Architecture and Memory
Course description and objectives
Resources and links
Requirements and grading
Who we are
Discussion and debate
Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
Our memories make us, define our very identities, mold our bodies as well as our characters. Please write a paragraph about yourself, but highlight a particular powerful memory or place, or the memory of a place, that contributed to you to become who you are. (Do not forget to put your name and time of posting.)
In case you were interested to read:
Please post your paragraphs below
Posted at Jan 26/2009 03:28PM: lisa donovan 3:24 p.m.: I am a Literary Arts Graduate Student here at Brown University. I originally hail from Southern California but have lived in several places including Portland, OR and New Orleans, LA. The memories that I believe define me now took place in the small mountain community of Painted Cave. There I romped around with my sister and brother in creek beds, climbed trees, scaled rocks, constructed forts, admired and memorized the names of native plants: monkey flowers, wild mustard, wild cucumber, sage, buttercups, shooting stars, etc. as well as sat at the site of the Chumash cave, of which the community is named for, and wondered at just who the other Lisa was that scrawled her name so delicately alongside all those fiery orange stars painted inside.
Posted at Jan 26/2009 09:21PM:
Harrison Stark: I'm a sophomore concentrating in Archaeology. I've lived in Boston and North Carolina, but also spent several years at school in England, where I lived in a small city called Chester, which was originally a Roman settlement. What was so fascinating about the city was how it was a synthesis of old and new; high-end commercial shops were broken up by the remnants of Roman columns and markers, and pubs sat on the still-intact Roman walls. The juxtaposition of the modern and ancient created a unique dynamic, and I was always fascinated by the idea that with only a few short steps I could cross from streets traversed by cars to paths that had been tread upon for nearly two millennia.
Emily Alvarez 10:33PM: I am a sophomore concentrating in Architectural and Urban Studies. I have lived in New York my entire life and feel deeply attached to the city. What interests me most about this class and the related fields are people and their connection to places. Often, people will return to schools, houses, parks, and more that have the ability to stir memory and emotion in them. They connect places to specific feelings, events, and people. I want to understand these connections more as I, myself, feel like this often. Back home, my friends and I will often pick a place we have never been or always wondered about, go there, spend the day, and explore everything we can. It is how I have gotten to know my hometown on a deeper level that has already solidified a place in my heart and memory.
Mark Stokely 11:53PM: I am a sophomore concentrating in Architectural Studies and Urban Studies. I’m from the fine state of Virginia, from a town called Vienna, right outside Washington DC. The place that gives me memories that I think truly define me, is a small little beach cottage on the coast of Delaware. It was nothing special, but it was somewhere I returned to every summer as a child. A simple house with only a kitchen, two bedrooms and a porch, the cottage was sparsely populated by aged wooden furniture. The only decorations were the few paintings my Grandmother hung around the house. Of course, they were all paintings of roosters, my Grandmother’s favorite. Also, most of the sitting spaces in the house were covered in pillows, used by those that slept on the couches and floor of some of the rooms at night. To me the simplicity of the house with the few touches of absurdity really encapsulated the idea of summer as well as the overall attitude of my family.
Posted at Jan 27/2009 12:06AM:
Marissa Faerber: I’m a senior Urban Studies and Architectural Studies Concentrator. I come to the frozen tundra that is Providence from my hometown of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (today’s temperature was 80⁰ F). I spent last semester abroad in Barcelona, Spain where I had the opportunity to explore Roman ruins firsthand. Additionally, I made my way to the ruins in Ephesus, Turkey (Cleopatra went there on her honeymoon!) and Olympia, Greece. I was able to wander through temples, pillars, theaters, sport fields, public gathering spaces and libraries. Some of my most cherished memories were formed during these travels, and I look forward to learning about the architecture behind these memories.
