“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” there were indispensible office products called “Wite Out” and its rival “Liquid Paper”. This was a time before there were any personal computers. This was some time between clay tablets and Apple’s iPad tablet PC. (“An apple a day” no longer just keeps the doctor away – it also keeps Steve Jobs well supplied with black mock turtleneck shirts, jeans, and a LOT of other stuff.)
BTW: Liquid Paper was invented by the Monkees’ Michael Nesmith’s mother and Michael, in turn, was instrumental in getting MTV off the ground.
Wite Out and Liquid Paper were used to cover mistakes on typewritten documents. (“Typewritten documents” are somewhat similar to what are now called “hard copies”.) Many senior professors today would not be professors at all had these handy little bottles of “correction fluid” not been around when they were grad students. Those products are still available, but demand has plummeted. No need to cover mistakes when you can just eliminate the pixilated image of a word on your monitor with the “Delete” or “Backspace” key.
I got to thinking about Wite Out this morning on my way to work as the first inches of the predicted foot of fluffy white stuff had already covered everything in sight. The winds are supposed to pick up, perhaps resulting in blizzard or “whiteout” conditions. The UIC campus has certainly been “whited out” covering parking lots, roads, sidewalks, ramps, stairways, etc. Facilities Management will spend most of the next couple of days doing its best to uncover these man-made pathways of Mother Nature’s generous outpouring of frozen white precipitation.
With the exception of the colors of the outerwear we wear as we walk between buildings, the wintertime campus palette is pretty much limited to concrete grey on the East Side, brick red on the West Side, and the aforementioned Mother Nature white on both sides and everywhere in between.
The Master Plan committees and consultants continue to challenge themselves as to the best options to expand the available array of colors and brighten the overall look of the campus. After all, this is Chicago. The school year for most of us is not the time when the trees and grass are all green and flowers are in full bloom. It’s now, when the campus canvas is blank.
Here are some of the ideas that have been discussed:
* Stringing mini-lights through the bare trees like those in the Quad
* Planting more evergreen-type trees and shrubbery that would retain their colors year round
* Replacing those concrete benches and trash containers with others which are more colorful.
* Repainting the campus shuttle buses making more use of the UIC colors
* Hanging big bright banners over some of the big blank exterior walls around campus
* Adding digital displays and signage at strategic locations
* Commissioning oversized ceramic tile murals
Things don’t have to be just black and white (and gray) all winter. Let’s get more colorful.
Question of the Week: Where would some color have the most impact?
Until next Friday…