Like many other places in this great nation, SCTIAHTAMU has recently been experiencing some hellishly hot weather. Although I'm basically pinging between an airconditioned apartment and an airconditioned archive (with the occasional intermediary stop in an airconditioned coffee shop), the two locations are more than a mile apart, so I spend about an hour outside each day, walking between them.
It's a rather pretty walk, straight across campus, and if I leave at 9 a.m. and cut through a few strategically-placed buildings for 90-second blasts of refrigeration, I can often make it the entire way without breaking a sweat. Heading back home at 5 p.m., though, is a whole 'nother story.
What's astonished me in the week I've been here is the number of people who seem neither dressed for nor bothered by the weather. I understand that those with actual jobs may have to wear long pants and button-down shirts, and that plenty of others probably manage to organize their day so that very few minutes are spent in the hot, humid, outdoor reality. I'm not talking about them.
I'm talking about the 20- and 30-somethings I see ambling through campus in 100-degree weather with virtually no exposed skin and in no apparent hurry to get anywhere. I almost fell into a fountain the afternoon I saw a guy strolling down a shade-less path in stiff black jeans, square-toed shoes, and a long-sleeved black shirt--clutching what appeared to be a cup of hot coffee.
But then, I got it: grad students.
Spring, summer, fall, winter--east to west and north to south--some things never change.