Friday, June 29, 2007

Exploration Adventure: Oak Park

Last Saturday we took a little day trip out to Oak Park, Chicago's first western suburb. It is much more charming than the auto mall/Ikea-filled expanses that stretch out further to the west, and most of this charm is thanks to the presence of Frank Lloyd Wright's first home and studio and several buildings he designed there (including the house above.)

The photo above is of a column outside of his studio and features storks, architectural scrolls, and some kind of branch with berries on the top. Our tour guide (nicknamed "The Todd") left something to be desired, so we were never really sure what the significance of each element was. He actually said, "You know art. It always has to mean something. I'm just not sure what."
And this is the Unity Temple, the first poured concrete structure ever built. It was pretty, uh, imposing.

As of yesterday, I've left the mid-west to spend a few weeks in SoCal. I've got my camera, and I'm hoping to post more often out here. Stay tuned...

Monday, June 04, 2007

If I only had a brain...

So it's finals week here at school but I have no finals. (Well, that's not true. I have a Spanish exam on Thursday, but I am merely auditing the class, so I don't consider that a real "final.") I do, however, have a humungo-gigantic exam in October, and the only way I seem to be able to motivate myself to study more than an hour or two a day is to stoke the embers of fear within me. I am plenty scared of this test, but since it's still 4 months away, the anxiety is somewhat dulled, especially when I look around and see everyone else gearing up for summer vacation.

So I force myself to stay in the library for as long as I can take it. This morning at 11, I started going stir-crazy though. Instead of wasting the hour before lunch, I conjured up a few more books that I needed to obtain and headed off toward the stacks. Of course I already had a tote bag full of books I had been planning to drop in the return slot on the way in but which I forgot about until I was already settled at a table on the fourth floor. Instead of going back down to the first floor and unloading these before I trekked through the stacks on the second and third floors, I decided it would be better to haul them around with me for the next half hour. Why? I'm not sure...

Over the course of the next 25 minutes, I managed to almost trip and spill everything, leave my planner on a random shelf on the third floor and not realize it until I was already at the circulation desk and, when I was finally on my way out, set off the electronic book detector (or whatever it's called). Do you ever have one of those days when you wonder what happened to your brain? Maybe mine's still lounging in bed at home, having decided that my lack of final exams gave it the right to a little R and R.