Thursday, January 15, 2009

Old Stomping Grounds

It's been a while since I've spent some proper time in USM where I did my first degree. Back then I was more commonly stomping out of the grounds than spending more time on them, but going back as an alumnus felt different. A lot of things have changed since I was my frustrated younger self - or rather a lot of things are the same but I just see them somewhat differently. In a sense somewhat dispassionately, which is also what helps me not puke when I look at the yellow stripes they've painted across the Penang Free School building. Too much love, too much frustration, it all waters down to a nice porridge if you give it enough time I guess - I certainly hope so anyway, I think we need that to survive eventually.

I actually had a fairly pleasant time at the library:

...chatting up the librarians and the lady at the photocopying center on the second floor. An ability provided with two years being both a librarian and ad hoc photocopy machine technician in Indiana University South Bend. Been there, done that, and yes, people just don't realize that if you try and rip out jammed paper of section B7 without being careful, that darn toner is gonna burn your hand off. And the paper will remain gleefully jammed.

Was relieved to know that they had the New Grove, which is going to be particularly helpful in moving along a research proposal I'm working on. The journal selection for music was a little woeful, though it was a bit of a surprise that they had an online connection to the Strad, to which I noted an article on Kim Kashkashian's mention of the viola as the Cinderella of the strings. Title? "You Will Go to the Ball". Clever.

In other cleverness, a couple of us are thinking of getting together to try out Schubert's "Trout" Quintet, which not too surprisingly, is musically inspired by the freshwater inhabitant. If it works, we'll probably meet on Saturdays, in a project we've dubbed "Weekend Fishing".

Back to campus. As I was leaving the library, I noted what Mei Ying was mentioning earlier on - that local elections were ongoing. The thing about large campuses is getting the publicity out. A common theme now looks like this:

Which I imagine is useful in getting name recognition going. The problem is that paper has a way of getting its own way (remember what I said about jammed paper?):

...which can ironically look like you just toilet-papered your school.

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