austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

On the banks of the old Raritan

I got up to Rutgers University today, on a cite-seeing expedition. See, to get the draft of the book in place my adviser suggests we have on the order of 150 more citations. (I suspect the idea is to make sure anybody who might review the book can find his name in it somewhere.) And, well, I didn't really use any citations I didn't already list, so what I actually sought was duplicates or quotes for stuff I wrote as common knowledge. It's far from the silliest thing I've done this week.

I graduated Rutgers in 1994, and it's always nice to stop in again and see what's changed. The big change is they replaced the old and tiny road leading from Route 18 up to Busch and Livingston campuses with a highway, and a set of off-ramps too complex to actually use. They tore down some favorite old buildings (the Taylor Classroom Building is gone!) and altered others. The Davidson Dining Hall, where I ate a lot of mediocre meals, is now the Computing Services headquarters. The Davidson complex started out as temporary barracks in World War II, and they opened it as ``temporary'' dorm rooms in 1961, and I lived two years there.

The thing which startles me, though, is I recognized all the students. Not that I knew any of them, you understand, but the way people were dressed, the groups they were hanging out in, the discussions I overheard little bits of, they were all the things I remembered from the early 90s. It didn't hurt that the food vendors in the student center were -- except for the yoghurt vendor -- exactly the same ones from my time there. It did annoy that the pizza place didn't understand my order for ``two slices of sausage pizza'' didn't mean ``one slice, to go''.

Trivia: In 2003, there were 73 people (of 4,350 population) licensed to dig worms for commercial purposes in Wiscasset, Maine. Source: ``04578: Worm Capital of the World,'' Cathy Newman and José Azel, National Geographic, April 2004.

Currently Reading: Falling Torch, Algis Budrys.


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