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January 2009 Archives

January 2, 2009

The new year begins in Africa

Magazine intern Shira Tevah, ’09, is spending winter quarter abroad as part of Chicago’s African Civilizations course. This is her first dispatch from South Africa.—Ed.

Medicine Reading material “We think we can just make these crazy plans for a few months away,” my friend Kelin Hall, ’09, once said to me, “and not think about them again until a few days before.” Her words describe my present position: I leave tonight at 11 p.m. for Cape Town, where I’ll spend winter quarter in Chicago’s African Civilizations course abroad. I didn’t seriously begin preparations until after New Year’s.

My thoughts revolve around the unknown: a continent I’ve never been to, a different daily routine whose appearance I can’t envision. The climate? Warm, I presume. The landscape? “It’s so beautiful,” everyone says, but I know little else. The people? I have a list of the 24 Chicago students going, but most I haven’t met. How will the hours be filled? For starters, we’ll have John and Jean Comaroff’s African Civilizations 1 & 2 readings—Economy, Society, Politics, and Law: Pre-Colonial and Colonial Perspectives; Colonialism and the Dialectics of Modernity—and trips to places such as Clanwilliam, Table Mountain, and even Johannesburg and Kruger Park at the end of the quarter. Details like how to do my laundry? I’ll find out when we get there.

Reading material Passport and wallet I decided to visit South Africa while living and studying in the West Bank last fall quarter—comparisons of the West Bank to South Africa under apartheid are widespread and widely argued. It would be interesting, I thought, to see for myself. I had been trying to avoid Chicago’s study-abroad programs because I feared they would be too cloistered (these programs consist of U of C faculty and students alone), but in the end I opted for, well, more time abroad. Knowing I’d miss a Chicago winter didn’t hurt.

The Cape Town program has an unwritten reputation for being both the most academically rigorous and the constant choice for students interested in social justice. I’m anxious about being a political tourist. I want to get to know every part of South Africa, including, for instance, impoverished townships, but I’m wary of turning people’s lives into spectacle by studying them and writing blogs or academic papers. I hope to balance, in whatever ways I can, the quest for knowledge with the commodification of the places and people where knowledge can be found.

I have a hunch the stack of paper I printed last week will help. I’ll get started on my 12-and-a-half hour flight to Dubai, followed by 12 hours in Dubai and another nine hours and 40 minutes to Cape Town. My reading list for the flights includes: Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga, The Life and Times of Michael K by former professor in Social Thought J. M. Coetzee, and King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard—which is, according to the girl working at the Seminary Co-op the day I bought it, a page-turning adventure perfect for long flights.

Shira Tevah, ’09

Clockwise from top left: I have to make space for textbooks in my suitcase; I'm bringing Malarone, a malaria suppressant that we'll be taking when we go to Kruger Park, as well as emergency antibiotics; passport and concealable wallet are, of course, a necessity; my stack of all the course readings.

January 5, 2009

2B or not 2B? That's the question. 2B is the answer.

Michael RobbinsEnglish PhD student Michael Robbins, AM'04, perks up the pages of the January 12 New Yorker with his poem "Alien vs. Predator." This morning UChiBLOGo chatted by e-mail with Robbins about his poetic influences, following his sister to Chicago, and his current project intersecting Wu-Tang Clan and the twin towers.

