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Love among the ivy & other notes from campus life

When the crew from Cupid, a new ABC-TV series filming in Chicago, descended on campus in late summer, it came in search of background scenery for an episode whose "high-concept" plot could best be summed up in six words: My Fair Lady meets Educating Rita. In other words, the series' title character-who may be Cupid, who may be misguided-tries to make sparks fly between a U of C linguistics professor and his working-class student. True to the producers' expectations, the Henry Ives Cobb buildings were appropriately ivory-towered. But in terms of being ivy-covered, the Social Sciences building, like the professor and the student, was in need of a little help-in this instance, some faux greenery.

Strolling by after the shooting stopped, I picked up the sprig at right. Yes, it was fake. In fact, that's what-for a moment at least-I liked about it: Crisp and verdant, it seemed to have the staying power of O. Henry's tenacious last leaf. It wouldn't wither, nor would it, kudzu style, grow and grow and grow, obscuring windows and burrowing through tuck-pointing. Instead, it would stay where I put it, until I took it down. Control freaks, rejoice!

On the other hand, because the sprig was inorganic, it wouldn't biodegrade. Rather, it would slowly gather dust and fade-there'd be no final exit in a blaze of autumnal glory, no triumphant reemergence in spring. Thrill seekers, beware! I made a scan, then tossed the sorry plastic scrap away. To see it in its celluloid glory, catch Cupid. And to see more of the quads on the small screen, keep an eye out for a mid-year series called Turks (See "Chicago Journal," p. 15).

Staying Power: In the June/98 "Editor's Notes," we bade what we thought was farewell to our three College workers. Now one of them is back on our masthead for good: Qiana Johnson, AB'98, is our new editorial assistant. Qiana comes superbly qualified for the position: First, she changed concentrations 21 times in the course of her College career, showing a breadth of interest that's de rigueur for an editor. But while she changed majors with astounding regularity, she worked for us throughout her undergraduate years, which means she brings to her "new" post a wealth of experience. Besides editing the "Class News" sections, Qiana will be writing for almost every department and helping us keep our records straight. We're glad she's "back."

Local Lingo: As a service to first-years, the Maroon published "The Unofficial U of C Glossary," from "Admin" (the bureaucracy and the building) to "Zombie" ("See also Tiki") in its O-Week issue. As a service to possibly out-of-touch readers, the Magazine reprints a few definitions:

"Deconstruction Deconstruction isn't. It doesn't exist. But its presence will make all of your papers more interesting, and you might get a stodgy prof to spit cigar-stained invective at you.…

Hugo French author, famously of Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.… Northwestern Northwestern University. Where half your relatives think you go to college.…

Lifer Any of the surprisingly high number of Hyde Parkers who never made it out. Lifers of note include Dean of Student Services Ed Turkington, classics professor James Redfield [AB'54, PhD'61], and director of the Reynolds Club Bill Michel [AB'92].…

UIC University of Illinois at Chicago. Where the other half of your relatives think you go to college.…"

More on the College: Three times a year, College alums and parents of College students receive the College Report. To celebrate fall, and to remind other alumni and friends that the College is neither Northwestern nor UIC, we're sending this year's October edition to all alumni.-M.R.Y.

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