Bulletin No. 8

Day 4, night

There were two No. 7s by accident. I could go into a long statistical thing about the number of hours of sleep triangulated around the number of mistakes made in a given 29.6 hour period, but as you’ve probalby realized, it would be a lot of BS.

I would also like to apologize if you’ve gotten anything twice, or if you’ve missed some. You can let me know and I’ll try to remedy the situation.

Down to business: the SAS Occapation of Jessup Hall is now officially online!!! After some fiddling around, I’ve managed to hijack the phone line down here in the basement (mostly a matter of having the right cord, it turns out), so I’ve been catching up like crazy. We were thinking we should just get a computer up here with the UISAS website up permanently, but I’m not volunteering mine. (After all, we’ve been getting Warnings About Our Safety lately. We find this rather humorous. Then again, we’re starting to find many things rather humorous, which is perhaps the thing about being in a situation with so many dire issues at stake).

But enough on that for now: I’ve got some actual news for y’all.

Today continued with teach-ins like crazy, more handing out of flyers outside, more administrators avoiding us altogether or shooting us dirty looks. We’re all tired and a lot of us had been in the same clothes for days and eating random food and generally just feeling like we’re getting nowhere–not, I should add, that we have any plans to give up. Ha.

But this evening at 5 we had a rally. We had a BIG rally, 250 people or so, including (and this is the really kick-ass part) a busload of steelworkers who came in from Des Moines. Forty or fifty union guys from out there got on a bus and rode two and a half hours out here _just to come to our rally_. They all came filing in together (’cause we started inside, around the time we figured Mary Sue Coleman was sliding through her bathole) and you could just feel the energy level rise.

The rally moved outside for speeches, MC-ed by Heidi, who started out by asking for shouts from all the different groups represented. My God! It was amazing. COGS-UE (the grad student union, who have been terrific about letting us use their office and are generally a nifty bunch of people whom I’ll be joining next year) had their own little rallying cry going: “Who’re we? UE!” And the steelworkers–wow! Not to mention all the other unions who’ve come out, and various current and former City Council members (some of whom came to visit us yesterday, too–shouts out to Karen Kubby, Steve Kanner, and Irvin Pfab!). I should mention that the City Council has decided to do some looking into where City apparel is manufacturing. (Or did I say that already?) Anyway, we’re spreading.

Well, we all made a lot of noise outside of Jessup, and we heard some great speeches–a few notable lines (sorry for the lack of attribution in some cases; I’ll happily add it if anyone can remember):

  • Back in my day, the teachers taught the students. But nowadays, it’s the students teaching the administration!
  • And what is the definition of a corporation? A body without a soul! (Greta Anderson)
  • Thanks again to the steelworkers! (Everyone)

We even got a new old labor song, specially adapted for us by the guy Patrick Hughes from the Iowa City Federation of Labor (sorry I’m blanking on names again!!!)

And then Heidi said, “Well, we’re thinking about taking a little walk, since we haven’t seen Mary Sue all day. . . want to go over to her house?”

Aww yeah.

So we all marched the five or six blocks to her house, chanting about Mary Sue=Kathy Lee and the old standbys of Hey hey, ho ho, sweatshop labor’s got to go (changed by some to “has to go”–probably the same people who changed the Pennsylvania state license plate motto from “You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania” to “Keystone State,” whatever the hell that means) and Workers United Will Never Be Divided and Hey, Herky, take a stand, living wages we demand and of course Here, there, everywhere, sweatshops make your underwear!

Campus security was on site when we got there, so we all stood carefully behind the dotted line and made a little more noise (that little is a dramatic understatement, just in case that wasn’t clear). Tons of cars honked in support for us. And Ned made a fantastic speech. He said (as best as I can recall):

“I think we scared a lot of people on the way over here. And I think the reason that we scared them is that they know we’re right. [Cheers] Everybody has to draw the line somewhere on this issue, and we’re drawing it RIGHT HERE. [And now you’ve got to imagine the way we’re all standing spread out in front of the President’s house, which is this big mansion-type affair with pillars and red brick and all–I think it looks like a Southern plantation home, actually.]

(NB this next part is really paraphrased–I wish I had a tape of the real thing) “We’re not trying to cross over the line into disorder and violence, but we are not going to give up until our demands are met. That’s where we draw the line.”

