominant species on Earth, they would have reached the moon ten years before we did.” Vara paused, then added, “Do you want a copy of my book?”