Tuesday, September 07, 2010


My buddy Dr. Steve and I took a stroll around my alma mater yesterday; I sweated profusely while Steve, who's too thin to retain any water, chafed at how the sun was murdering his fog-loving Irish skin. When we arrived on campus at 2PM, the front quad was thronging with students: various tables and booths had been set up to announce different activities and causes; and hundreds, possibly thousands, of people were milling about in a spirit of beginning-of-semester conviviality.

Georgetown University, the campus itself, has changed since the last time I visited. New construction is going on close to the old Jesuit graveyard by the ICC Building; God only knows what's being put together there. I can no longer find the giant, scribbled Pollock that used to hang ponderously across from some elevators inside that same ICC Building. It may have been taken away. Perhaps too many students had picked at it-- peeling off paint, as if it were errant strands of petrified mozzarella, in an attempt to leave only the paint-squiggles that "belonged." Other edifices, meanwhile, have sprung up along the axis connecting the Leavey Center and Yates Field House. The campus is starting to feel a bit too crowded, a bit too shadowy, a bit too... Jee Double Yew.

That's unfortunate. We Hoyas have long taken pride in having a real city campus instead of the non-campus that is George Washington University, which lies just up the street from us, about a 45-minute walk away. GW's campus, viewed from above, looks like part of the gridwork of a typical city. If you didn't know where to look, you'd never guess which cluster of buildings constituted the campus. GW's buildings are distinct at ground level (and actually quite nice, when you enter them), but the university has no walls, no boundaries, no significant quad or greenery, nothing to separate it from the surrounding city-- no threshold that proclaims that you're now on hallowed ground. My alma mater, for all its faults, at least has distinctness going for it.

Of course, the common GW retort is that their women are hotter, which may be true. But that's only if we're talking overall physical hotness, which means that Georgetown has some ladies who rise above the crowd not only in terms of brains, but also in terms of beauty. In fact, I saw such a lady yesterday, stepping out of Copley Hall (sophomores' dorm; I was there during the '88-'89 school year) for a jog. She coolly scanned the campus before setting off on her trot, perfectly aware of the effect she would have on any men in line of sight. I could tell by the sublime, celestial curvature and tightness of her ass that she was endowed with a formidable IQ. Beauty and brains. GU wins this round.

During our wanderings, I picked up the latest issue of The Hoya, one of the major campus rags, and saw that actor Bradley Cooper had given a talk in Gaston Hall (here's a similar article from the online version of the Georgetown Voice). Didn't realize he was a Hoya as well. Does his Hoya-ness count as a connection if we're playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?

Lunch was at The Tombs, which is owned by Clyde's, thus ensuring that any burger you order will kick much ass. I had my usual Bacon Bleu Burger, which was cooked to the perfect medium-well state that I enjoy. By the time we left the Tombs, the crowd on Copley Lawn (a.k.a. Copley Beach, due to the high incidence of sunbathing-- take that, GW!) had completely dispersed; the sight of all that emptiness was shocking.

We wandered around a few hours and went our separate ways a bit before dinnertime, yet still stuffed from lunch. This had been my first meet-up with my buddy Steve since Mom got sick. It was good to see him, and I wish him the best of luck as he teaches his current crop of students the ins and outs of modern American literature.

*I just checked. The policy is expressed thus:

12. Smoking Policy

Georgetown University is committed to a smoke-free environment. In accordance with District of Columbia laws, smoking is prohibited in all indoor locations, except in designated smoking areas. The Leavey Center is a smoke free building.

So you can smoke outdoors while on campus.


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