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CMU on Wheels

This came up in discussion over the weekend, because my girlfriend spent Saturday at a Alpha Phi Omega convention down in DC at Catholic University.

But ... I went to CMU in Pittsburgh for a year and a half, and I certainly made an impact. I was in the freshman guys dorm, Hamerschlag Hall. There's actually a dorm AND an academic building with the same name (go figure). My classes were a LONG walk away. To allow me more time to get to classes, I got rollerblades and would use those to get to class. Including into the academic buildings.

If you haven't been there, there's two buildings on the main academic quad (Baker and Porter Halls) that are attached to each other and have long sloping hallways. This design was to help with installation of assembly lines if the university failed. Mr. Carnegie hedged his bets there.

But I would start from my dorm on the top of one hill, zip across campus, in the front door of Baker and then zoom down that hallway pulling a tight U-turn to the left right into a lecture hall, weaving through whatever pedestrian traffic there was.

The rubber brake left long black marks on the floor if I broke too hard. I wonder if they're still there. I also once did a fly-by of my Economics TA who thereafter DESPISED me.

But it was the very next semester that they put up signs that said:


Not quite an honor, but certainly some distinction. I once rollerbladed into the Dean of Engineering's office, having preferred to be on-time for a meeting with him rather than go back and get actual shoes.

Those same rollerblades that got me in trouble also got me whistled at by the entire women's soccer team of the University of Pittsburgh while zooming down Forbes Ave. in front of the Carnegie Museum of Art. I consider that a more than fair trade.

I've always wanted to go back and finish out my coursework there now that I've got a lot of outside-of-class learning taken care of. Doubt it'll happen, though.

- Pookah


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 9th, 2001 12:36 pm (UTC)
Baker hall was where we stalked and met mega.
and Rick was drivin' down the halls on a scooter.
I wonder...
There were plenty of people with bikes in there.
and he claimed that they hold scooter races at night.
Scooter races.
Apr. 9th, 2001 12:49 pm (UTC)
Scooters, eh? One more flavor of the weirdness that goes on at CMU. At night there's a lot less foot traffic than during the day at change of classes and hence a lot fewer people to notice. Maybe they repealed the ban after I left. (Maybe they found a way to get the black rubber streaks off the floor.)

And that was where the stalking took place? Talk about "and wackiness ensues ..." Heh.

- Pookah
Apr. 9th, 2001 12:53 pm (UTC)
From the descriptions of cmu I've gotten elsewhere...
it doesn't seem to be my kinda place.
scooter races or no...

yeah. Have you heard the entire story of the stalking?
Rikki has it in her journal, not too long ago.
If you can't read her impossible colour combination...
I could retell it.
I really like that story :-)
Apr. 9th, 2001 01:19 pm (UTC)
CMU was my kinda place, but I was a computer major. With your interest in music and theater ... that Fine Arts department was SCARY. They were like CMU's version of the Hidden City in Beijing.

Stalking-wise, I caught her version of the story, as well as the accusations of lying she got from that random AIM person.

Retell if you wish, as I do enjoy stories.

- Pookah
Apr. 9th, 2001 01:35 pm (UTC)
so... is that a good thing or a bad thing? Hidden city, I mean...

Despite all the references I do catch, there're a lot I don't.

So it was the last week of summer...
and I was taking Rikki to Kennywood, 'cause we wanted to go somewhere before school started and my parents were free... you know the drill.
So we figured we'd get there middle of the day, stay afternoon and evening, go home.
We arrive at the park at noon to find that it opens at five, since most of the employees are college students... who might have to be in class until then.
so we decided that instead of giving up or going all the hour home, we'd hang at the carnegie museums.
Rikki and I asked if we could wander by ourselves.
Mom said 'sure'. She gave us a time and place to meet her.
Mwahahhah. We were on our own. we did spend some time looking around the art museum... mostly at the greek sculpture room and the giftshop. I just wasn't in an art mood that day. I mean, c'mon, I thought I was gonna be in KENNYWOOD by that time.
So we were talking (about guys... we're teenage girls...)... and we decided that we'd seen an unusually large percentage at the college campus we'd just passed. (I later found out that the male:female ratio at CMU is 3:2)
with no ado more than that...
we walked out of the door and down the street.
followed some people... very obviously, after talking to them first.
The first disappeared into a building after watching firemen training with us.
the second disappeared into another building after walking VERY fast.
The third directed us to a water fountain... we were thirsty by then.
That got us inside of a building.
Baker hall, actually, although we didn't know that.
so we were inside, and everyone seemed to be accepting us as just another people wandering around.
so we climbed some stairs and walked up a slopy hallway...
and decided that we wanted to know what college we were in.
I'm more willing to horribly embarass myself than rikki is.
SO we picked a target (mega and anthony, though we didn't know it at the time) and approached.
'hello... could you tell us what college we're in?'
'*weird look* do you mean what building?'
'well, that too.'
'baker hall, carnegie mellon university. what college did you THINK you were in?'
'we didn't know.'
'oh. What are you doing here?'
'trying to pick up cute guys *wink*'
we walk away and explore up two more floors.
run into rick. rrg.
Walk back down and decide to follow a pair of nice sideburns.
He turns around, and it's the same guy we asked before (that'd be mega)
We giggle.
we follow.
they split.
we follow mega.
I should get off...
Apr. 9th, 2001 02:01 pm (UTC)
No, it's not. They're like a separate college within the university with an emphasis on separate. They also held themselves pretty aloof, and mostly didn't even deign to slum with the rest of us technical majors. Like how the commoners were never even allowed to see inside the Chinese emperor's residence. Hence, the Hidden City since no one but the highest of the high and the mightiest of the mighty was allowed in, not counting the emperor's servants.

I sling references like Dennis Miller. If any get missed, just ask. I'll try to annotate the more obscure ones. No problem there.

Cool story ... the rest is history, I guess. Rikki and Mega seem gaga enough. And CMU's always had a skewed male-female ratio. 3:2's the best I've heard. Though us single guys would usually claim it was higher. We would try to adjust the balance at parties and such by "importing" visitors from Chatham (no guys) or Carlow (few guys) or Duquesne (few guys) or Pitt (many crass guys).

I hope the thunderstorm takes it easy on you, like parts the cloud around the house or something.

- Pookah
Apr. 10th, 2001 03:51 am (UTC)
I wanted to dance in the rain, which was sheeting.
Unfortunately, the parental units were standing by the door and forbade this.
But it was rainy...
importing people from other colleges :-)
Here's the sum total of what I know about Pitt:
The Cathedral of Learning is somehow involved.
Amy Watson and Sir Bobby Valvo attend.
Apr. 10th, 2001 09:13 am (UTC)
We caught the storm 3 hours later. Storms are definitely more impressive from my porch now than they used to be, since I can see more sky.

One more Pitt trivia tidbit for you. The Cathedral of Learning (or Tower of Ignorance to CMU-ers) is also featured as the old hotel in the movie Ghostbusters. At least for the exterior shots up the side of the building.

- Pookah
Apr. 10th, 2001 06:45 pm (UTC)
Would you believe me if I told you I have no recollection of the movie Ghostbusters?
I'm not sure if I ever saw it.
Apr. 11th, 2001 08:00 am (UTC)
Re: ah...
The first one was good. The obligatory sequel wasn't all that great. But the first one is definitely worth seeing. From Bill Murray trying to hit on a possessed woman to Rick Moranis being chased through the streets past sidewalk cafés, it's one heckuva comedy.

- Pookah
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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