Life in Omaha (in Scottsdale)

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Good and the Bad of Tempe

The lovely liberal town of Tempe has passed a no smoking policy that prohibits smoking inside public establishments. Such ordinances are fabulous, in part because they keep my students from firing up during class, and spilled coffee is much more humorous than ash burns.

This morning, I am lounging in the Architecture building on its very nice second story veranda. I overlook a stylish courtyard with a very cool temporary art installation of colored burlap, canvas and other fabric stretched between buildings. I love the buildings that house the art and architecture faculty because they are visually interesting. Even the bland ones are covered with sketches, blueprints and models. I used to do most of my studying at the Design Art Architecture and Planning building at Cincinnati. At ASU, the building is one of the newer ones, with a Michael Graves-ish quality to it. The balcony is shaded by stretched canvas and lots of tropical plants, with a tile floor and columns along the outer rail. It's one of the nicer, quiter spots on campus. I'm sure you have followed me to my point: I'm surrounded by frickin' smokers! The ugly offshoot of no smoking ordinances--choking clouds of tar and nicotine at any outdoor cafe, courtyard, door entryway, and park picnic table.

Forget trying to regulate the smoking industry to minimize damage. Let's mandate that they ramp up any and all cancerous chemicals in their sticks to lethal levels--I mean, more lethal levels. Kill 'em off sooner so the rest of us that can read a warning label can get on with our lives in peace and fresh air.


At 6:29 AM, Anonymous Katrina Woldseth said...

Hi Scott! I'm sorry to hear about the smoking situation . . . a similar law was passed in Lincoln and they are having exactly the same problem.

I lost your email, so I came here to ask if you would still be able to write some letters of reccomendation for me for grad school? If you are too busy and don't have time I understand, I'm just asking early to give people plenty of time. I've already applied to Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, and I still have to submit applications to Ball State and Syracuse. I would love if you would be able to write reccomendations to the latter two schools.

Just let me know either way, my email adress is If you decide you are able, you can leave your mailing address, and I can send you the forms. Just please don't feel any pressure, I understand if you don't have time, as I know these forms can be quite a lengthy process.

Are you enjoying Arizona? Katie Spicka mentioned to me that you were teaching at ASU, how is that going? We are in the process of hiring the new English professor for next year, it's a lot of work, but I hope we are able to find somebody good in the end. We deffinetely missed you this year! I didn't have any English courses left to take this year, but a few other students told me that it just wasn't the same.

I love the photos of Ciela, the chef costume is very cute . . . she seems like she is a lot of fun. I hope everything is going well for you, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Take care,
Katrina Woldseth


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