Thursday, February 28, 2013

It Starts With Wonder — Day 4 Lady Eaton College

Ron Thom’s exquisite modernist architecture is working for me and it isn’t.

I’m told there are private niches like the one where I’ve installed Voices at Hand all over Lady Eaton College. Mine was intended for dining, not research, but even with the din of the main dining hall I find I can focus. I feel separate and yet part of things. Perfect.

The downside is my nook doesn’t get walk by traffic—of course if it did it wouldn’t be much of a nook. I can see bodies heading to and from classes along the porticos across the courtyard and know the students in the dining room are wondering what I’m doing. Jean in the cafeteria is my informer and she’s been encouraging students to ask me themselves since day one.

I knew the barriers were about to come down when a couple of students looked up from their breakfasts and open laptops to say hello as I made my way across the dining hall this morning.

I suspect the few that showed up just as my doors open were recruited for the television crew that never came. But they stayed long after it became clear we’d been stood up again. One couple enthusiastically announced a friend had told them they HAD to check it out. Another claimed they’d finally given over to curiousity. One woman excused herself between readings three times before she finally left for her other engagement. Others came.

I handed a German history professor letters written by a Mennonite in wartime Germany. 

I love it when I can make a good match.

An Environmental Indigenous Studies student spent almost an hour with me as we poured over a letter Francis Stewart wrote in 1833 describing interactions between first nations peoples and settlers.

I went to a Wigwam one day where 4 to 5 Indian families live. The hut was not more than 10 feet long & about 6 or 7 wide...The floor was made merely of branches of white Cedar spread over the ground... 
What a beautifully scented springy mattress that must make we both remarked.

I wonder what Ron Thom would think?

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