Table of Contents
Send a Letter
Magazine Staff
Back Issues:
UofC Magazine
Editors's Notes
Chicago Journal

Class News

Books by Alumni
For the Record
Center Stage
Alumni Gateway
UofC Homepage


Meanwhile, in the top-floor University Theater lounge, Cassie Bissell, a third-year gender studies concentrator, shows off the recent redecoration of the attic-like space, painted in two tones of lavender and covered with at least five years’ worth of performance posters. Irene Hodes, a second-year concentrating in general studies in the humanities, plugs her directorial adaptation of Tony Kushner’s A Bright Room Called Day, scheduled to run during the ninth week of spring quarter. Sinking into a secondhand sofa, second-year anthropology concentrator Jenny Connell reads Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors by Susan Sontag, AB’51. Next to her, Josh Knorr, a third-year Law, Letters, & Society concentrator, opens the free press to the Behnke interview.

In their own cluttered office, two Student Government members assess the previous day’s “Fun-In,” where students offered free pizza on the quads in front of the Administration Building and raised concerns about issues ranging from student health insurance and housing to changes in the Common Core. Amid leftover flyers and posters, fourth-year Abby Chua, the SG vice president of student affairs and a Law, Letters, & Society concentrator, says that by co-sponsoring the “Fun-In” with about 14 other groups, SG hoped to “foster student involvement in the process of changes under way at the University, raise awareness among students, and prompt discussion.”

Nearing the start of afternoon classes, the C-Shop’s Shake Day line grows. Taking advantage of the traditional $1 Wednesday deal, Monzia Moodie, a second-year chemistry concentrator, orders a chocolate-chip-cookie-dough milk shake topped with the works—wafer, whipped cream, and cherry. He’s followed by two varsity softball teammates, first-year catcher Jen DeLopst and fourth-year center fielder and economics concentrator Amy Still. DeLopst downs a mint-chocolate-chip shake en route to her job in a gene-mapping lab, as Still opts for cookies-and-cream before heading off to econ. “Coach will just love that this is our lunch!” laughs Still.

While the morning on campus may have been devoted to a collective awakening, the afternoon finds College students engrossed in their work, spending hours in the studio or lab.

Across a Midway soggy from the night’s rains, 20 undergraduates gather in Midway Studios at 1:30 p.m. for Advanced Sculpture 282 with Herbert George, an associate professor in the Committee on the Visual Arts. The studio—a year-round winter of white dust, paint, and plaster—takes on an ethereal quality in the muffled light of the graying day. The students present their latest creations, referring to a list taped to a door of 14 “Elements of Sculpture,” which include mass, surface, and scale. George gently prompts a debate over what the students’ nonrepresentational sculptures may, in fact, represent. He then leads the class outside to view a sculpture composed of a winding, vertical succession of metallic circles. Elodie Guez, a second-year art and English concentrator, slips out early to make it to Gothic Anglo-American literature. Gathering her portfolio, she allows of the art class: “We’re a small group, but we all love it. We’re really into it. This is a break in my day.”

There’s art and creation of a different bent to be found at the five-year-old Donnelley Biological Sciences Learning Center—whose modernity offers a stark contrast to Midway Studios, a National Historic Landmark.

Along one of the BSLC’s many corridors hang Arthur Lidov’s paintings Biological Clocks and The Digestive System. In one spotless room, about 20 students construct scientific family trees during their three-and-a-half-hour lab for Ecology/Genetics/Evolution 192, the lecture class of John Flynn, the Field Museum’s MacArthur curator and the associate chair of the University’s Committee on Evolutionary Biology. Huddled around Macintosh screens, first- and second-years enter characteristics of sundry mammalian skulls into a computer program. They’ll use the program to create a matrix that will help them form hypotheses of evolutionary relationships among different species, explains teaching assistant Karen Koeninger Ryan, SM’97, a biological sciences graduate student. Later, she says, they will compare the species using molecular data.

In the late afternoon, students emerge from their cloisters. Despite a return of clouds and chilly winds, dozens head to the Midway to let off some steam.

During a muddy practice of the rugby club, third-year Marc Skeist, an anthropology concentrator, plays the lock position, while second-year Bill Sensakovic, a physics and math concentrator, tries to hold onto the ball as a wing. The women’s ultimate Frisbee club team sends disks sailing as the men’s team stretches. In front of Harper Library, not far from the bronze statue of Linnaeus, first-year Kate Lister suits up to play goalie for the field hockey club team, with help from teammate Nina Wu, a second-year “psych or international studies” concentrator, and coach Pat Sayre-McCoy, a Law School librarian. On the next rectangular patch of green, an independent team known as the Hitmen, with hair dyed red for the occasion, defeat Dodd-Mead House’s Soccer Hooligans 2-0 in intramural soccer. Dye runs in rivulets of sweat down the neck of fourth-year economics concentrator Bruno Raposo as he walks off the field.