Cassie Rogg: I'm a senior concentrating in architectural studies and comparative literature. I've become interested during the past few years, especially after reading "This Will Kill That" in class, in thinking about how architecture and writing are related. In my senior thesis, I'm exploring the concept of “place” and particularly representations of the "home" in examples of 20th c. literature to perceive the various connections between one’s identity, memory, and locations. I'm particularly interested in the interactions between people and their environments over time. Personally, I know that my house and home town/state of East Greenwich, RI have played integral roles in my childhood and overall development. A memory has recently come back to me in which I used to play this game with myself as a kid (age 6-9?) where I would write things, like my name, my age, what I was feeling, in the snow or with sticks on rocks in my backyard or on foggy car windows, and promise to myself that I would come back some day and either rewrite or remember what I was like at that time in my life. So many people do this as an act of 'preserving' a moment in time, a specific thought, or time spent with a special person, but it's often done at unfamiliar places, such as tourist sites (the Western Wall comes to mind). In my case, the writing is an act of solidifying my relationship with something familiar. I'm so connected to the place I've grown up that I only moved a half-hour north on I-95 for college, even after I'd attended high school a few blocks down Hope St. Usually it feels like I'm a world away, yet when I want to feel close to home, I can be. Though I appreciated the opportunity to live abroad and experience the Parisian lifestyle last spring, and I love to travel and explore the world's greatest cities and ruins, I'm always content to come back to New England, my home base and source of my fondest memories.
Posted at Jan 27/2009 01:00AM:
bradley hanson: I am a second year graduate student in ethnomusicology. My research interests focus on American vernacular music, especially of the South, and specifically, lately, of the Cumberland Plateau region in east Tennessee. I lived in this region for several years and return in summers to do fieldwork. For me, like so many others, it is difficult not to become enchanted with the deep and complicated connections between the geography, history, mythology, memory, and expressive culture in this area. My understanding of these various categories, as they often blur and breakdown, has been shaped largely by my experiences there.
Posted at Jan 27/2009 04:03AM:
Alex Yuly: I'm a freshman concentrating in architectural studies. One place that defines me in particular is the park at the top of the hill on which my family lives in Seattle. This park was an abandoned lot, overgrown with weeds and surrounded by precariously tilting rusty chain-link fences, until just a year ago. I have walked up the hill to this abandoned lot since I was little. It is distinguished by its unique and extraordinary setting: perched on the edge of this urban mountain, one can look out to the horizon and view all the skyscrapers of downtown, the glistening waters of Elliott Bay, and the entire Cascade Mountain Range. The view is the most spectacular in the entire city, and it is located only a few blocks from my family's apartment. This vision of human-forged beauty set against a backdrop of natural wonder has never failed to inspire me more deeply than anything else and is responsible in large part for my interest in architecture.
Who Am I Gillian Lang 1.26.2009
I have always had intense relationships with the spaces that I inhabit. Specific places have always been linked in my mind to specific memories of my past or my family’s past. I never met either of my grandfathers. So, when both of my grandmothers died when I was in third grade I struggled with how I could communicate with the past. I desperately wanted to be able to connect with what had come before me, but I didn’t know exactly how to do it. For me, I discovered that connecting to a meaningful place helped me fill in that void, and answer that important question. By standing in the same places, by touching the same window panes, by looking out the same windows, I am able to gain a connection to my past that soothes my hunger for it.