“We’ve got a busload of steelworkers from Des Moines who came in today just to show solidarity with us. And I understand that they’re having a rally out there on April 29th to mark the anniversary of the second year of their strike, and let me tell you, SAS will be there with you on April 29th!” [HUGE cheers].

He talked about our sit in, about us talking to classes and students and using the time-honored methods of passive resistance and managed to hit that exact note between militancy and civil protest that we all strive for, the one that gets everybody fired up with out making anyone explode. I’m feeling so frustrated right now because I’m realizing the total inability of print (or pixels, if you want to get into that debate, which I recently wrote a whole article about and I’m actually getting kind of sick of it, but more on that later) to express the power of a really good speech–and Ned’s was the culmination of a whole evening full of them.

He ended, though, by saying, “For now, though, I’m going home, which for me means Jessup Hall.” And we cheered assent.

So we marched back, and on the way the steelworkers met up with their bus, and we all went around shaking hands with them. I had tears streaming down my face at that point, just telling them how much it meant to us to see ALL THOSE PEOPLE coming out to support us (and they’re steelworkers! I mean, that’s like the coolest of the cool!–at least to us bookish liberal arts wimp types). I told several of them, as I’ve been telling people over the past few days, about when I was 9 or 10 years and my mom took me shopping for school clothes one fall. I was trying on a new pair of jeans, and as I took them off, deciding that I liked them, she pointed out to me the union label and told me about why it was there and what that meant. Since then I’ve learned a lot more detail about unions and their history and all, but I still remember that day–it’s as vivid a picture in my head as the time I had a magician at my birthday party when I was seven or the day in August of 1990 that I moved back to Iowa City when I was fourteen and my best friend called me up and asked if I wanted to go to a meeting that night about opposing the stuff going on in the Persian Gulf.

So we waved the steelworkers off with a chorus or two of “Solidarity Forever” (we have got to learn the lyrics) and came back home.

Now a number of us have had the opportunity to go to our other abodes and shower and pick up some new clothes, and everybody’s pretty mellow (although actually I’ve been down in the basement working on e-mail stuff for the past several hours, so I’m not really sure what’s going on.

I had a great conversation with one of the janitors down here–she’s totally behind us. And someone from one of the business offices down here said some kind words to me on her way out. That’s the kind of thing that keeps us going–that and the steelworkers, of course. I’m sorry to keep bringing it up, but they made our day. Really really really.

So that’s what’s going down around here. For those of you who’re in NYC, let me mention again:

Demonstration at Niketown
Sunday, April 9 at 11 am
57th Street and 5th Avenue

We’d love to hear a report–and if any of you heard anything about the one in Boston today, we’d love to hear about that, too. I’ve heard we were mentioned on WNYC and briefly in the NY Times, so maybe the national press is picking up on this. But keep your eyes peeled and let me know–it’s good to hear from you all, as I’ve said. Thank you SO MUCH again for the e-mails I’ve gotten, and I’m sorry if I haven’t responded to you personally. But I often read your stuff to people, and it makes us feel warm and fuzzy.

Yeesh. I’m thinking maybe I ought to get some sleep.

Solidarity!

Laura

Bulletin No. 6

Day 4, 9 am

Ned just delivered the Gazette to Deb, who is still in bed (she’s quoted in it, it would seem). “Oh thank you personal slave,” says Deb.

“That’s right,” I said. “We have no spokesman, but we do have personal slaves.”

KRUI‘s been playing that song about “gonna smack her when I see her.” We tend to agree. (Figurative smacks only, of course).

Dave’s live on KRUI! Our message is goin’ out to the masses! He’s talking all about differences in monitoring and sounding intelligent and much more together than anyone who’s spent the past 3 days on the floor should.

In other media, this morning’s DI is a riot. CEO Coleman wrote a guest opinion all about the usual crap and how she hoped that we’d be part of the solution blah blah blah blah blah. Then, right next to it, was Jim’s column, a sort of expansion of the thing he sent to the listserv, where all the questions are answered with “I too share your concern. I think that this is a very important issue. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.” Etc. Except this time instead of just answering sweatshop questions this way, she answered all questions like that–from educational funding to racist e-mails at the dental school to the Tiger Hawk logo.

And so another dawns at the SAS Occupation of Jessup Hall. (I do love it when we answer the phone that way). General plan for the day: more teachin’, more preachin’, more getting out the word, and then a HUGE rally, which may be taking a little field trip. (After all, fresh air is good for us). There’s a possibility that Holly and I may go over to West High at some point, but given how loved we were by the administration when we were there, we’re not sure how well that will work.

