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Katie Lapp Trapped in Endless Cycle of Leap Days

Lapp, who has recently learned that one can be trapped in both space and time. She was not pleased.

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- According to a recent email sent out to the students, faculty, and staff, Katie Lapp, Executive Vice President of Harvard University, is currently trapped in February 29.

“Dear members of the Harvard community,” begins the email, which was sent over the campus-notify email list. “While monitoring the status of the Harvard campus following several instances of strong wind gusts and springtime thawing, I awoke to my clock radio announcing a rare Leap Day. After a fruitful day of work and conviviality, I retired to my bed. But when I awoke the next morning, the clock radio repeated the same statement: it was Leap Day, once again."

Lapp, who supervises the financial, administrative, human resources, campus services, planning and project management, development in Allston, health services, information technology, and diversity functions of the University, repeatedly called out for help to colleagues, friends, family, and local news crews. However, when she explained her predicament, no one seemed to believe her. She woke up the following morning—once again, February 29—and encountered the same people, none of whom remembered their encounter on the previous Leap Day. Lapp managed to successfully send out an email from her phone right before she attempted to drive a stolen car straight into the Charles River in an attempt to end the mind-numbing, endless repetition of February 29. 

The next thing she remembered, she had woken up again, and the clock radio was announcing that it was February 29.

“There’s no point continuing to closely monitor the forecast,” she wrote. “Every day it’s the same. Every day. The same conversations, the same pointless interactions. But I guess updates will also be posted to the Harvard Emergency page and 866-496-NEWS. Whatever.”  The message was promptly sent again by the FAS Emergency Notification System and forwarded by Leslie Kirwan, Dean for Administration and Finance at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and several Faculty Deans; and it also echoed throughout the fabric of space-time in an endless loop punctuated only by the faint blooping noises of gravitational waves.

Harvard authorities have done nothing to help the administrator discuss her difficulties. However, Lapp did note that the one positive point of her chronological prison was that she had the chance to repeatedly run into noted actress Andie MacDowell, who was visiting campus on February 29.

© 2016