Friday, October 17, 2008

333. Warm Welcome to the Donald Bren School, UC Santa Barbara: Paradoxical Existence in Transition

Above is a Picasaweb slideshow of images I took of the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, UC Santa Barbara. My new academic home. I have close to nothing to complain about! I wrote a rough draft of an essay entitled "A Warm Welcome to Bren, UC Santa Barbara: Paradoxical Existence in Transition" but that will be another blog. This slideshow is almost like an advertisement for an Academic Resort. Essentially, UCSB is like an Academic Retirement Home for the Intellectually Rich and Famous. Aka a Sink for Nobel Laureates at the End of their Lives. I suppose that's why our school's hype has been going from stinkin' MTV party school to "The Nation's Most Intelligent Party School." The media makes me wanna puke.

I wrote a few captions to go along with the images, so here are some of the captions below:

Blurb 1: I am not particularly enthused about taking pictures of buildings--unless if they are taken from airplanes--or I consider buildings to be the "clothing" or "bower" to human creatures--much like a bryozoan colony or a coral reef or honey comb structure--but I took pictures of my new academic home at the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management (UC Santa Barbara) for orientation and focusing purposes. These photographs are to compliment an essay I am currently writing entitled "A Warm Welcome to Bren, UC Santa Barbara: Paradoxical Existence in Transition."

Blurb 2: I love Oran Young’s lab! All the grad students are from very diverse backgrounds and are overall very chill people. The Young Lab is a “dry lab.” There is a Commons Table and lots of book shelves filled with interesting books on law and management and environment, etcetera. There are no strange pieces of equipment within the lab, like spectro-therma-pani-stetho-scopa-gadgeto thingamajigs that map atoms, measure protein reaction rates, record tissue metabolism, analyze water quality, design computers, map mountain ranges, or chart stars and galaxies. I guess our lab is outdoors mostly. We study human behavior… relative to the environment. If we need strange, expensive machines, we can borrow them from our friendly neighbors all over campus. I think Oran’s lab is question-driven, not machine-constrained. We will mix and match any possible machine that will give us the capacity to answer scientific questions, even a peculiar machine called the Common Sense of Our Own Brains.

Blurb 3: The Aesthetic Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, UC Santa Barbara. Hollow Interior of the Building. Optimized Space for Socializing. As if I am psychologically analyzing the Interior Design of Starbucks! Talk about intense competition for Study Niche Space!

Blurb 4 (from an email with Maria Gordon):
Hi Maria! Thanks access to the office! Woohoo! Home away from Home! It’s nice to be out of my room (in Goleta) once in a while. It was getting very stuffy in my room today. Tomorrow will be orientation to the Bren computers around 10am and I will coordinate my retrieval of keys around that time.

I do say. My first year of graduate school at UCLA I lived in “the basement” aka “the dungeon” of the Botany building. It had no windows and the fumes from the construction across the street would give me headaches all year round. At UC Riverside, my office existed within a paleontology lab extension room called “the closet.” Again, there were no windows. Roberto, a graduate student who just moved out of the closet, claimed that were potentially unsafe materials free-floating in the air and suggested I didn’t spend too much time in there. Thankfully now the whole interior of the Geology Building at UCR is being gutted.

I feel so wonderfully upgraded to the fourth floor of the Bren Building: a beautiful view that knicks the ocean and even an extra work out for the upper legs with four flights of stairs! I don’t feel I deserve this, but in the end, it makes me feel like a human to have a window and fresh, salty ocean air. And the ocean view is just a giant strawberry on top a huge pile of whip cream!

I think this environment will enhance my productivity greatly!

PDF for "Room Without a Window" is found here:

PDF for "Dichotomous Environments" is found here:

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