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Friday, May 24: Folklife

Thursday, May 9, 2024

UW Quad Protest

5/9/24 UW Quad

The day before USk Seattle’s outing to the University of Washington Biology Greenhouse, student protests of the university’s involvement with support to Israel started heating up. News reports said the pro-Palestinian protest encampment was still relatively peaceful, though, so I wasn’t concerned. I was, however, a naughty USk admin: After leading the group into the greenhouse, I went out to the Quad, where the encampment had been set up. I saw a good opportunity for sketch reportage!

OK, that’s what I told myself, but if truth be known, I just wanted to sketch in the sun. Two winters ago, USk met at the greenhouse when it was chilly out, so the greenhouse’s warmth was welcome. This afternoon, though, the hot, humid greenhouse was less appealing; I preferred 70-degree sunshine!

Even if my primary motivation wasn’t journalistic, I did find it an interesting challenge to tell the story of the encampment on a comics-like page (above). How different the Quad looked, covered end-to-end with tents, compared to the last time USk Seattle met there to sketch the fairyland of cherry blossoms.

After finishing that montage, I found myself suddenly hungry, so I wandered over to the HUB for a snack. I’ve been inside the HUB maybe three times since I graduated in 1985, and every time I’ve been shocked by how much everything has changed since I was a student. I open the same doors I opened nearly daily for six years, but inside, nothing looks the same.

Still, I enjoy the vibrant energy of the UW campus, especially between classes when students stream by in all directions. As I caught snippets of conversations, I realized not everything changes; students still talk about the same kinds of things.

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