Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A stroll in the AQ

The AQ (Academic Quadrangle) is one of the main buildings at Simon Fraser University. Some of my classes are held there, and some of my professors have offices there. Downstairs, there are study areas and a cafeteria. It's easy to get lost in the AQ; every corridor, every corner looks the same. And because it's shaped like a square frame, you could walk and walk and turn and turn and end up right where you started.

Here are some things that I've found as I try to make AQ my place of belonging on campus: Dr. C loves cats. She teaches British History, but it seems as though her chief passion is cats. Her office door is covered with articles about cats, pictures of cats, cartoon-strips of cats, everything feline-related. I don't actually have Dr. C as a professor, yet I like her already. Dr. D, whom I do have, hails from Saskatchewan. I love the wide open prairie skies of Saskatchewan, and I really like prairie-folk, even as I tend to disagree with their politics. Dr. D loves orange shoes. His shoes are either predominantly orange, or else they have an orange trim. He loves to hum, and probably doesn't realize that other people can actually hear him. He looks to be in his mid-thirties, and is an idiosyncratic, endearing man from whom I'm learning Linguistics. I'm not sure I like the class -- in fact, I'm quite sure that I don't like it -- but I certainly like Dr. D. The way he absent-mindedly twists open the cap of his Coke bottle and then twists it back on without taking a sip, his tendency to stare at the ceiling while he talks, his excited gestures, his bike helmet that he carries to class without fail -- these are things that amuse me and remind me that academia is made up of people who are quite normal and accessible and interesting to observe.

Along one of the corridors, there are framed prints from Cape Dorset lining the wall. I discovered them just today during one of my aimless strolls, to kill time after my Stats final (which went well, I think), before my next class. Here was a corridor that seemed different to me, that spoke to me, unlike the countless others in the AQ. I found myself marvelling at the prints, and marvelling at myself for recognizing the work of some of the Northern artists, recognizing the style. Since returning from Inuvik, it was the first time I had seen northern art displayed. To come upon it so unexpectedly dispelled the gloom of the November day. People were staring at me as though I was a lunatic when I took out my cell phone and snapped photos of the prints along the wall. But I didn't care.

1 comment:

  1. Good to know things are going better for you now. I'd love to see what the prints from Cape Dorset look like!