There is one place where this connection is the strongest and the most meaningful to me, and that is Block Island. It was here that my family came one hundred years ago, fresh off the boat from Scotland. It is here where my great grandmother sat on the porch, where my grandfather surveyed the beach, where my grandma did crossword puzzles, where my dad played baseball, where I learned to walk. On Block Island memories appear almost tangible, the ghost-like characters of my past flit through my vision. Everyday tasks turn up hidden memorabilia, an old baseball found while mowing the lawn, an old horse shoe unearthed while gardening. As I make these discoveries, I attach a story, either true, or contrived to fit my romantic ideals, that I pin to it in my mind. In this way I curate my small world. Each item is mentally labeled, a precious item in a growing museum of the everyday, a living history. Whenever possible, I reach out to these items and touch them, with the powerful understanding that someone important to me has touched them before. Their importance is indescribable, but they do not lie behind glass. Instead, they roll across the yard, they hang on the back of the door, they lie buried under the ground. I sit on them, I play with them, I read them. Each artifact puts me more in tune with my past, each space helps me understand who
Tim Simonds: I am a sophomore attempting to create an independent concentration in architectural and performance theory. I grew up in New York City and lived in two houses, switching weekly between divorced parents. Although I never felt settled in either of these, my father’ sculpture studio provided me with a home for my imagination. My father builds miniature clay landscapes, inhabited by an imaginary civilization of little-people. This studio of landscapes with ever evolving caves, paths, and dwellings gave me a place to create my own civilization of little-people. As a young child I remember smearing wet clay over my nude body and running around the studio until it would dry and flake off, leaving a fine powder within my pores. This studio and the clay within it are the birthplaces of my imagination and my life-mediation of body, dwelling and earth.
Posted at Jan 27/2009 03:54PM:
Molly Cousins: I'm a sophomore also concentrating in Architectural Studies and Urban Studies. The strongest connection I have to a place is to my family's summer house on the South Shore of Boston - ironically a place which no longer exists, so all I have of the place now is my memory. The house, an old Cape Cod built entirely of wood, burned down in October 2001. The structure itself had character - creaky floors, heating grates a child could lift up and peer into the room below, old smooth wooden handrails on the staircase, and of course a big wraparound porch to pick up the ocean breeze. By the time I was introduced to "The Summer House" the place was crammed full of useless objects that couldn't be thrown away because of a story this or that relative associated with it. My grandmother's father bought the property in the 1910s and later brought his children there each summer, as they did with their children and so on. The place is intertwined with my idea of "summer" and "family," as I'm sure it is with the rest of my relatives. Although we rebuilt after the fire (my uncle, an architect, designed the house, so it was very much a family process) and agonized for three years over the most minute of architectural details before even beginning construction, the new house lacks the intangible memories of the old. We may have gained modern amenities such as central heating, but every time I visit the new "Summer House" it is bittersweet.
My mother is English and my father is American. I was born in D.C. but moved over to the U.K. when I was about two or three. The only thing I can remember about Washington is being in a car passing a statue of a man on a horse. The earlier my memories are, the deeper the emotions seem to go, so I like remembering far back. I've been in Scotland for most of my life, and lived in ten or twelve different places now, but the longest was (and is - we just moved back next door) a little cottage on an estate in the remote woodlands of the east coast, near Montrose. I first lived there from about age six to twelve, and I was homeschooled for a lot of that time, so I had a lot of opportunity to explore the estate. I walked specific routes with a religious dedication, and different areas - spots along one path, an overturned tree, a well in a bank, a ruined tower - had a lot of significance for me. I went through a long phase of pretty acute OCD, and one of the (less harmful) ways it manifested itself was this devotion to my surroundings and the rituals that grew up in them. I began to shape the landscape little by little as well: Every time I passed by I would stop at a certain area to meditate (though I doubt I knew what that was at that time) in a little nest, and find a piece of wood to stick into a patch of mud that ended up like a hedgehog, and I'd keep markers at boundary points and pile stones. At this point I can zoom over miles of the land in my mind, and I'm so attached to it that I've noticed different plants starting to dominate different areas over the years. I often think it's the only place I really feel free. I try to think how great the significance of any landmark can be by how much that place means to me, and imagine the feelings that change to or destruction of anywhere in the world could mean to someone.
