Andrei Yuri

Excuse me, sir? Ma’am? Do you have the time? Or could you direct me to a clock that works? I know it’s not 1:35, 1:40 or 8:56; but it could be 11:15, 11:25 or 11:30. I’m not sure, and each clock in Cramer Hall offers a different answer. Are all of them off? Which one is right? Maybe I could take an average? Median? Mode?

Or perhaps I could call for the time. Ah, yes. The Oregonian has a time service.

Excuse me, sir? Ma’am? Could you direct me to a phone that works? Anyone? The payphone by Neuberger took my last four quarters, and I don’t want to risk losing any more.

You see, I’m a PSU student, and I like clocks, windows in my classrooms and library books published since 1970. Vietnam is interesting, but what about globalization?

Excuse me, sir? Ma’am? Could you point me to a water fountain that works? I’m a little parched and the fountain on the fourth floor of Neuberger tastes recycled. I recycle, but I don’t think the idea need apply to drinking water. I was always suspicious about the fountains being so close to the restrooms. You never know.

I’m a PSU student. I like water fountains, scholarships, campus employment and books newer than 1970.

Excuse me, sir? Ma’am? Could you direct me to a computer? Spring break approaches and I would like to visit an Italian villa or a Mexican pueblo … online. Seeing the sun on a computer screen refreshes my memory: bright, full, warm. How long is the wait? Five, 10, 15 minutes?

Okay. Could you direct me to a clock that works?

I’m a PSU student. I like computers, Internet, unlocked bathrooms, unoccupied tables, clean water and books current past 1970. Did I mention a real cafeteria would be nice?

Nice, but I’m a Portland State University student. My geology professor bolted out of Cramer Hall like a crazed rooster when the ground began to tremble from the Seattle quake. “You all can stay here and be pancaked if you like, I’m getting the hell out as soon as possible,” he said.

I’m a PSU student. I like good buildings, clean water, open seats, proper clocks, short waits, student unions, unlocked bathrooms, windows in my classrooms and tolerable desks. But those things go to schools with big football teams, lots of Ph.D.’s, healthy endowments, good state funding, scholarships and graduates without second jobs. In Oregon, those things go south to cultural, political and social centers like … Eugene and Corvallis?!?

I like my school and am glad that I go to PSU, and hopefully one day the people here will have those things that most big schools have. But for now, I’m going to follow the example set by my geology professor and run like a spooked rabbit at the first sign of shaking.