So things have gotten a lot worse here in downtown LA in the last few years- I just didn't know how bad until recently, when I saw this sign on the Red Line of LA.
Things are different here as well. There's now a Gold Line going into Pasadena, and suddenly, the East Side is no longer isolated. I can take the train everywhere, and it takes only an hour and a half from Long Beach to Pasadena. Suddenly L.A. seems like all the other major metropolises in the U.S.
Inbetween visiting my dad, little brother, and friends, I've also gotten a chance to see a few other memories.
The Armadale House, where IV was centered at Oxy, my undergrad. Troy Burgers, with 10% off for Oxy students, just off campus. It used to be called Clancy's, named after the woman who ran it for 50 years, but now they just call it a cafeteria and student center. There's a brand new science center, but the Biology Building, where I spent most of my time studying, remains. There I got to talk with my former Marine Invert professor, Gary Martin, who was a great encouragement in my struggles with evolution and intelligent design. I told him I hope he never leaves Oxy- he's my last real link to the campus, with so many professors having left, and the RV Vantuna that I worked on now gone as well.
Oxy has a number of nods to modern kinetic art, including the famed Star Trek Fountain, so called because it was used in Star Trek III: Search for Spock. (It's at the end where they are returning Spock's Katra to him on Vulcan.) Oxy is a beautiful campus nestled in the heart of LA, right next to Hollywood, so it's been used for a number of famous films and TV series, including Real Genius, and I'm ashamed to say, the college years of 90210.
There's a Herrik Interfaith Center and Memorial Chapel here. It was a chapel my first year there, but then, they realized it hadn't been a Christian college for 60 years, and so changed it. Unfortunately, the alumni hadn't kept up, and there were a lot of complaints from them.
To facilitate this change, the crosses that were on top of the sides of the building were removed, so that it wouldn't appear too Christian. That's understandable. However,the building is still in the shape of a large cross. So, multiculturally, they chose well: architecturally, they chose poorly. And I discovered, after 16 years, if you look closely at the white image above, the mark of the crosses remains. Hmm.
Then on to Fuller. An incredibly beautiful campus, with some intriguing new sculputes as well.
In the center of the campus is a prayer garden, with a small stream running through, perfect for contemplation. I ended my visit there with another helpful conversation with my former Islamics professor, Dudley, as he gave guidance concerning difficulties in applied anthropology, with so many in the country I'd been in against that ideology. After three years of struggle, it's good to be reminded that I hadn't been alone.