It’s now 4:30 p.m. The sun shines through the clouds as it starts a slow drop over the quads. Back in the C-Shop, first-year Jennifer Berg sets up her laptop to work on an art-history paper that, according to her assignment memo, must be about “any Chinese object from the Song (960–1279) through Qing (1644–1912) dynasties.” Pierce Hall dormmate Colleen Peterson, a second-year English concentrator, checks out the laptop before heading back downstairs to work on the Chicago Weekly News, a student-run newspaper.

Across the quads at the Albert Pick Hall for International Studies, a Kosovo teach-in organized by graduate students starts to break up. It’s been nearly a month now since NATO began bombing in the Balkans. In the Pick lobby, second-year Andrea Pastor, who’s concentrating in psychology and English and is a member of the campus chapter of the War Resisters League, talks about upcoming events with other activists, including first-year Peter Frase.

“Besides my opposition to war in general, I believe that the humanitarian pretext for intervening in the Balkans is false,” says Frase, who’s wearing a backpack. “The reason for the intervention has to do with NATO wanting to exert its influence in the region.”

At 6 p.m., everyone seems to be scurrying in the direction of food. A few blocks northwest of campus, resident head Jane E. Barden, AM’91, returns to Maclean House after walking her two chocolate Labradors—Jofi and Elwood Bluesdog—with third-year Sabrina Saraf, an economics concentrator. In the lobby, all four shake drops of drizzle from their coats. Then Saraf and first-year John Flack head up to Maclean’s communal kitchen, equipped with six stoves, four sinks, two industrial-size refrigerators, a large freezer, three microwaves, and 100 storage lockers. Both sniff the milk for freshness before Saraf christens a pot—bought with Barden on an afternoon jaunt to Kmart—with Kraft white-cheddar macaroni-and-cheese. Flack prepares a bag of Wei-Chuan vegetable-and-pork dumplings.

On the walk back to the central campus, flashes from an approaching storm backlight Hitchcock Hall. The Reg is refuge for second-year Liz Corken, a psychology concentrator, who reads John Stuart Mill’s Subjection of Women for a social-sciences core class. A floor below, second-years Stephenie Takahashi, a biology concentrator, and ponytailed Rachel Knipe, a chemistry concentrator, read Mill as well.

Outside the Reg’s east entrance, it’s the kind of night when it wouldn’t be surprising if the campus gargoyles took flight. The eerily quiet sky takes on a purplish-blue hue, carving a chalk-white silhouette in stone of Bartlett Gymnasium. The Tribune’s prediction of “a stormy mid-continent clash” of “dueling air masses” appears to have been all too accurate.

If the gargoyles did swoop down, they would fly to the equally dramatic music coming from Mandel Hall. Under the direction of conductor Barbara Schubert, the 100-piece University Symphony Orchestra rehearses William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast for a reunion weekend concert. Assistant concert master Anna Naples, a third-year anthropology concentrator, plays her violin across the stage from her fiancé, fourth-year biology concentrator Johann Ohly, who plays the Testore reserved for the orchestra’s principal cellist. Along with the other musicians—many in sleeveless shirts and sandals—they perform for an audience of strewn-about coats and empty instrument cases. But, eyes closed, it’s not hard to imagine an orchestra of pressed jackets and shined shoes and a packed house full of ball gowns and tuxedos.

Perhaps a sequel titled “A Night in the Life of the College” is called for. When the Magazine’s 12-hour walk ends at 8 p.m., the campus grounds grow darker and quieter just as more rooms in more buildings brighten. At Ida Noyes, the evening’s schedule lists a rehearsal of the UC Dancers, a meeting of the science fiction club, and a DOC Films showing of Raging Bull. The Reynolds Club’s Wednesday night slate includes meetings of the Swahili Circle language club, the SG, the South Asian Students Association, and the Glass Eyeball photography club.

Later, the dorms will likely be full of students reading one last chapter, writing one last paragraph, or checking one last e-mail before going to bed. The lights will finally go out long after the Magazine has closed its notebook and capped its lens—and, in some cases, about the time Gwen McCoy starts heating up tomorrow’s breakfast tacos.

Table of Contents | Send a Letter | Staff | Back to the UofC Magazine