Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bay Area College Weekends

Boredom is never justifiable for college students living in the Bay Area. A quick trip via CalTrain or BART can get a south or east bay student to San Francisco in under two hours.

Or head east and wander the flea markets of Chinatown, where the gifts are cheap and the fortunes are lucky. San Fran's Chinatown is the largest outside of Asia.

For a day trip, hit up the Monterey Bay Aquarium a few hours south.

The Bay Area's possibilities are endless. For more suggestions, check out these Bay Area Attractions:

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Shoes At SCU

What are on your feet? 

SCU Alumni Exhibits Art in San Jose

For Santa Clara alumni Chris Eckert, dreams became reality in the form of haiku. The mechanical engineer-turned artist co-created “Light Haiku,” one piece of downtown San Jose’s current “Who’s on First, What’s on Second” outdoor public art exhibition.

(photo by Chris Eckert)

Eckert’s piece combines the sophistication of engineering and the art of Japanese poetry. A computer-controlled spotlight projects haiku, written in light, on a parking lot wall across the street from Gordon Biersch restaurant, at San Fernando and Second streets.

The entire exhibition features eight different multimedia art projects—including mechanical and sound sculpture—on temporary outdoor display between downtown’s First and Second Streets and between St. James’s Park and San Carlos Street. The aim of the public project is to liven up the downtown area and introduce residents to its unique sounds and art.

Eckert, of the under- graduate class of 1991, got his masters in mechanical engineering from Santa Clara in 1993 and worked as a design engineer in the Valley for nearly a decade before putting his skills to a different use and beginning to design automated sculpture.

“I’d always been interested in art,” said Eckert. After ten years in the mechanical engineering business, “I started realizing that it wasn’t quite right for me.” Eckert decided to go back to school, getting his MFA at San Jose State University in 1998. Now working full-time as a sculptor, Eckert says, “I’m lucky” to be able to do what he loves and live comfortably in San Jose.

Sculpture actually isn’t drastically different from the automation of mech engineering, Eckert said. “Light Haiku was very much a piece of automation that I built.” Eckert was one of several San Jose artists nominated to do a proposal of public art for the San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs.

“The interesting thing about public art,” said Eckert, “is how can you make something that no one can destroy?” It took Eckert a year to create the one-story high box mounted to a pole which houses the spotlight he calls his “Light Cannon.” The haiku itself was written by San Jose grade school students and one of Eckert’s colleagues, recording artist and poet pc muñoz of San Francisco, a graduate of the University of San Francisco.

“It’s weird—I spent a year on it, and yet if I did it right, nobody even knows its there,” Eckert said of his “Light Cannon.” Eckert’s spotlight allows passersby to contemplate the different haiku, such as pc muñoz’s, “surreal stillness/anticipatory vibes/something big coming.”

“Light Haiku” is on display from 7 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. nightly. It runs until February 15.

Eckert, who is always doing several projects simultaneously, is also working on mechanical sculpture, such as an automatic typewriter that writes and corrects the politically incorrect phrase that people used to use to test typing speed and accuracy: “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.”

Eckert encourages college students to follow their passion in life. He stressed the need to like what you do for work. For Eckert, as an artist, this means learning “to see the potential in things.” Even if that thing is as simple as a parking lot wall.

*Check out a review of the exhibit by The San Jose Mercury News.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Presidental Election Time!

Have you been wondering what the great minds of college students think about the upcoming elections? Well, on one particular campus, students expressed their very different and interesting perspectives.

1. Barak Obama- Because I admire what he stands for and his values. I also think that he is a respectable person and great public speaker. ~ By Stephanie Woitte, Senior , Communication Major

2. Hillary Clinton- Beacause she is a WOMAN! ~ By Jessica Williams, Sophomore, Sociology Major

3. Barak Obama- I think he will be like the new Kennedy. He stands for what i do on a lot of issues. And because i don’t like Hillary cause she is wishy washy with her stance on issues. She needs to also grow a set, and divorce Bill . ~ By Christine Andry, Senior, Communication Major

4. Ron Paul- I support a lot of his goals and desires. For example his goals to reduce big government spending, Slow withdraw of troops in Iraq, cure some Social Security issues, and reduction of National Deficit. Also transferring some powers from national and putting more in the States hands. ~By David McCoy, Senior, Finance and Economics Major.

5. Hillary Clinton- Because she has diplomatic experience and has the ability to actually make change happen. I think she will work well with foreign leaders and bring change in a real way. Also she is probably the most likely to beat a republican. ~By Briana Daley, Senior, Political Science Major.

6. John McCain- Because I don't like Obama or Clinton, and because he has a solid Military record and agree with what he says about foreign policy. ~By Ryan Wood, Sophomore, Business Major

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Lonely Freshman

There's a perception that college is supposed to be the time of your life, right? But we all know that's not necessarily the case. It's definitely not the case for one Loyola-Chicago freshman.

"I'm a freshman at a small private school in Chicago. It was my last choice, but I tried very hard to approach it with enthusiasm. However, I have no friends here. At all. I don't even eat dinner because I don't want to eat alone. I hate my classes. None of my professors even know my name, and they don't explain anything and the tests are insanely difficult. I can't motivate myself to study because I hate this place soooooooooo much. I cry all the time. I go home every weekend and work, under the guise of needing money, but really, I just can't stay here and sit in my dorm room all weekend alone."