I practically grew up on a university campus. I trailed my father to work as a little kid and he let me draw on the board in quiet cool classrooms down the hall from his office. As soon as I was old enough to walk the dog by myself, she and I explored all the gardens, corners, steps, trees, and walls of the university. One of my favorite memories of my dog was watching her run across the lawn and lick the face of a sleeping student, who woke up startled but pet her very nonthreatening head anyway. That dog was a charmer.
Most of the buildings were Greek neoclassical, but there was one Victorian hall down near the edge of the commercial district. It originally doubled as a natural history museum. There are names carved into the wall near the top of the building. They are: Huxley, Linnaeus, Aristotle, Darwin, Pliny, Humboldt, and other noted (all male) natural historians. One of my earliest memories of this building is when a feminist group hung banners out of the windows with the names of female scientists and natural historians.
Today I am thinking of the people who are in my own personal pantheon, who carved on my own Brooks Hall. As I come to what I really hope is the later stages of The Fucker, I think about the people who I want to emulate, respond to, and acknowledge.
Solnit, Macdonald, Strayed, Nelson, Cokinos, Flynn, Williams, Castro, Smith, Dillard, Walls, Mendelsohn, Fuller.
Whose names are on your hall?