log (2008/04/11 to 2008/04/17)

I'm writing this sitting on the grass in Prospect Garden in the center of the Princeton campus, my leather jacket spread on the gress under me, the shade just barely deep enough that the laptop screen is readable, waiting for the little daughter to return my SMS saying that I'm done with my phone call and she should let me know when she's done with whatever she's doing.

I did my 2-3pm phone call from the departmental conference room of the East Asian Studies Department, room 203 Jones Hall. I wandered in there after not seeing any promising phonecall-making places in the boisterous (and new since twenty-five years ago) Frist Student Center, and seeing a couple of empty-looking rooms (202 and 203) upstairs I boldly asked the person in the departmental office, and she said that no one had signed up for 203 and I could go ahead and use it.

One of the classier places that I can remember doing a phonecall from, in the "wood panelling and oil paintings" sense that predates the "clean steel surfaces and indirect lighting" sense.

Ah, now the little daughter has called me, and I'm going to go meet her upcampus. To be continued, then... *8)

Hi! Now I'm sitting in the lovely wood-floored and thoroughly book-cased lounge under the rotunda of the Andlinger Center for the Humanities, sinking into an overstuffed armchair, admiring the sun, and admiring the passing young persons.

There's a special poignancy here, because in my day this was The Pub. I remember getting far too drunk at a table up there on that balcony, where at the moment the sun is shining on hardwood and books, and I'll bet there hasn't been a booze-soaked Cardinal initiation in years. They have other places for that now on campus, of course; probably larger and better ventilated. But the feel of time passed and worlds changing is strong for me here.

Most of the healthy young people going by are at least holding cellphones, it seems. A good thirty percent are talking on them. Some are talking on them but not holding them; just talking as they walk along, the only evidence that they are not merely communing with spirits being the odd wire running down a shirt-front, the odd device clipped to an ear.

How much, I wondered to the little daughter on the drive down, will cellphones and wireless Internet have changed the experience of college? Always in touch, with both the friends and the world, never alone except once in awhile, when it occurs to you that you could turn the cellphone off, close the computer.

(How long until "phone" means cellphone, and no one says "cellphone" anymore unless they're in a historical drama?)

It's an absolutely lovely day. Except for the 2-3pm phonecall (see above) I've taken the day off. I could have rushed down, dropped off the little daughter, rushed back to the office, done the phonecall from there, and put in a couple of hours of business-hours work. Goddess knows there's enough to do! But tomorrow is nearly meeting-free, and I think what there is to do will fit nicely into it, and into whatever piece of this evening I feel like devoting to it.

Hard to imagine urgency, sitting in this so-well-appointed room, the sun flooding in, cleverness and health and prosperity thick in the air.

On the shuttle bus up from the parking lot, the parent in the front seat was talking to the driver, telling him that he'd been in LA now for thirty years at least, coming up from Mexico before that. And now look, he's in Princeton! And they both laughed.

Various of the Second Life webloggers are having a weblogging strike (and various others are not) to protest and/or call Linden Labs' attention to the perceived silliness of the current Terms of Service and Branding Guidelines we referred to here the other day. This is fortunately not a Second Life weblog *8) but perhaps I'll refrain from embedding any of my recent SL pictures that are sitting on flickr, out of laziness and casual solidarity.

Now I should get up, and walk more in the strong sunlight, and call M and give her some idea when I'll be home, and look for somewhere interesting to get food.

'cause of I'm hungry.