February 1, 2007 1:16 AM

I find a lot about life is about standing in front of or behind things. Would you rather watch and manipulate it from its bright point of convergence, or from its dissipated form as it generates a direction?

If you must know: I think my plan for next quarter is to take an introductory German course, a screenprinting/lithography course, and do independent (perhaps uncredited) work in the various scattered points of my interest (musicology, sociological sorts of bits, somewhat related to identity, performativeness, and digital representation). These decisions have a natural direction. If I learn German? Well, you know, there's that a place where they do much of that. Screenprinting? Perhaps that says something, as well. What I study is what I do.

I came up with a rather succinct way to describe the Olympia experience: "Meet neat people, twice!" You can only avoid someone for so long in a roughly 10-by-10 square mile area, where there is a lone liberal arts college where much of the population can be found on any given weekday. You'll very well meet them in a multiplicity of contexts. It isn't so bad, really. Newness, or an inviolable, frizzling density of strangers and Martian places, doesn't necessarily bring joy, any more than the revisiting of the same territory with slower, slight seasons, if one takes to it meticulously and with an openness to the familiar's rediscovery.