Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Salvador Dali and my new campus

Salvador Dali was a nut—a cheerful nut, thank the gods. As one of the most famous exponents of surrealism, he created many memorable works, the most memorable of which was titled, aptly enough, The Persistence of Memory. One of the principal motifs found in that work, and others, is ants.

Dali would be delighted to know that the Catholic University of Daegu, which celebrates its centennial next year, is the world's most awesome ant farm.

I see ants from the moment I step onto the campus grounds: ants on the sidewalk at the rear gate; ants up the short, wooded path next to a small, well-groomed park; ants on the steps going past the Admin Building; ants on the steps that lead into St. Thomas Aquinas Hall. There are big black ants, small harvester ants, and almost every ant in between.

There are no ants inside the buildings—none that I've seen, anyway. But outside, the campus is one big field of gleeful formication. I find this fantastic, personally: two parallel communities, human and insectile, inhabit the same space, each going about its own set of complex affairs, each largely tolerant of—if not outright ignoring—the other. But not me: I don't ignore the ants, and I don't see them as pests or as a horrible infestation. My purpose in writing this entry isn't to imply that other universities lack ants, or that our ants are somehow the equivalent of roaches. They aren't.

But the fact remains that my university is chock-full of ants—tiny, cute, crunchy, and tasty. It could be that a few of these minuscule creatures have paused in the midst of their errands and looked up at me to say, "Wassup?" in scratchy, Cheech Marin voices. If they have, I have yet to acknowledge their greetings.

I need to be mindful, then, that our campus's walkways are avenues for little alien beings with completely different drives and duties. The Catholic University of Daegu is host to parallel civilizations: two levels of sentient consciousness, two ontologies and sociologies. We should respect that.

Then, of course, there are the birds.

ADDENDUM: For more on Dali and ants, see here.



Bratfink said...

When I was at the Univ. of Montana, we had an abundance of squirrels. Spring was fun. They were fucking everywhere.

Kevin Kim said...

I don't think I've ever seen squirrels fucking.

Bratfink said...

Doggy style, but with bushy tails. And then they chase each other for a bit and do it again.

Horny little bastards.

I bet there are YouTube videos.