Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spring Break Day 3: A Greater Appreciation for Vandy

Today, after a morning of working in the hotel room, I voluntarily went into Berkeley.  Why do I do these things to myself?

There was a book I wanted for my paper.  Found the full text online...in Italian.  Not very helpful.  Found out from WorldCat that the Berkeley library and Boalt library (Berkeley's law school) had copies of the book.  And also that the closest copy to Nashville was probably at Nathy-Boo's school in Iowa.  Easy enough decision, time to get on BART and head to Boalt.

On the mile-long, completely uphill, walk from BART to Boalt there was a girl standing on the sidewalk handing out pamphlets.  (in your best sing-song voice) "It's a beautiful day to save the forests; let me tell you more about it!"  Vampiring Berkeley.  It was overcast, cold and rainy.

Boalt Hall is ug-ly.  Vanderbilt is very pretty.  Boalt is also under construction.  I found the library fairly easily, even though there was no welcoming Miss Phyllis to guide me in the right direction.  What I could not find easily was a seat in the library.  At quarter to three in the afternoon, every seat in the place was taken.  At Vandy, the place is nearly dead that late in the day, especially on a Monday.

I needed a little help finding my book because the library has several floors of stacks.  The girl at the Patron's Desk directed me to the 4th floor.  I took the elevator up and exited into a hallway with three unlabeled doors.  Well, one door had a label; it said "Stairs."  50/50 chance with the other doors.  What do I do?  Listen?  Go In?  Walk into a Wall?  I listened.  I heard a Tax Collector.  Oh no!  Run away!  Wait, the Tax Collector is chasing you!!!!  Just kidding.  I didn't run away.  I went in.

And it seemed like I somehow walked into a 4th floor dungeon.  The ceiling was so low, it barely cleared the top of my head.  Row after row of metal shelving units spanned the room, rising out of the concrete floor and blending in with the pipes above.  In the dim light, I could hardly find the call number I needed.  A row of windows lined one side of the warehouse like room, but they were covered in that white-don't-look-in-my-bathroom sheeting material, taking away much of whatever extra light the overcast sky was willing to share.

I headed back downstairs, book in hand, to scour out a seat.  No luck.  "Maybe there's secret study places like at Vandy..."  I started exploring.  Floor after floor of dungeon.  I found a help-me-I'm-short stool against a wall of empty shelves (where study hutches would have fit perfectly) with outlets in the middle of the wall.  I pulled up the stool, turned my jacket into a cushion and made myself a little study area.

After I finished in the library, I wandered around the Cal campus until Mr. Trizzle was finished with work and could get to Berkeley.  The campus is actually pretty nice inside, once you get away from the streets.  Minus those protesters and vampire.  There's tons of trees on the campus!  And this one area has such big trees and vines and bushes and stuff, I was totally expecting a dinosaur to step out into my path.  I don't get why people are sitting in trees behind the stadium when there's a bunch more of the same trees everywhere on the campus.  Oh, and a circle of fresh cut stumps with a sign that the "open space" is going to be utilized by planting a garden.  News for you: garden = no longer open space; it's a garden!

After wandering around long enough to get my fill of beautiful old buildings scrunched in with weird-looking modern ones, bicycles flying past and people dressed like sloppy clones in the name of 'diversity where everyone belongs', I headed over to the blue and yellow restaurant to meet Mr. Trizzle for dinner.  Dinner was very nice.  He got Chinese; I didn't; we were both happy.

P.S. I counted people in high heels during my 4.5 hours in Berkeley: 1.  3 if you count like Mzzzz Jones.


modified hassle castle


Jeannie said...

I marked it 'funny' because of the references to Hassle Castle. :D (how does 1 = 3?)

goldenrail said...

Shaina counts lifts as heels, things about 1" or so.