Dean Jones just stopped by to tell us we had to post guards during the night because we could not assume that everyone who came in here was our friend. Duh. He then repeated himself about eight times. I swear, these adminstrators, they’re all like broken records.

I’m gonna go get some more of this mailed off. Keep those e-mails coming. Keep on rockin’ in the free world.

Oooh ooh! The KRUI DJs are just chatting about us and how cool we are and how we’ve bucked generational apathy and how human rights are important, and all that.

11:20 am

I got to answer the phone! The chick from West High called and said she’s going to bring a posse over here to get some learning this afternoon, so that rocks. Ever since then I’ve been teaching. We had a great African history class come in and talk about the ways in which the US has produced the conditions which lead to sweatshops in other countries, and the legislation (something like “Opportunity and Growth in Africa Act”) which would allow that to spread to Africa. More of that fun doublespeak–“fair” labor, “opportunity and growth,” and, of course, President Coleman’s “respect” and “concern” for our issue.

Now I’m really going to get some more of this sent off. We will overcome, dammit.

And the latest, just as I’m typing this up–apparently we got mentioned on the radio, WNYC. Right on!

L.

Bulletin No. 7

Day 3, 10:20 pm

Head count: 5, plus many more at a meeting elswhere. The walls have ears.

People downstairs (Steve Kanner has arrived) are playing Tibetan music, which is cool in theory but is actually annoying me, so I’ve come up to the Geography Department lounge to write. I want to go over to Weeg to check e-mail and send some of this shit out, but someone needs to stay here to hold down the fort.

I don’t really know what’s going on.

What’s going on. I think someone brought a Marvin Gaye tape. How odd.

All that energy that I had last night, all that sense of world-conquering power–I wish I knew where it went. Am I just exhausted? I don’t know. Am I too principled to belong to any movement? That would be troubling indeed.

I’m fascinated by the concept of movement, of a movement. Is a movement necessarily all the same time in a single direction? Or is it the way Sam Turner always described the New Bad Things–a whole group of people singing the same song, but all with a different idea of how it should be, and all singing it simultaneously–a tower of Babel sort of thing. Being moved by the spirit and all that.

I think maybe I am just tired–which would make sense, what with my whole 2 hours of sleep last night.

I can’t decide what to do.

I think I’ll call my mom.

Bulletin No. 5

Day 3

5 pm

Many have left to go to the Day of Silence rally. I have stayed to hold down the fort.

7 pm

And many did stop by. I had a great conversation with a girl named Rebecca, all about the efforts I’ve been making to educate the campus about the history and purposes of civil disobedience and nonviolence and all that good stuff–that we’re not just here ’cause we wanted to take over the administration’s building, dude–that we’re here because we want to be an education to the campus (wow, that Pericles stuff can really stick with you. Of course, here I am alluding the Funeral Oration left and right without mentioning things like, oh, say, slavery in Greece. But, as Mr. Emerson says, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds). Right.

Things are pretty mellow right now. Dave put Liz Phair on the stereo pretty low, and we were chatting briefly about the appropriateness of my favorite line from this album, the one I quote to you all the time: “It’s nice to be liked, but it’s better by far to get paid.” Damn straight.

But, while I’ve got the time and it’s fairly quiet, there are some other things I should talk about–a little change of pace from the humor and philosophy, I guess.

First of all, thanks SO MUCH to all of you who have e-mailed me over the past few days. I know I haven’t replied to all of you personally, and I hope you won’t take offense either at that or at the hasty, scrappy responses that I do get sent out. But know that your words are appreciated, that they’ve given me strength of purpose, and I’ve been doing my best to pass that on.

The energy is high here a lot of the time–so many of the students we’ve talked to have been amazing. Again, hundreds came through today, stopped to hear about sweatshop conditions and the FLA and the WRC and the lack of responsibility on the part of administrators. But we’ve also had to deal with the continual–I don’t know how to say it except wrong-headedness–of the administration. Mary Sue Coleman and Anne Rhodes won’t even talk to us anymore. Those who will continue with the party line, which is to be expected, I know, but after a time of talking to them you start to feel that you’re nothing but a pingpong ball balancing on the top of a water jet at a fair. You know you’re right, you know that the facts are on your side, that history is on your side, that everything that counts is on your side. But it’s hard. It’s hard. You’re sitting here in the same clothes you’ve been wearing, in this building with all its gold lettering and formality, and you’re tired and you haven’t showered and you’re eating the weirdest collection of food you’ve ever had, and here’s this administrative type in a suit, who slept in a bed last night, and who’s pulling out every older-and-wiser-than-thou stop they have. There are times, I admit, when I think it would be simpler just to go on letting them run the world. Paternalistic benevolence can be a powerful force, particularly when it comes to brainwashing.

