Not-So-Quiet Campus

One can already begin to feel the summer rhythms on the Wesleyan campus. During the day the science labs are filled with Hughes Fellows as well as other undergraduates busy with research projects. Yesterday I met with Professor Scott Plous, whose Social Psychology Research Network is an extraordinarily active webportal for resources in this field. The website that Scott and his small team have built (with support from the National Science Foundation and other sources) now gets more than 100,000 hits each day! I also got together with Jay Hoggard, a superstar vibraphone player and Wes prof just back from a concert in the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Many faculty are on their way to archives, libraries or other data sources, using these precious summer months to gather information for their projects. I see other professors heading to their offices where manuscripts wait for further attention. At the end of the summer, books and articles emerge…

The summer months are also the time for some of our major facilities projects. We are making Crowell Concert Hall much more accessible for our handicapped students and visitors, which is a major undertaking. We are also renovating research and teaching labs in the chemistry and physics departments. And everyone will be able to see the newly painted dome of the Van Vleck Observatory on Foss Hill. Less visible will be the many energy conservation projects we’ll complete before September.

In the late afternoon frisbee and soccer players take over Andrus Field. With World Cup fever sweeping the land, there seem to be more and more folks gathering to kick the ball around. Last night on an evening stroll Kari and I came across a couple of poets here for the Wesleyan Writer’s Conference. Each year poets, prose writers, publishers and editors come to campus for readings, workshops and convivial information sharing. Now in its 54th year, the Writer’s Conference, led by Anne Greene, manages to combine the inspirational and the practical in just the right measure.

Earlier this week we saw Professor Jonathan Cutler with a group of students on the porch of my old stomping grounds, Alpha Delta Phi. They seemed to be having a great time.  Mathilde ran over to say hello. Little did we know we were interrupting a class in our new summer session! Jonathan and the students had their materials on the table, probably trying to concentrate on the social construction of reality (or something like that). The small summer classes offer plenty of opportunities like this for intense focused work in small groups.

Calm perhaps, but hardly lazy months of summer.

[tags]Scott Plous, Social Psychology Research Network, Jay Hoggard, Wesleyan Writer’s Conference, Anne Green, Jonathan Cutler[/tags]