Ariel Schecter (9:04 pm January 27) I am a junior science & society concentrator. I have recently decided to drop my double concentration in engineering to save myself some unnecessary work, but I am still taking engineering classes as well as sculpture at RISD with hopes of maybe becoming an architect of sorts. I love how space functions to shape people's experiences, beliefs, and interactions, and I think that there is a great deal to be said for creating living spaces that inspire confidence, creativity, and self-expression. With that in mind, one place that holds a great deal of memories for me is Black Rock City, the site of the yearly art festival known as Burning Man. Although it is quite impossible to conjure up a meaningful description of Burning Man, this is my best shot. It is a temporary city in the middle of the desert in Nevada, where ~50000 people come each year to erect an experimental city for just one week. A barren desert for 51 weeks out of the year, each summer it is transformed for one week into a bustling city complete with structures, art installations, art cars, performances, basically anything that any of the citizens want to bring and share. There is no money, nor bartering; gifts are the only economy. There are really no rules out there, only the unspoken codes of community respect and non-violence. It is, quite literally, "burning man" - traditional society, that is - and creating a very intentional and radical alternative for a week. The architecture out there rivals much of the architecture that I've seen in industrial cities, although in a much different style. Everything is done with an eye for radical creativity and non-conventionality, although many structures are still of comparable magnitude to those of any other city. For example, a temple made entirely of items found in junkyards [link]. Much of the art, installations, and structures are burned at the end, and the citizens of the city dissolve back into the usual world without leaving a trace on the desert. It's interesting to think about how the festival evolves from year to year, and how memory is established out there because the whole thing vanishes once it's over (at least until next year).
Christopher "Kit" Elsworth (12:40pm January 29, 2009) I am a senior concentrating in Architectural Studies. My father was born and raised in England and my mother grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, my hometown. I am very proud of my British roots and carry a significant amount of hometown pride. Since high school, I have developed an interest in architecture which as led me to continue this study at Brown. Through great courses taught here, I have taken an interest to modern and contemporary architecture and been inspired to travel the globe and see sites first hand. Along the journeys I have been moved by not only contemporary buildings but the most historic monuments, ruins and parks. During the 07-08 winter break, I traveled to Kyoto, Japan. While staying with a friend in the city I was able to explore a technologically advanced and fast-paced city. However, inside the concrete jungle of Kyoto, lay many ancient shrines and temples. I found it most interesting that these sites have been completely conserved and remain intact through centuries of development and growth.
--- Alex Gilbert-Bono: I am a History of Art and Architecture major at Brown, who just transferred this spring semester from Swarthmore College. Although I am hesitant to define “who I am” by “transfer student,” it was because of my recent change in college venues that I realized my passion not only for art, but even more, for architecture. Because I was accepted to Brown for the spring, I took the fall semester as an opportunity to intern in New York City at a fine arts auction house. While in NYC, on a bitterly cold Saturday afternoon (not too dissimilar to the temperature in Providence now) I had a senseless urge to walk around the City. Unable to deny myself the exercise, I started to wander towards Central Park. Inevitably, I regretted my impulsive decision, and thought the best cover from the December cold was the nearest museum--the Guggenheim. I had studied the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim before, but had never been to his famous building. Its organic shape protruding from the 5th Avenue apartments was a refreshing sight, even as the wind chill flirted with single digits. After paying admission, and walking around the museum, I was more struck by the architecture of this museum than with the art that was on display. For me, this was an unprecedented and surprising reaction to an art museum. As I walked from collection to collection, I was struck by the fluidity of the transitions from room to room, and from collection to collection. Strolling through the museum, I felt no internal struggle about which way to turn; left to American Decorative Arts, or right to Italian Renaissance—I just drifted organically through the exhibitions. As I collected my coat, and trudged to the nearest subway entrance, I became more aware of my fascination with architecture. Although I enjoyed the artwork at the Guggenheim, all I could think about was the astounding genius of Frank Lloyd Wright. Consequently, this event ignited an even larger curiosity for me in the study of architecture. This somewhat obscure memory, provoked by the beautiful and compelling form and function of the Guggenheim, sparked my interest in this class. In my studies, I hope to look more closely at many forms of architecture, and how these forms house memory.