QandA_QDrop.jpgWhat's the story behind your poem in New Yorker?
QandA_ADrop.jpgI suppose it's the old story: boy meets capital, boy sells capital to someone who can't afford it, who then loans it to someone who can never pay it back. It's a love poem.
QandA_QDrop.jpgWhere can we find more of your work?
QandA_ADrop.jpgMy poems have appeared in various places: Lit, La Petite Zine, Court Green, Columbia Poetry Review. The Hat published three of my poems last year, but they seem to have attributed them to my colleague Michael Robins (or 1B, as I like to call him), who is a fine poet in his own right. I wish the editors had asked themselves, 2B or not 2B? I also have a bunch of my poems lying around my apartment, if anyone wants to come over.
QandA_QDrop.jpgWhat brought you to the University of Chicago?
QandA_ADrop.jpgI arrived here more or less because my sister was accepted to the University of Chicago's PhD program in art history, and I didn't really have anywhere else to go. I was impressed by the English department, so decided to apply (took me two tries, though: I did MAPH first).
QandA_QDrop.jpgIn what ways has your time at the University influenced your work?
QandA_ADrop.jpgMy friend Paul-Jon Benson suggests I answer: "I first saw Alien vs. Predator in Stanley Cavell's course on Hollywood Comedies of Remarriage." (I haven't actually seen Alien vs. Predator, though.)
But it really is impossible to overstate how much being a part of the English department, especially the Poetry & Poetics Program, has influenced me. I've met so many great poets who have come here to read as part of the Poem Present series: Robert Creeley, Michael Palmer, Lyn Hejinian, Donald Revell, Augie Kleinzahler. Just the opportunity to speak with them about poetry—I couldn't have imagined such a thing before I came here. And the department's own Chicu Reddy has been invaluably supportive of my work: without his encouragement I might well have given up writing poetry some years ago.
QandA_QDrop.jpgWhat specifically are you studying?
QandA_ADrop.jpgI'm writing a dissertation on lyric subjectivity after confessional poetry and the avant-garde poetic movements that developed, to some extent, in response to it. It basically asks, what are some of my favorite poets—Paul Muldoon, Jennifer Moxley, Frederick Seidel, Frank Bidart, Allen Grossman—up to when they employ a more or less autobiographical "I" in their poems? What problems does their lyric "I" allow them to address that a conventionally effaced "speaker" would be inadequate to?
QandA_QDrop.jpgWhat poetry are you working on?
QandA_ADrop.jpgI'm working on a series of poems that advance my thesis that the Wu-Tang Clan brought down the twin towers.
QandA_QDrop.jpgWhat's your favorite place to find new poetry?
QandA_ADrop.jpgI really do think our own Chicago Review is the classiest place around.
Portrait by Jennifer Wild

January 6, 2009

Phoenix Pix: Jan. 5-9, 2009

Father Time

A jogger runs through the main quad past trees decorated with twinkling lights.

Photo by Dan Dry.

January 7, 2009

Out of the question


Where there's a fastidious editor, you'll also find the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS for short).

When my father was a professor at the University of Missouri, he kept his worn Manual on an off-limits bookshelf next to blandly bound academic journals. My high-school journalism teacher Mrs. H nestled her beloved copy between other references she shared with students. I bought my copy (the 14th edition) during college, but the practical guide's presence in my life didn't end there. Throughout 2003, I coveted a stylish black canvas bag featuring the cover of the 15th edition that Magazine editor Mary Ruth Yoe used to carry her belongings to and from the office. As I type this entry, I only have to turn my head to glimpse a new copy of the reference book on my cubemate's desk.

I get my inner grammar-nerd fix by lurking around the Manual's official Web site, where a straightforward, scholarly question-and-answer—which debuted in 1997—is published by editors under the leadership of Carol Fisher Saller, a senior manuscript editor in the books division of the University of Chicago Press.

Each month, visitors to the press's Web site submit several hundred questions related to the Manual's grammar and writing rules. From this pool, Saller's team reviews the submissions and picks out creative and complicated questions with hard-to-find answers. Laura Andersen, a senior promotions manager who has been with the press for five years, estimates that around 90 percent of the questions could be easily answered by referring to the Manual. "Readers are most concerned with how to cite sources," says Andersen. "Hyphenation issues are popular. Whether to capitalize job titles, whether to use a comma, whether to spell out numbers—these are the most frequently asked questions."

Manual fans in the Magazine's offices and beyond are hooked on the more obscure queries that make the cut. The result, called the Chicago Style Q&A, continues to grow in popularity. The free Q&A was profiled in the Reader in the spring of 2007. Earlier that same year, Harper's editors reprinted a page of their favorites under the title 'Stet Offensive' that "made us sound like a bunch of comedians," says Andersen.

It's hard not to chuckle at the dry humor in the answers. The press's three favorite pairings are proof:

