Tuesday, January 22, 2008

MLK Day in Chicago

We spent most of the day at the Reynolds Club so that Kristen could get her work done. In the morning, I had a chance to admire the ice sculptures that had been made to celebrate some sort of Winter Festival being held this weekend. (Kristen told me that she regretted missing the Polar Bear Run on Friday afternoon. Apparently polar bears run naked. Who knew?) They picked a good weekend for ice sculptures, since they had no chance of melting!

The whole campus is so beautiful--it's modeled after Oxford and Cambridge, so most of the architecture, even in the dining halls and common areas, looks like an old church. Gothic spires and arches everywhere.

At noon I decided to attend the Martin Luther King day service at Rockefeller Chapel. It was lovely, with quite intriguing readings from the Gospels, the Bhagavad Gita (Hindu) and the Koran. It's quite amazing how similar passages of the Bhagavad Gita are to the Bible. I also learned a lot of new things about Martin Luther King, regarding his emphasis on "civil" rights rather than the much broader "human rights" and why he had to do that. The speaker (Loretta Ross) said, "We've all heard that he had a dream, but did you know he also had a plan?"

In the early evening we ate a nice dinner at Pizza Capri on 53rd Street and then I went back to the Reynolds Club to knit and read in a lovely cozy lounge while Kristen met with her Corporate Finance group from 6:30 till 10 pm. They have enormous fireplaces in the dining hall and lounge area, with a constantly burning gas log, which creates an atmosphere as if you are in the 19th century (or maybe 14th)--except that everyone is plugging in laptops. The atmosphere is so earnest and quiet and intense. The room I was in isn't a library even, it's just a public lounge, but it was full of quiet intense people who spoke only in low tones to avoid disturbing other students--no one to enforce it, that's just how people here behave.

During the evening, it started snowing tiny flakes, which amounted to about an inch by the time Kristen called to say she was done. I wasn't able to take very good pictures in the dark through the window, but it looked lovely. I will try to take pictures in the daylight this morning.

The shuttle took us from the Reg library right to the door of Kristen's dorm. She is feeling good because she got applications for a spring break externship and a summer internship at Toyota in Torrance sent off and she got her Finance homework done. AIt was a really lovely day for me as well. I am so impressed with the atmosphere at this university.

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