Beautiful outside: sunny with a slight breeze. One problem is the humidity. Being out of shape means that I’ll try a prolonged walk and wonder why I’m sweating, having some difficulty breathing, tired. And then there’s the wildlife, which is back with a vengeance. It only took a week or two for wood roaches and ants to be back in full force.
I’m in Irving, TX, near campus. Not much to do in the vicinity without a car. With a car: good sushi (Midori), some decent chain restaurants (Friday’s; Genghis Grill, h/t Joe Connole; Red Lobster), and of course Starbucks. But having a nice place to hang out or walk around without spending money and eating too much?
I’ve become sold on Dallas as a city more and more. I hadn’t realized how walkable it is before. Get on Main Street and you can walk from Dealey Plaza to Deep Ellum. A few more blocks in another direction there’s an aquarium I have yet to explore. In yet another direction there’s two art museums, the DMA and the Crow Collection of Asian Art. Thanks to Tim Haglund (thag), I can even recommend a restaurant: Tuk Tuk, where lunch was inexpensive but very well-done. Walk even further into Uptown and there’s the Crooked Tree, which isn’t just an awesome coffeehouse, but the sort of thing campus is sorely missing.
Anyway, it looks like I’ll be camped out in the library this weekend. It’s just funny to me right now, for this reason. Mr. Connole and I are reading through Machiavelli’s “Prince” and musing on the significance of a would-be prince living where he rules (“live there,” as de Alvarez translates, the rough significance being that otherworldly forces or anything mimicking them can’t be trusted to rule). It looks like a large amount of the learning I’ve been doing this semester has merely been exploring the environs. Later I’ll tell you what life on campus has been like, and what trade-offs I think we’re making in terms of education as an experience. Some of those trade-offs are very good: a bit of youthful exuberance can be traded for some more discipline, certainly a ton more knowledge. Some of those trade-offs are very bad: it is easy, for whatever reason, to get trapped on campus and left entirely to one’s own devices.