And there’s the issue I brought up earlier, I think–the question of how much resistance we’re practicing when our civil disobedience has been sanctioned–we’ve been allowed to remain in the building. Of course, we get lectures from Security every day about how mature and wonderful we’re being, what good little boys and girls we’re being. At times we despair. Morale is difficult in the trenches, even when you’re on the side of good–maybe even especially then. I don’t know.

So do keep those e-mails coming–and please e-mail/fax/call the administrators at any and all of the SAS schools that you can. I’m sending along a list of all the calls for action that we’ve received as of last night–and let me tell you, I know this is a partial listing. If you’re in NYC or Boston, I know there are rallies planned for this weekend–if I find out more specifics, I’ll send them along, but keep your ears out. Also, my fellow Vassarites–as you’ll note, our school hasn’t joined the WRC. I seem to recall that we did sign onto the FLA around the time it was started last year. Is anything going on on campus there? We want to hear about it. And please, also, if you run across any national news coverage of this, we’d love to hear about that too. We get morning paper deliveries of the locals around here, but given our position and the amount we have to do, we don’t have the time or ability to check CNN or the New York Times or Nightline or whatever else. So keep your ears and eyes peeled, and tell me what you hear.

Thanks again to all of you who’ve written, and those of you whom I know are thinking of us. It DOES make a difference.

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around,

Laura

Bulletin No. 4

Day 3, 8:30 am

Rise and shine and give God your glory glory. . . or give the administration hell, or whatever. Someone came in around 7 I think and turned the main lights on. We groaned. (Those of us who went to bed about an hour before that were perhaps particularly audible). But now I’m up and awake and raring to go, even with out coffee (yet), though it’s coming, along with breakfast courtesy of the Hamburg Inn. They ROCK MY WORLD!

So: this morning’s DI reports that the second day was “calmer” than the first and that Mary Sue Coleman feels she’s taking a “cautious” position. Our man Ned is right back at her though: “You can’t meet halfway on the issue of human rights. There is no middle ground or compromise; you either respect human rights or you don’t. At this point, remaining in the labor association is going to allow sweatshop conditions to continue and corporations to be shielded from the discovery of this exploitation.” What more is there to say, really?

Various staff folk are walking through, not looking particularly pleased with the situation. Go figure: Mary Sue Coleman gets her private hidden entrance, wherever that is, so she can avoid us and feel safe, while the grunts who work in this building have to deal with us. The whole system–even the architecture–is set up to make it hard to get at the people you really want to.

But back to the DI for a moment–right underneath the picture of the march past Mary Sue’s house there’s another headline: “City says ‘time out’ on apparel pending review.” Thanks to Steve Kanner, the City’s decided to look a little harder at where the clothing it orders comes from and just how it’s produced. Quoth Steve, “I thought [UI Students Against Sweatshops] brought up some good points, so I thought we should look into what the city does. The movement empowers the community.” The movement empowers the community. That’s what it’s all about. It’s not about divisiveness or trying to alienate people or piss people off–it’s about showing that we DO have a say in the way things work. Each person does have a voice, and, as Eddie Moore says, “the choice to watch or interrupt is ours.” Or, as Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed in all the flyers put up around campus for Human Rights Week, “It’s always the right time to do the right thing.” The idea, you see, is that that should apply not just to a week but to all the time. And when you remember that you have that voice, and when you claim it and use it, you realize that the very act of speaking, of interrupting, is a revolution in itself. Telling the truth is always revolutionary, especially in an atmosphere where there is a conspiracy of silence. These halls, and the good old neoclassical architecture of this Pentacrest, echo and reverberate pretty well. Those ripples have reached the city–let’s just hope that they are ripples felt round the world.

Okay, enough of the philosophy–you guys probably want to know what’s happening, too, huh?