QandA_QDrop.jpgAbout two spaces after a period. As a U.S. Marine, I know that what’s right is right and you are wrong. I declare it once and for all aesthetically more appealing to have two spaces after a period. If you refuse to alter your bullheadedness, I will petition the commandant to allow me to take one Marine detail to conquer your organization and impose my rule. Thou shalt place two spaces after a period. Period. Semper Fidelis.
QandA_ADrop.jpgAs a U.S. Marine, you’re probably an expert at something, but I’m afraid it’s not this. Status quo.
QandA_QDrop.jpgThe menu in our cafeteria shows that enchiladas are available “Tues.–Fri.” However, when I ordered one on a Wednesday, I was informed that enchiladas are available on Tuesday and Friday, not Tuesday through Friday. When I informed the cafeteria manager that this was incorrect, she seemed shocked and refused to change the sign. Please help determine who is correct.
QandA_ADrop.jpgAlthough the sign was incorrect, I’m not sure you should annoy the person who provides the enchiladas.
QandA_QDrop.jpgOh, English-language gurus, is it ever proper to put a question mark and an exclamation mark at the end of a sentence in formal writing? This author is giving me a fit with some of her overkill emphases, and now there is this sentence that has both marks at the end. My everlasting gratitude for letting me know what I should tell this person.
QandA_ADrop.jpgIn formal writing, we allow both marks only in the event that the author was being physically assaulted while writing. Otherwise, no.

The Press will release the 16th edition of the Manual in both cloth and online formats in fall 2010. Until then the press editors advise, "Read the Manual carefully and keep it close—but don't be afraid to bend the rules occasionally."


The cartoon, which refers to the Chicago Manual of Style's rule about commas (6.18), is republished with permission of Mignon Fogarty, author of Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.

January 9, 2009

Much a-due about nothing

regreturn.jpgThe first week of a quarter doesn’t bring much in terms of deadlines. But one due date—a very important one—hovers over winter’s first classes. All autumn quarter, patrons borrowed books from the University of Chicago Libraries. As the students at the circulation desk scanned the books, they issued a warning, usually chipper: “All of these books are due by January 9.” The due date, which is always the first Friday after classes start, creeps up faster than you’d think, and the start of a quarter finds bibliophiles lugging many, many books to campus in order to get them all in before the library starts sending menacing daily notices. While anyone with a UCID is able to renew books online for up to a full academic year, at some point the jig is up—the books are due, and fines (which could impede graduation) loom.

So this morning I lugged an unusually heavy bag to campus, slipping and sliding on the fresh snow past the construction area for the Mansueto Library. I waddled into the Regenstein Library with my sack of books and waited patiently for a student with a hunter-green backpack full of volumes to finish using the return chute. The trick to returning books to the Reg on the day that all books are due is coming in the morning—by the time afternoon arrives, the book chute is so full that it cannot be opened. Grocery bags full of returned books often dot the foyer.

regwalk.jpgOf course, sometimes we make mistakes. Once, in the rush of returning books to the Reg, I accidentally deposited Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room, which I actually owned, into the chute. I had to wait patiently as the circulation-desk attendant retrieved it for me. It was the first Friday of the quarter—due date—so finding my book in the pile of newly returned volumes was no small feat. Now, even when it feels like my bag is bursting at the seams, I check the spine of every book carefully before sending it away. Once a book disappears into the library, who knows when you’ll be able to get it back?

Rose Schapiro, ’09

A Regenstein Library book-return chute early Friday morning, before the return rush; a view from the webcam mounted on Regenstein Library's east side.

January 12, 2009


kuvia.jpgDespite temperatures in the the teens and a blizzard predicted to blow through town, the annual weeklong winter celebration Kuviasungnerk (pronounced "Koo-vee-ah-sung'-nerk")/Kangeiko began at 6 a.m. with calisthenics in Henry Crown, led by sociology professor emeritus Donald Levine, AB’50, AM’54, PhD’57.

I wasn't on campus to join in on the first scheduled event of Kuvia's 2009 celebration, but Ellie Immerman, '10—whom I met while working for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists—was one of the 384 in attendance. Ellie e-mailed that the first early session was fun: "Kuvia's eminently University of Chicago: taking the coldest week of the year and testing the limits of sleep deprivation and sanity. It's amazing and terrible: a brilliant tradition, yet one to which you resign yourself." Students who participate in all five days of the morning workshop are rewarded with a t-shirt, while the house with the highest participation rate also gets an unnamed prize beyond bragging rights.

Next up is this evening's Dance Marathon Study Break in Hutch Commons. During the dance, Kuvia organizers will collect and count donated scarves as part of a revived knitting competition that first took place 25 years ago, according to Jean Treese, AB'66, associate dean of the College.

countdown.jpgThe rules for entering the knitting competition were simple: knit a scarf 5 feet long by six inches wide using neutral-colored acrylic yarn. Members of the Council on University Programming (COUP) purchased around 90 six-ounce skeins of yarn to give to the first 50 crafty-minded Chicagoans who expressed interest. "We know that a lot of students are very into knitting, so we thought that it would be a good idea," says COUP chair Jane Li, '09, who publicized and distributed the supplies. "We wanted to bring it back last year, but it was too late. We didn't have time to organize everything."

