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Treasure Hunt for Boston College Students, Fall Semester 2013



This Treasure Hunt has several purposes: (1) to encourage people to read my book, Memoirs of a Shape-Shifter; (2) to educate you who are BC students about the history and lore of the school; and (3) since I am faculty adviser of BC's Jemez Service and Immersion Program, to help raise awareness on campus of indigenous peoples.

As faculty adviser as well as Americanist scholar, my aim is to foster student concern with native American issues. That my novel gives central importance to exploring one's roots, to caring for the earth, and to living in harmony with the natural world is an attempt to impress upon readers the urgent need for an active environmental imagination.

And as you will come to see, engaging in the Treasure Hunt is a good way to develop such a sharper consciousness, requiring that you use your wits, your learning, and your powers of observation!

So here's the story:

It took some time chasing down the lost brooch of the Druid magician Anne Cleves, with whom you have no doubt become familiar from reading Memoirs of a Shape-Shifter. But after years of conducting my own treasure hunt, I finally found the brooch in a jewelry shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico, called Morning Glory Jewelry (check them out--very beautiful jewelry there!). Jane Clarke, the owner, was surprised to discover she had in her store the actual brooch that a Druid princess from the 17th century once wore.

Thus did the brooch that turns up in the story fall into my hands through fate and good luck. And so I bought it and brought it to Boston College, and have organized the Treasure Hunt around this beautiful jewel, hiding it somewhere on the BC main campus.

The image on the home page that you clicked on to get here is an actual picture of the hidden green gem. Please note that the jewel is hidden and NOT buried, so there's no digging up or damaging of the environment involved.

As part of the hunt, you'll be directed to various campus locations, some human made, some natural settings, to observe and appreciate. Moving from location to location via the clues given below, you'll discover new things about the campus and, using your creative powers, perhaps will be the one to decipher the riddles that lead to the treasure--and thus win the $2,000 prize. You'll be acting like the heroines in my book--and get a reward in the process! Just remember to love the earth and to think like a Druid . . . .

So follow the parameters, clues, and directions below, beginning by answering the 12 questions (A through L), which are based on Memoirs of a Shape-Shifter. The answers to questions A through L will help you solve the clues given in the riddles that follow (numbers 1 through 15) -- these 15 numbered riddles comprise the heart of the Treasure Hunt. Put on your imagination cap. Good luck!

General parameters:
  1. The clues and directions below will lead you through a series of locations on campus. At each location you will have to observe something, count something, or find something, each of which will help guide you to the next point, and so on.

  2. The treasure is hidden somewhere, either inside or outside, on the Boston College main campus.

  3. In order to follow the clues to the treasure, you must do them in order. Trying to follow the clues out of order will result in confusion. It's been designed that way.

  4. In order to follow the sequence, you will have to connect three things:

    a) Clues from the book (the first task below, i.e., your answers to letter questions A through L);

    b) Bits of lore of Boston College; and

    c) The clues embedded in the directions.

  5. You do not have to dig anything up (we don't want you digging up the carefully tended lawns or flowerbeds).

  6. All locations you are being sent to are accessible to the students at Boston College during normal working hours. Some of them are accessible 24/7.

  7. Keep track of your answers! They will accumulate to give you clues to the next step.

  8. If you find any clues which are removable, please leave them for the next person. If any of the removable clues are found to be missing, the Treasure Hunt will be cancelled.

  9. Capital letters in the hunt directions below refer to the initial list of questions you answered about the book.

  10. In order to make certain that no one wins by simply stumbling on the treasure, when you find the brooch bring it to me with a detailed explanation of each location and the explanation of the clues. If any of the steps or clue solutions are missing, the reward will not be given, and the Treasure Hunt will be changed and started anew.

Please answer these questions from my book, Memoirs of a Shape-Shifter:  (NOTE: This is the first task.)

  1. How many generations back can Nikki's mother count in her family tree?

  2. In which direction do Guryn and Nanepa walk when they travel to Gloucester?

  3. What is the first word Nikki translates from Anneís journal?

  4. What color is the light that surrounds the wraith-woman who appears as Nikki finds Anne's journal?

  5. How many times does Nanepa walk around Diana when she is born?

  6. What tree does Nikki see at UMass-Boston?

  7. Nikki's mother at the beginning of her letter compares the Great Mother with whom?

  8. In Nikki’s Tarot reading, what is the value of Card 4?

  9. What time is it when Nikki has her vision of Philip in trouble?

  10. What stone is Gloucester made of?

  11. Which of Guryn’s eyes becomes blind when she is initiated?


The Treasure Hunt:

(NOTE: Each number below in the hunt refers to a location.)

  1. Begin your initiation at the Engan
    Perched upon the J-column
    With B on your K side.


  2. Though you be a Know-Nothing yet,
    Turn about and walk to the place
    Of the tarred-and-feathered leader.


  3. Inside ascend the stair only so far
    As 262, to find whom Joe misquotes.
    Whose tenure witnessed
    The first Scot on the Heights?


  4. Proceed to the perfect room.
    Being sinister, observe what grows
    As far as you can reach; friend of Druids.
    Count and graft this to F.


  5. Stand observing beyond your graft,
    Beside the Steamboat King.
    Into where we once enjoyed
    Depressionís victualís beginning and end.
    Your destination is the cause
    Of that mealís removal.


  6. To thrice the anniversary add 22 times
    What you observed in #4.
    Or: listen for the fairy voice
    Carrying you in golden bliss
    As far as she may go.
    Turn left twice and reach
    Again being sinister.


  7. In that room find the scholar's book.
    Careful! Might something fall out?
    'Tis but the Ruler to guide you onward.


  8. Where the clue has led, seek the number
    Among its fellows. Read and think:
    Where is there such a place nearby?


  9. In that lofty place,
    Sit upon the duke's throne
    And like a duke look up.
    Count the D panes.
    Remember this number.
    Count too the little girls holding aloft
    And add this number to the first.

    While sitting upon the throne solve this riddle:

    Colorful transformation
    Root of civilization,
    Climbing high but has no arms
    Ever attractive, cannot be held.
    Who am I?

    Your answer a clue to your next place.

  10. Find the small man, a wingèd shape-shifter.
    Your answer A less his feathers but one
    Will reveal to you which step above
    To proceed to once again.
    Go to this place.


  11. Find Tucciís Ulm and count,
    The structures, though broken, in flight.
    Remember this number.
    Now remember also your discovery
    At Clue #4. Where does one grow
    That never grows, though always
    Watered and under the sun?


  12. Like a Druid pay homage at this place.
    The watering faces are how many?
    Now sit and solve the puzzle:
    (#9 + #11 + #12 + I + I + A + H)E = X.
    X + 10C is your sum.
    This number will direct you to a room. Find it thus:


  13. Stand where once stood
    A temporary mountain range.
    As if named for benefactor strange
    Whose name once inscribed on a tree
    Now is a building for thee.


  14. Your sum from #12 is a room.
    Take with you the solution
    To find the oaken dolmen.
    Do not seek for audience within
    But read your fate inscribed
    On the slab, vertical.
    What you read will reveal to you
    Your final step to success.


  15. Go there and look for hidden time,
    Solve the puzzle of this same rhyme.
    A treasure green lies there waiting
    To gain you gold for calculating.