Madeleine Filloux 01-28-09
Until coming to college, I had lived in the same house my whole life. Moving away has taught me that I will always be anchored there, tied to the edge of the Salt Lake City valley. It is hard for me to describe what Utah means to me to those who have never experienced it for themselves, let alone grown up there. The best I can do is just a patchwork of sensory perceptions. In Salt Lake, I would wake up in the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains with the sun splintering out from behind them. I could tell that it had snowed the night before if the world was mysteriously quiet outside my blinds. On the way to school in the mornings, the Ochre Mountains on the other side of the valley would sparkle blindingly in the light. As a kid, I played in the red sand of Southern Utah, swam in the mud-colored Colorado and Green Rivers, and hiked through the forests near my house. My socks were permanently dyed red and my shoes filled with sand. Like the sand that clings, even to this day, to my tennis shoes, bits of Utah will always be caught in my mind: the water-like curve of a slot canyon, the endless white of the salt desert, the brightness of the Wasatch Mountains covered in snow. Growing up in Utah has helped shape me as an environmentalist, a lover of the outdoors, and an appreciator of the poetry found in nature and the rest of the world. Here at Brown, I am a sophomore Applied Math Biology concentrator, but I hope to go to graduate school in sustainable architecture.
8:02pm Elise Nuding: I'm a sophomore double concentrating in Archaeology and Architectural Studies, interested in the intersections in the history of archaeology and the history of architecture, and also in applying archaeological theory and methodology to architecture. Academic interest defines us to a large extent in a university setting, but the other defining factor in a diverse community is where we come from. Being from England defines me for most people at Brown, and realising this has made me evaluate my ties to where I grew up. For me London is home, although we have moved house several times within the city. The house that I lived in from age 4 to 11 holds the strongest and most positive memories for me, in part because our time there was defined by family changes. We moved there because our flat was too small after my sister was born, and 7 years later we left the house when my parents got divorced. Although I have since discovered that it is largely who and what you place within a house that makes a home, moving out of that house was my first experience of how architecture is inexorably connected to memory. My 11 year old self felt torn in two, between the new house and the old, and couldn't bear to think about other people living in the building. I recently discovered that the 'new' owners moved out of the house over 2 years ago, and that it has been sitting empty since then. This was even more shocking to me than imagining other people living in it, as a structure that was intended to experience human activity is sitting unused. Although it has been 9 years since I lived in the house, the shock I felt on hearing it was empty attests to the significance of the house in my past, and to the larger connection between architecture and memory.
Posted at Jan 28/2009 10:22PM:
Ana Escobedo: I'm a sophomore double concentrating in Archaeology and Art History. I was born and raised in South Pasadena, California, right outside of Los Angeles. Out of every place that I've been it was my high school that affected me the most. The building was a mansion built for a silk merchant back around 1914. When he died it was donated to the nuns around 1950, who turned it into a school. Very little has changed about the house since the original owner lived in it. The same paintings are on the walls and the old paint is flicking off the walls of the kitchen. Everyday I used to sit outside on the terrace overlooking the arroyo (dried up river bed) as the sun set beyond the mountains. What always affected me the most was that this building was a house. It was a home. It still is a home. Everyone who passes through the house feels the history. They can feel the original owners, the nuns who lived there, and the countless students who graduated right outside on the lawn. Every inch of the place is covered with lasting memories, whether it be the memorial under the magnolia tree outside or the scuffed tiles, worn down by thousands of feet, in the game room. It's a beautiful place not only visually, but because of all the memories that have been sunk into every room creating a safe haven, a place to belong and a place to be wlecomed. So when I imagine myself is a calming place, I am out on the terrace watching the balzing sun setting behind the black silhouettes of palm trees.
