My office is not air-conditioned, nor is it closed to the outside, with the result that insects, geckos, and the occasional bird can and do wander in. In a tropical climate, any small pocket of under-circulated air is prime mold territory, and I found a truly spectacular infestation today in the bookshelf behind my office door. The destructiveness of the tropical environment never fails to amaze me - this mold had sent filaments under the paint on the bookshelf itself and the film of paint peeled away from the steel when I wiped up the colonies, leaving a fungal roadmap on bare metal.
Most of the casualties were fairly dispensable (extra copies of articles, spare envelopes, etc - if it were really crucial I wouldn't keep it back there) but sadly one of the near-casualties appears to be my Ph.D. diploma. The folder it came in is a total loss and the diploma itself is stained along one edge. It makes me wonder about my continued qualifications: Can I still teach with a moldy Ph.D.?