Saturday, November 3, 2007

Day 2

Things that happened on day two:

  • I chewed the end of my pen into a delicate, fluted curve.
  • I smugly recalled why I love chalkboards so much more than whiteboards as markers once again proved their inferiority to chalk.1
  • I sat in very crowded rooms in which there weren't enough chairs. All the people sitting on the floor eventually wished they were standing against the back wall, while all the people standing in back wished they had a bit of floor for themselves.
  • I heard Richard Rodriguez give a great keynote address over lunch.
  • Walking into the large ballroom for that same lunch, I noticed a marked difference between the sound of the hundred or more people talking and, say, any high school lunchroom. A school cafeteria's roar is sharp, full of peaks and sudden flares, the sound of individuals furiously claiming their individuality. It is a battle of wills and decibels; it is oppresively loud. The sound of this room was still a roar, but it was a soft one, a muted congregation of voices taking turns, taking interest, taking time. It was no adolescent standoff of one-upmanship or perish but a calmer, cooler quiet-loudness, not the waterfall or the rapids but the deeper swell of the river on the plain. That, or it might have just been the carpet eating up the reverberations a tile floor might have aplified.
  • I met a girl from BYU who had come apparently on a whim and an opportunity, a girl whom I'll codename "L." One of Pat's students, L hung out with Joey and I for most of the rest of the day. The three of us went to Subway for dinner where we had one of those vast conversations of great breadth and depth that make you remember how much you've missed having vast conversations. L was delightfully lucent and lucid in her opinions—especially once she became comfortable with us—and she showed in her eyes and smile that great confidence of a thinker.
  • Also in Subway, I recognized and reminded myself to write down how much I love getting a fountain drink and, instead of filling it up all the way with ice and soda and then capping it with a plastic lid and straw, merely filing it up a third or so with something and then sipping it straight from the cup. Love it love it.
  • Also in Subway I noticed an Iron Maiden song playing in the background and thought of Steve.
  • Sitting in the car outside of a gas station while Joey called our hosts on the pay phone, I looked over and noticed the trip odemeter had reached 611 miles.

1This reminds me of one of the great pranks: the "Magic, Unerasable Chalk" (otherwise known as a white crayon, carefully dusted and left in a chalk tray).

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