Tim Carey (1/28/09 10:29PM) I’m a sophomore from Vienna, Virginia (just outside of Washington D.C) concentrating in Architectural Studies. Until I was five my family lived in Massachusetts. When we first arrived at our new house “down south” I was determined to find some secret passage or hidden room but didn’t have much luck (though I did find the laundry chute pretty fascinating and immediately took of my shoes and threw them down it). Eventually, though, we found that the previous owners had turned a tiny room that branched off of a closet in the basement into what we called the “mouse hole” because the entrance to it was the shaped like the typical entryway into a mouse’s hiding place in a home. Though my parents knew about it, it became a “secret” hideaway for me and my sister, which we would sneak away to especially frequently around Christmas to tell each other what toys we had spied Mom or Dad carrying into the house. The space was always a hit with friends either of us brought home, but it is very small and eventually we both literally grew out of it. We tried to make it a space for our cat, but she would have none of it. It’s now a very unique storage space.
Lyndsey Barnes (1-28-09 11:29PM) I'm a sophomore concentrating in Urban Studies, and possibly Religious Studies. I identify strongly with my hometown - Buffalo, New York. I've always been fascinated with people's emotional connections to places, because I love Buffalo so much. Trying to describe it to people never quite works, because it has such a unique culture - the people are hard-working, friendly, and loyal to their hometown. However, I get upset when places that I change. My high school is currently under construction to be completely renovated, and I feel more of a disconnect with it now. The community is the same, and I still love it, but the space of the school was very important to me. It was unlike any other school - it had high ceilings, and a beautiful stone facade. At the same time, it was filled with asbestos and had little more than a parking lot outside. We had to go to the sketchy public park in order to have gym class! We had to learn to work with what we had, and we had a fantastic time. But now, it's going to have state-of-the-art science equipment, which I think causes it to lose part of its charm and character. I love making the best out of situations. Eventually, it just becomes hilarious! I feel like that's where my favorite memories are made.
Hannah Sheldon-Dean 1-29-09 I’m a junior concentrating in Education Studies and Literary Arts, and there are several places that I feel deeply connected to – in fact, when I’m upset or want to reassure myself of who I am and what’s there to support me, I find myself thinking of places I’ve known instead of people. I’ll list to myself the defining geographic features of the places where I’ve grown into who I am now – the ocean, the lake, the mountain, the tree – and doing that always make me feel safe and confident right away. One place that’s more potent to me than most others is a little wooden building on the lake, specifically Sebago Lake in Maine, where I went for summer camp for nine years. My favorite thing about camp in general was the way the place had changed so little in the hundred years since its founding, with the boulders and coastline easily recognizable in old photographs and the sense that everything that had ever happened there was somehow still happening all the time, and that little wooden hut serves as a sort of encapsulation of that sense of history. It’s tiny but study, two stories, and perched on wooden stilts over the steep, rocky shore of the lake where it has been since the early 1900s. The building is called Senhalone, a word that I know how to pronounce but can’t explain the meaning of, and it serves as the camp’s library and informal archive. My friends and I, or sometimes just me, would sit for hours in the afternoons, reading books we found there and looking though old photo albums and yearbooks, exclaiming at hairstyles or impossibly young versions of faces that we knew. The best afternoons were both sunny and windy, because then the golden light poured straight in through the dusty window that runs all along Senhalone’s West side and the sailboats from the racing class ran back and forth through the courses in the most picturesque ways. It was odd and humbling to think that our presence at camp would be recorded there years and years after we started doing other things with our summer, and that even though the albums and books would pile up and multiply, the building would almost certainly stay the same. When I visited camp with a couple of friends at age 17 – we’d been counselors the year before but hadn’t been back that summer – we found that someone had cleaned Senhalone out. Some of the shelves where the books had been were altogether bare, and the shelves under the long window seat were organized, with some of the photo albums missing, and we could not imagine why anyone could think cleanliness was worth what had been lost.
Posted at Jan 29/2009 12:22PM:
Alexandra Corrigan: A particular memory that I have forever felt extremely emotionally tied to is from age eleven. My family travelled all over Egypt for holiday. I first became interested in architecture and the study of anthropology when I became lost in a street market, exited out some foreign portral and was dropped off in a section of the city that was overpopulated with high-rise apartment buildings that were almost totally transparently constructed. None of the buildings had roofs, because (as some Egyptian explained) the buildings would be added to as more family members would grow up or be acquired. Its hard for me to explain what it meant, but it remains a powerful image and construction in which i think today.