The group with the most submissions wins $50, and the individual who donates the most scarves takes the $25 prize. The real winners, though, are the two South Side shelters who will receive the scarves: the Olive Branch Mission and Morning Glory Temple Shelter of Hope.

To learn more, visit Kuvia's presence on Facebook. To view the schedule and see photos next week, visit the COUP Web site.


Update 10:09 p.m.: Scenes from this morning's calisthenics in Henry Crown






Photos courtesy of Jeffrey Lee, '09.

January 13, 2009

Phoenix Pix: Jan. 12-16, 2009


Mayor Daley wished Valerie Jarrett, former member of the University of Chicago's board of trustees and chair of its Medical Center Board, good luck in her new position in the Obama administration.

Photo by Dan Dry.

January 14, 2009

Paint the town


Artist Jim Lutes calls Chicago home, so it’s fitting that his first mid-career retrospective is on display now at the Renaissance Society. Lutes, who teaches at the School of the Art Institute, has painted scenes with roots in the city for two decades. But his Chicago is not picturesque lake views and sparkling skylines—it is surrealistic exposure, with figures that seem to squirm in empty apartments and on gray sidewalks.

The Renaissance Society retrospective traces his career from his early explicit work to newer, more abstract pieces such as Worryburg (2006), above, a small canvas filled with a mass of figures painted in mostly neutral shades of egg tempera. Lutes’s paintings, especially the more recent ones, must be seen in person to be fully appreciated—the subtle glow of the egg tempera gives them a luminescent quality, and they almost shimmer. Curator Hamza Walker, AB’88, notes in his essay on the exhibit: “The tempera has yielded an ethereal quality that is less expressionistic and more psychological, capturing a state of mind for which doubt and uncertainty serve as the basis of thought cum reflection. They are arguably the same paintings he produced at the outset of his career, only now operating under the rubric of self-reflexivity.” Walker characterizes Lutes as an essential “Chicago artist,” in the sense that he is a painter who continues to experiment with who he is, on his own terms.

lutes-video.jpgIn the fifth video from a series recorded for the Renaissance Society, Lutes and Walker discuss the shift in medium and attitude that Lutes has experienced and the range of expression afforded by the tempera he now uses.

Rose Schapiro, ‘09

Painting reproduced with permission from the Renaissance Society.

January 16, 2009

Life's work

berlant2.jpg On the coldest Thursday of the past few years, the first-floor lecture hall of the Social Sciences Research Building was packed with people, scarves, hats, and coats. The occasion was a lecture by Lauren Berlant, George M. Pullman professor of English. Given in honor of Professor Iris Marion Young, who died in 2006, the Young lecture is presented annually by a member of the Center for Gender Studies faculty. Center director Deborah Nelson introduced the event by praising Young’s legacy, calling her a “pioneering political feminist theorist.”

berlant1.jpgAt work on a project about “modes of collective life and why it’s hard to detach from them,” Berlant encouraged the audience to e-mail her questions and to follow along with her research on her blog Supervalent Thought, where she explains, “I want to know why people stay attached to lives that don’t work. This is a political and a personal question….The projected book’s current title is Detachment Theory: its aim is to describe non-sovereign subjectivity in a variety of scenes, like anxiety, limerence, passive aggression, torture.”

Her lecture, taken from a chapter in her forthcoming book, Cruel Optimism, was called, “After the Good Life, an Impasse.” Using the films of French political director Laurent Cantet, Berlant analyzed the “spreading precarity” that defines contemporary experience in a society where the promises of the “good life” no longer guarantee happiness—or even personal comfort in the workplace or the home.

The lecture was followed by a question-and-answer session, where she eagerly took audience queries. She mused on the importance of films about pets (and inevitably losing pets), and the concerns of the contemporary age of uncertainty, where instead of imagining themselves in a happy life, people generate fantasies of simply not losing everything.

Rose Schapiro, ‘09

Photos by Dan Dry.

January 19, 2009

The power of hope


Before heading to Washington to deliver the benediction at tomorrow's presidential inauguration of former Law School lecturer Barack Obama, civil-rights activist Rev. Joseph Lowery ushered in the University of Chicago's celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. At Thursday's MLK Commemoration Service at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, Lowery said King “gave hope to the hopeless, power to the powerless."

