Friday, January 27, 2012

flying over the handlebars

I'm not quite sure where this week's bicycle obsession has arrived from - though they certainly manage to penetrate frequently enough into my daily consciousness (ditto skateboards.  I'd be run over, if this wasn't so).  Here's one staring at a terra cotta carving on the wall of the student union: one of the series entitled "Student Activities." Designed by John Parkinson (1861-1935) and his son Donald (1895-1945) and executed by Gladding-McBean (the builders), these carvings depict "the scholarly and athletic pursuits integral to university life" - or so the official guide tells us.

Only what might these be?  Not anything featured in the James Franco Undergrads program, that's for sure.   This looks like some strange form of pole vaulting, involving a fence post and a bendy longbow, perhaps with some semi-comatose studious monks looking on.  Or perhaps not.  It's one of USC's architectural flourishes intended to convince us that we're in a serious seat of learning (and sport?).  

You will observe the sunshine: warm enough for dinner outside, tonight.  Is it spring?

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