Posted at Jan 31/2009 12:02AM:
Yinghong Chen: I am a freshman from Cranston, Rhode Island and possibly double concentrating in International Relations and English. The one place that has always occupied a special place in my mind is my home back in Guangdong, China. It is situated in the countryside amidst clusters of trees and fields of rice paddies. I spent my childhood in this place and I must admit that some of my most vivid and happiest memories occurred there. I remember playing hide and seek with my childhood friends in the thick blossoming gardens behind the village. I remember flying a newspaper-made kite with my dad on the green fields under vermillion clouds filled twilight. I remember sitting outside on the open porch and counting millions of stars and constructing my own constellations from a jewel-lit milky way. This place created in me a love for nature and provided me with a special and unique outlook on viewing the world. Each breath of air in autumn on my way to elementary school and each sparkling golden leaf of wheat and grass in the early dawn filled me with nostalgia and many other emotions. A certain place, indeed, from its very earth to the concrete walls of buildings, are trimmed with not only unique memories but also a living collage of emotions that define it, that gives it a sense of immortality.
posted 01/31/09 5:13 pm Alexandria Hartley. I am a junior concentrator in Egyptology and History of Art and Architecture. I had a very scattered childhood. I have lived in 6 states, i moved all the time, and I loved it. I find adventures in everything that is new. But everywhere i went growing up, I could easily say goodbye, because the one thing i knew i would have in my new place of residence was a throwing ring. It did not matter what state i resided in, when i was in the ring, i knew that i would be ok, and that i could succeed, if just momentarily through sports, but that the courage i received from that would carry socially as well. It is not a specific memory i hold onto, but the memories i received form all stages of my throwing up until the point in college when i put those memories behind me as well and no longer threw shot-put or discus, but the ring will always be the memory where i felt the freest and the happiest, if just for 30 seconds at a time.
Lolly Lim--2/3/09 10:11 pm I'm a freshman interested in Environmental Studies and Architectural Studies. I'm from Los Angeles, and my fondest and most vivid memories is that of lunch with friends in high school. I went to an all girls Catholic school, and although it had some hippie roots stemming from a group of rebellious nuns in the 70's, it was still a place of rules and regulations. Skirts had to be yea high, loafers only the hideous kind, absolute solemnity during mass, etc. Lunch was the time when my friends and I could distance ourselves from some of these rules. We would sit under a tree, lazily sprawled out, propped up on dirty backpacks, our knee socks bunched at the ankles, and our hair messily styled by the soft breeze. What I remember most distinctly about these lunches is the blinding sunlight and the smell of heat evaporating from wet concrete. I always wondered, "how many generations of girls have sat on this plot of land before us? eating, laughing, and sweating under the hot sun?"
Posted at Feb 05/2009 04:02PM:
Tess R: I am a first-semester senior, and after taste-testing five other concentrations over the years (visual art, biology, history, comparative literature and architectural studies), I finally settled in Urban Studies. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, I am the product of a place where the ocean and forest teem with life. I was a fort-builder and explorer by trade. There is something about the intricate layering and magic of that landscape that I have yet to encounter anywhere else. Everything grows on one another, through one another, in one another. Crevices spill out thriving life forms whose shape and structure seem to dictate some sort of lost world. There’s the impossible permanence of the oldest red cedars, hemlocks and douglas firs, with their interwoven root systems jutting out in the trail, and then this dense understory of thick mosses, huckleberry bushes, maidenhead and sword ferns flourishing on the decayed remains of giant fallen conifers. Often, the leftovers of distant, dead storms sweep in on the mountains from the Pacific and every possible surface remains covered with miniscule droplets for weeks, to the point where you can’t seem to remember what dry is like. This dynamic, powerful landscape nurtured a fascination within me for both systems and spaces. I hope to pursue Architectural Design after graduation to further quench that thirst.