A team from the News Office recorded the complete presentation for anyone unable to attend; see the video embedded below.

The University’s student gospel choir, Soul Umoja, opened the MLK commemoration service with a medley of spirituals, including “Over My Head,” sung during the procession into the chapel; the Rev. Joseph Lowery, a civil rights activist who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was the keynote speaker.

Photos and video courtesy of the University of Chicago News Office.

January 20, 2009

Inauguration—Chicago style


On campus

The University is providing a number of opportunities for the community to come together and watch the coverage of Inauguration 2009.

  • In the Reynolds Club, Inauguration Day events on Capitol Hill will be available for viewing between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

  • From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Mandel Hall, join Robert Gooding-Williams, Professor of Political Science, and Charles Branham, Senior Historian at the DuSable Museum of African American History, to view the ceremony and discuss the significance of the inauguration.

  • Members of the University community also can view the live ceremony online from most locations on campus, via cTV at ctv.uchicago.edu. See nsit.uchicago.edu/services/ctv for details about available channels, supported locations and system requirements.

In Washington, DC

Members of the University community who plan to be in Washington, D.C., to witness the inauguration are invited to take part in a series of special events, including a panel discussion with University affiliates who took part in the campaign, an economic forecast dinner and a on open house near the parade route. Registration is required and space is limited—please see a full listing for details.

Phoenix Pix: Jan. 19-23, 2009

Students Kennedy and Wall at Inauguration

The University of Chicago Student Government President Matt Kennedy, '09, and Amanda Wall, '09, rode 19 hours on a Greyhound bus to watch the presidential inauguration of former Law School lecturer Barack Obama.

Photo by Dan Dry.

January 21, 2009

College reporters find inauguration's local angles

Undergraduate reporters in the Chicago Studies program swarmed both Chicago and Washington this week to write about Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Barack Obama's inauguration. In Hyde Park they covered the Rev. Joseph Lowery's MLK Week Rockefeller keynote before he headed to DC to give the inaugural benediction. (Photo by Beth Rooney)


They found students spending Tuesday watching inaugural events on their dorm-room TVs (or in Mandel Hall, as Lloyd DeGrane's photo shows).


And in Washington, fourth-year Sara Jerome attended a DC Alumni Club panel featuring NewsHour with Jim Lehrer senior correspondent Ray Suarez, AM’92; New York Times columnist David Brooks, AB’83; and Chicago Booth professor/Obama Economic Recovery Board appointee Austan Goolsbee. (Photo by Dan Dry)


The night before the inauguration, Jerome partied—along with President Zimmer, shown in the photo—at the Illinois State Society Inaugural Gala. (Photo by Dan Dry)


And of course, she found U of C community members at the event itself. Student Government president Matt Kennedy and Amanda Wall, both '09, took a Greyhound from Chicago to DC. (Photo by Dan Dry)


See more student coverage as well as inauguration shots by Magazine photographers Dan Dry and Lloyd DeGrane on the Chicago Studies site.


(Photo by Dan Dry)

January 23, 2009

Whistlin' Dixie

If you caught the 100th episode of Check, Please! (a restaurant-review show on Chicago's PBS affiliate), you know what answer President Obama would give if you asked him where to grab a bite in Hyde Park: Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop. Filmed in August 2001 but unaired until last Friday, during the episode the former U of C law lecturer recommended Harper Court's Southern-style restaurant as the place to go for "food that tastes good at a good price," including his favorites: peach cobbler and johnnycakes.

January 26, 2009

Photography 101 with Professor Dan Dry

You’ve read about our Peeps diorama contest in the Jan–Feb Lite of the Mind (if it hasn’t arrived in your mailbox yet, check out "Peeps into our Pages" tomorrow). But creating your UChicago-themed diorama and eating the extra marshmallows are only part of the fun. Before you point and shoot, check out these practical suggestions from Magazine photographer Dan Dry.

  • Lighting: If you're shooting during the daytime, find a spot near a window to set up your diorama. You want the natural light to stream in from the side. If it’s nighttime, use a table lamp with a nonfluorescent bulb to add warmth to your photo.

