They’re Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee’re!

It started gradually with a few strange faces in the cafeteria earlier this week. Then the wait for an elevator grew slightly. Now it’s official: the school year is about to begin.

The campus is swarming with students. Bathrooms are less peaceful, flyers are appearing on bulletin boards and, by yesterday there were long lines in the cafeteria.

This time of year always comes with mixed emotions for me. I know the whole point of a univeristy is supposed* to be education…which means students. And I do enjoy the energy the students bring. I really do! But their return also means the end of those lazy days of summer where there are always seats in the cafeteria or outside around campus, where you don’t need to wait in line for food, and where you can walk through the halls on campus and not see another person.

But it’s all good. After a week or two, I actually enjoy the presence of students. I’ve just never been good at dealing with change – and jumping from deserted campus to an active academic scene within 4 days just takes some adjusting.

Labor Day weekend couldn’t come at a better time, then! If all goes as planned, I’ll be going to Connecticut to visit with Adam (the one I went to Ptown wtih a few weeks ago). Hopefully, Hurricane/Tropical Storm Ernesto will continue his westward path and leave us with just some scattered showers in these parts.

Fingers crossed.


*I say education is “supposed to be” the whole point of a university, but it seems that Harvard is equally, if not more, focused on research.


  1. Comment by Dave in Chicago (2) on August 31, 2006 1:35 pm

    But think of all the young hotties!! ;-p

  2. Comment by chrispy on August 31, 2006 1:39 pm

    karl, do you do twinks? even if theyre harvard twinks?

  3. Comment by snarl on August 31, 2006 2:50 pm

    No twinks for me!

  4. Comment by Dave in Chicago (2) on August 31, 2006 3:53 pm

    No all young guys are twinks. Bears/otters gotta start somewhere. Long live the hair.

  5. Comment by snarl on August 31, 2006 3:56 pm

    I’m an otter. Where are my fans?

  6. Comment by Lise on August 31, 2006 4:03 pm

    Help a hopelessly hetero girl out – I know what bears are, but I’m not 100% sure what otters are. Anyhoo, damn students. It’s worse than ever. I literally had to take two little asian girls out w/ my elbow. It’s a hallway, not a cattle pen!

  7. Comment by snarl on August 31, 2006 4:05 pm

    An otter is a thin person with body hair (that would be me).

    As fo the student, my issue is with the apparent lack of common sense (standing in the middle of a hallway to have a conversation instead of politely standing against a wall). And, I also get annoyed when able-bodied, empty-handed, apparently healthy 20-somethings wait for an elevator just to go one floor…when there is a staircase 5 feet away. Especially since it makes the already slow elevators take that much longer to bring me to the top floor.

  8. Comment by chrispy on August 31, 2006 5:19 pm

    your fans are found where the FUR is. your product placement always seems to be where the cowskin is.

  9. Comment by Fred on August 31, 2006 8:24 pm

    Hmmm…Harvard’s all about the research and the money for it (hence the shameful caving to the gummint on ROTC, etc…I loved whichever senior law professor’s comment to the effect of “How do we teach Ethics now?!”) – they’ve gutted much of the best of the undergrad experience for years…sigh, but I’m an old curmudgeon on that.

    Agreed that FURRY young’uns (of legal age, and preferably well past freshman year), certainly in the grad schools, are lovely to behold…long live the Otter cub! (grin).

    Bovine behavior, however, is just a stupid-people disease…I don’t think the young have a particular lock on it – I’ve spent years noting the incredibly infuriating human group-tendency to clot-up in the narrowest parts of corridors, doorways, etc. – just look at Commercial Street in Ptown…people walking six abreast down the middle of the roadway [not the narrow sidewalk] who are then INCENSED when someone on a bike behind them politely lets them know he’s there with a little bell…oy!

    But, as noted, I’m a curmudgeon!

  10. Comment by Will on September 1, 2006 5:46 am

    I’m a real bear/otter fan. Give me a man with everything nature gave him, no shaving in particular, every time. He’s the hottest thing out there in my opinion!

    Lise’s experience isn’t mine. We have a huge population of Asian and Asian-American students at MIT. As I walk across campus to design or production meetings or to guest teach in my colleagues’ classes, I’m frequently carrying bulky stage models or other loads with me. Invariably as I make my way through buildings, when the Asian students see me coming they rush ahead to open doors, and sometimes even ask if there’s anything they can carry to make it easier for me.

    There’s something energising and exciting for me in the fall when the students come back. They’re an endlessly renewing and refreshing resource of youth, enthusiasm, and desire for knowledge. I think I’m a pretty positive and outgoing person–over the years the vibrance and energy of our wonderful students has been a constant challenge, inspiration and and source of renewal for me.

  11. Comment by Lise on September 1, 2006 9:20 am

    Ooh, I didn’t mean to single Asians out! In fact, I thought about that as I wrote it. It was more that they were just tiny so the image of me flinging them …. yes, most of our Asian students are very polite and friendly, and I work with a lot of them because one prof has major connections to Japan & Korea and another works closely w/ LLMS (foreign grad students).

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