I had such a different and pleasant day, I wanted to share it with all of you!
I spent the day, quite contentedly, in the guise of a college student. Our apartment building is receiving new siding, and the workmen had finally made their way to our section. Far too much random hammering and power-stapling to concentrate on editing. So I went back over to the university to work for the day.
I never knew, but my current mom-wear (jeans, t-shirt, Tevas) along with a backpack makes me appear just like a student. If I wanted to appear more like faculty or staff, or a spouse thereof, I would have to dress up a bit, and possibly get a briefcase.
The big hitch of the morning was finding parking. If you arrive here after 9 am, you are going to be circling and searching for a while. The parking gods smiled upon me, however, and I ended up with a perfect spot right in a central location.
My chosen work spot was in the hypostyle of the student union, looking out over the green and leafy quad. (And now that I’ve looked up the definition of that word, I’m not so sure it’s being used accurately by the university, as I recall no supporting columns inside the room. But no matter, it’s a nice room.) The one problem with this room is the severe shortage of power outlets. Evidently this building was constructed long before laptops became de rigueur student paraphernalia! I bided my time, and then as I returned from grabbing a snack in the café, one of the few spots near an outlet opened up. I was set for the morning.
At one point I heard children’s voices outside. Teachers were pulling wagons full of toddlers from the Early Learning Center through the quad. A few minutes later, older preschoolers were hurtling across the lawn, chasing and rolling over the grass. I got up and tried to see if Napoleona were out there, but I didn’t see her. Must be her class’s turn tomorrow.
Just before lunch, a family of six sat down next to me, and the mother eyed my bright orange Chicago Manual of Style (which I had to bring as I haven’t gone through the rigmarole to get an on-campus internet account and therefore access the manual online, as I usually do). She said that she was glad she knew what the book looks like, as her professor had recommended it. Then she asked me what my major was!
After a lovely lunch with Anthropapa, and a quick tour of the Craft Studio (low cost craft supplies! low cost classes! a room full of power woodworking tools! pottery wheels! woo hoo!), I returned to my spot in the hypostyle.
As I worked, an amazingly cliché scene played out two tables over: a rather large, football-playerish-looking young man struggled with algebra while a cute, long-haired young woman tutored him. He flirted earnestly, she giggled, and he cried out, “It makes sense! I don’t know whether to hug you or what!”
Later in the afternoon I walked over to the library to explore and set up an account. Oh, I was so excited to be in a university library again! Oh, the stacks of books. Oh, the fluorescent lighting! At least when I went to the circulation desk I could identify myself properly as a staff spouse, not a student, despite my attire and backpack. I found a fascinating little translation of excerpts from a late 14th-century manual a man wrote for his wife, on all things wifely, and a book about weaving. So far, I’ve learned that medieval wives should keep all their husband’s secrets, and when out walking in public you should “keep your head straight, your eyelids decently lowered and motionless, and your gaze eight feet directly in front of you and on the ground without looking around at any man or woman to the right or left, or looking up, or shifting your gaze unsteadily from place to place, or laughing, or stopping to talk to anyone in the street.” I’ll spare you the admonitions about how to act in church!
So, I had a good day, feeding off the studenty vibe and getting my work done in relative peace. Thank you Anthropapa, for bringing us into academia and letting me pretend to be a student for a day.
I spent so many happy hours in the library at UCI, just looking at random stuff. (OK, not so random, mostly stuff to help with SCA projects.)