  • Background: Iron a good, old-fashioned white cotton bedsheet, and tape it on the wall—the fabric should drape onto the floor. Set your diorama on top of the bedsheet, and remember to leave ample cloth in front, behind, and on the sides so that the interior of your home will not appear in the periphery of the pictures.
  • Zooming: Have your lens zoomed all the way out, and adjust the settings on your camera to take pictures at the highest-possible resolution.
  • Positioning: For a straight-on shot, arrange yourself at eye-level with the diorama, and then shoot away. Be creative and test out several angles.
  • Editing: Analyze your photographs. If you don’t like the pictures, redo your shoot. Even a professional like Dan believes there’s nothing wrong with taking additional pictures.

Prefer to learn by example? Use Dan’s photo (above) as a guideline for how to make a snap of your diorama. His example is well lit, simply composed, and taken without distortions at a high enough resolution so all details are visible.


January 27, 2009

Phoenix Pix: Jan. 25-29, 2009

Students at the polar-bear run

Scantily clad students ran through the quads last Friday in the annual polar-bear run, rescheduled a week later because of subzero temps during Kuviasungnerk/Kangeiko.

Photo by Dan Dry.

January 28, 2009

Never enough theatrics

portraits-of-the-artists-1.jpgWeekend mornings are not the most popular times for students to venture out to the Reynolds Club—especially when the windchill drops below zero. But some outliers are dedicated to spending as much time there as they can.

These enthusiasts can be found on the building's third floor, which houses the University Theater lounge and the offices for the Theater and Performance Arts (TAPS) program. Participating in what director Heidi Coleman calls "cocurricular" work, majors, minors, and other students spend hours plotting lights, practicing dramatic monologues, and printing flyers. This year is the first that the program graduates theater minors (four of them, and a half-dozen majors), all of whom must produce a creative work in addition to their course work.

This past Sunday morning the rehearsal was for Urinetown, to be performed during ninth and tenth weeks. Urinetown, written by Mark Hollman, AB'85, and Greg Kotis, AB'88, had its off-Broadway premiere in 2001. The tongue-in-cheek show tells the story of a downtrodden, corrupt town where residents must pay to use the toilet. Aside from performing a production that began with connections made at Chicago, in Urinetown students can work with director Jonathan Berry, a professional Chicago director and 2008-09 TAPS lecturer. A professional design staff also mentors student assistants.

Rose Schapiro, ‘09

Besides performing in Urinetown, TAPS major Augie Praley, '09, wrote a play that opened this weekend at the Gorilla Tango Theater in Bucktown.

Photo by Dan Dry.

January 29, 2009

Mr. Kass goes to Washington

sam-kass.jpgChef Sam Kass, U-High'98, AB'04, is headed to the White House. Known for his interest in preparing healthy local foods, Kass previously cooked meals for Chicagoans through his company Inevitable Table.

Photo from the Inevitable Table Web site.

January 30, 2009

Arts and tartes

andrea-fota.jpgWhen I entered the Reynolds Club last night, a crowded line of students trying to get to the second floor stretched all the way down to the front door. The occasion for the melee was not another distinguished speaker, but student literary magazine Sliced Bread's Winter Arts Festival.

The sounds of the One Dub Dirty Love Jazz Club (whose name is a good approximation of their oeuvre) echoed across the hall while some in the crowd perused a board displaying photographs and paintings from last year’s Festival of the Arts (FOTA), and others took advantage of clay workshops sponsored by Hyde Park Art Center. The hungrier throngs headed straight for Hallowed Grounds Coffee Shop, where I work as a barista, for the main attraction: free food, including fancy treats like tiramisu and strawberry shortcake.

jasmine-food.jpgOur usually serene coffee shop was a site of pandemonium. I generally don’t have to elbow my way in past concerned building managers. Because I already had dinner plans, I perched at the counter and looked on with Marie Donohue, ’11, who was about to finish her shift. Another barista, Jasmine Heiss, ’10, darted behind the counter, her plate full of free food. “I’m not sure I can stock anything right now,” she said, surveying the line, which blocked access to most of the shop’s essential implements. “This is crazy.”

By 8:30 p.m. the food line had shortened. Performance groups, including UC Dancers and three campus bands, cycled through all evening, doing their acts in the McCormick-Tribune Lounge. Across the building students settled in, making art on the plastic-wrapped tables until midnight. Support for the festival came from the UnCommon Fund, a Student Government initiative meant to stimulate participation in campus life.

Rose Schapiro, ‘09

Andrea Rowan, ’09, looks at the FOTA display; Jasmine Heiss, ’10, enjoys her free food.

About January 2009

This page contains all entries posted to UChiBLOGo in January 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2008 is the previous archive.

February 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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