Well, it’s 9 am now, and the Breakfast Support, Coffee Support, and Paper Support teams have delivered their goods. Ham and cheese and just cheese sandwiches from the Hamburg Inn (with 2 kinds of mustard to choose from! though actually I’m not a mustard person, but I appreciate the gesture) and coffee from brave souls who went out to fetch it. I am a much happier girl now that I’m armed with some good dark roast. The aroma is itself empowering.

We’re planning more teach-ins, more letter-writing, more just plain presence. Holly and I are waiting to hear from our old high school–we might go give some presentations out there today. I’m gonna finish my breakfast and go see about finding a phone line.

It looks like Ned’s talking to someone in the Office of the President, or at any rate he’s stnading in there and looking impassive. Mary Sue Coleman actually decided to walk through the hall this morning and said good morning. Ann Rhodes just walked through, no comment.

More later,
Laura

Bulletin No. 3

Day 2, nearly Day 3, 5:49 am

It is much closer to dawn than I want to think about right now, even given daylight savings time and all, but this may be the only time I really have to write here, and I want to get some impressions down.

Heidi, Daniel, and I just got back from the computer center [aka Weeg] a little while ago; Heidi was making a flyer for tomorrow; I was starting my local media bombardment campaign, and Daniel was along for moral support. The door prop had been moved when we got back, and we pounded like you wouldn’t believe, thinking that everyone was fast asleep and dreaming of a brave new world, but it turned out they were just scared we were the cops. Ned finally ran up to the third floor, saw it was us, and let us in.

Now everyone is asleep–as asleep as you can get in this place. It’s hot in here–I almost think that maybe they’re trying to sweat us out. And there’s some huge machine behind the walls, part of the circulation system or the heat or what, I don’t know, but it makes a throbbing, pulsing noise that you can feel in your breastbone, almost as if it were the heart of the building. But it’s not: we are.

While we were at Weeg, we ran through Heidi’s e-mail accumulated over the past day, almost all of it from the USAS listserv. It’s not just us and Purdue, it’s all over–and spreading like wildfire. Kentucky, Tulane, Michigan, Oregon, Yale, Wesleyan–they’re all holding buidlings or camping out or hunger striking or something, and I know there are schools I’m forgetting. This movement is national, and though the national media haven’t picked up on it yet, we know it (thanks to the wonders of modern technology). But sitting there, reading all those posts from all over–somebody compiled all the letters asking for support and sent them out in one mass e-mail–we felt it. All over America right now people are sleeping, but some of those people–a critical mass of those people–are college students and supporters, camping out on lawns and in libraries, in hallways and on doorsteps, demanding change, demanding a voice, demanding a better world.

I’ve been reading a lot of history about student movements of the 1960s lately, partly to refresh my memory, partly for inspiration, partly for what they might have to teach me. I know these weren’t the only student movements ever, though–I was talking to a grad student here today who told me about stuff going on in the ’30s, fascinating stuff, stuff like leaving a campus to form your own. And that’s what we’ve done here: formed our own university, digitally linked to our comrades all across America. It’s pretty fucking amazing.

But the other thing that all this history has made me think about is how this current movement will play out in history. I’ve gotten a lot of slack from people about ’60s idealism run amok, and how do we think we’re going to be any different, and if we were older and wiser we’d know better, which I can only translate as, Get off our floor; you’re in the way; go back to your room. Yeesh.

I don’t know what the end result of this struggle will be. I hope it will be victorious. But there’s one thing I do know: this movement, this sit-in, will affect the history of each and every individual here tonight. What we did, how we felt, and what we thought during these days will be a part of the story which each of us forms about our life. I suspect it will be a signficant part of those stories. It certainly will be in mine. What we’re accomplishing here is not just an end to collegiate affiliation with sweatshop labor or a challenge to the still-paternalistic authority of the university system and the accountability of the administration: we’re learning from this. We’re learning about what it means to work together and fight together, what it means to try to educate people and mobilize people. We’re learning how to make it happen.

You can’t buy the kind of energy that’s fueling this movement, not if you combined the salaries of every administrator involved, plus all the outrageously exaggerated salaries of the coaches here at the Big 10 schools. If we win this fight, we’ll know that we CAN change the world. And what else, I ask you, do you want to teach your children, if not that?

