At UT-Austin they are in the process of fixing up all the run down buildings, which frankly, I hate. Not the buildings. The end product. Everything is overly airconditioned, sleek and expensive looking when they're done. It looks like the University of IKEA, and I hate it. I like the old buildings where the ceilings are high and the windows open, and so fine, maybe it can get a little hot in the summer, but it's better than FREEZING TO DEATH like a refrigerated chicken. In my opinion, I should not have to carry a sweater and warm socks in my backpack at any point between March and October in Texas. So what if my office gets a little stuffy. It's got character. Character. Remember that? It's what you end up with when whatever it was that didn't kill you makes you stronger. Take for example, the bathroom in my building.
For those of you who are reading this and hang around UT, please take it upon yourselves to visit the ladies room in WAG, the first stall when you walk in the bathroom. Paper your seat, take a load off, do a crossword puzzle. And while you're at it, look at the wall to your right. For the past 65 years, women have been scribbling the date and a brief weather forecast in the grout between the tiles. "Another dreary day, February 7, 1962." "Brisk and beautiful! October 25, 1952." "Raining. Again. April, 1991." At the margins of the wall people of course have jotted other contributions (make love, not war), but for the most part, that bathroom wall is a collage, in different inks, colors, and scripts, of the daily experiences of women at UT from the early 1950s until today. You can't buy shit like that at IKEA, and I hope that whenever Wag's day comes to be renovated, somebody notices that wall and leaves it the hell alone. I added my contribution this morning. "Muggy and warm. March 17, 2008."