In her book Heretic’s Heart, Margot Adler (now New York Bureau Chief for NPR) talks about her involvement in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement in 1964–the movement that established the right of students to organize on campus and to be treated as adults. It’s an astounding story, full of impassioned speeches and vivid pictures. But what is perhaps even more astounding is the story Adler tells about its 25th reunion–about men and women still flush with that victory of decades ago, still full of the energy and power that come from knowing you do have a voice and that you can change the world. These people, said Adler, were not the burnt-out radicals you so often hear about–they were good people still doing good work for the world, confident that their lives did matter and did make a difference.

That’s a pretty great story to be able to tell yourself.

In addition to the story of the group, however, there was the story of each individual. For Adler, the Free Speech Movement was a part of the work of her heritage–her parents were activists and she had grown up in a climate of radicalism and liberalism. (Oh, those isms). For others, however, it was quite different. For many, their involvement in the FSM became the story of how they broke from their parents, how they realized that complacency was not something they could tolerate, even in the affluent society. For all, however, it was a part of the story of how they grew up, how they became women and men.

I wonder about the bodies sleeping around me tonight. What will their stories be? At Weeg, Heidi was sending out e-mail and, inadvertantly, sent one to her father indicating that she was in fact a part of the sit-in. “Oh my God, my father knows I’m sitting in,” she said. Her father knows of her involvement in the movement, knows how much this means to her, but this sit-in will, it seems, be the acid test. My mother knows I’m here–in fact, she’s getting this update. She asked tonight if I knew all the people I could call if I needed bail or legal help while she was out of town. (Go Mom!) But nonetheless, my presence here tonight, the words which I’m speaking and writing, they all mark a transition for me, a moment of breaking away, or rather, of claiming something which was mine all along, which my heritage and my upbringing, from my father teaching me the Greek alphabet when I was little to my mom showing me the union label in my new school clothes and telling me what it meant, have given me.

It’s pretty damn amazing, I gotta say.

Well, it’s really time for me to grab a few hours’ sleep now. I’ll try to get this out as soon as I can.

Solidarity forever,
Laura

Welcome to the Occupation: Bulletin 2

Author’s Note: These notes are basically as I wrote them, though I’ve tried to fix some of the typos. If you note occasional departures from my usual air of studied calm and rationality, I ask you to excuse them on the basis of adrenaline and time of day. (Some of ’em are also really random).

–Laura

Day 2, shortly after 1 am

I’ve moved in! Things are pretty mellow about now–guitar music, grading papers, friendly conversation.

Heidi has passed out, and people are bestowing gifts beside her, sort of like offerings to the dead, except that of course she’s not dead (she’s WAY too cool for that). But she’s got cigarettes and cookies now, so she’ll be a happy girl when she wakes up.

We’re singing songs, a verse or two here, a verse or two there, from what we can remember of “The Circle Game” or “Joe Hill” or what have you.

Are baby carrots really baby carrots? Some maintain that they are actually huge carrots that have been wheedled down to baby carrot size. More corporate attempts to fob shit off on us. But we like baby carrots anyway.

Head count: 14, plus I think some in the tents.
Guitar count: 2.
Computer count: Not sure–3 I think.

“Buildings and Bridges” (with a bridge, of course, to get it in the right key and mood). Everybody’s singing along, at least on the dadadada parts. It’s so amazing–I have so many of these CDs here, and we’ve got the CD player, but fuck it, we’ve got a guitarist and voices, too, and that’s so much better. I swear, this whole thing is playing into my whole notion that this is a model for a better society. Sixties idealist windbag bullshit, you might say, and I would say, at times, but really. Really. Everyone who comes here will remember this. Even the people who just come in for a teach-in class, or just poke their heads in to visit their friends–I hope that they can see this.

“Can you change the words to ‘Have you lost your faith in Heidi?'” Ned asks Dave. Heidi’s woken up, accidentally bumped into by the guitar. “Yeah, I think that could manage that, actually.” He does. “I think that it’s easier to believe in Heidi Sabers, to believe in Heidi Sabers. . . .” Now we’re talking an SAS album. Ned’s commissioned his own theme song, to the tune of $100.

We’re discussing a new sign for the front door. Something indicating our occupation of the building. I want it to say “SAS Occupation of Jessup: Day 2.” I believe that we should restart the year, the way you do when you have a revolution. This is the second day of the new society, or at least the new university. Ned agrees with me, providing that all the philosophy doesn’t have to fit on the sign.

We’re all singing “Bye Bye Love” now–it’s a crazy time, I tell you. Now it’s “Walk Up, Little Suzy.” “Can you do a quick Logan Porter in his underwear song?” asks Ned, as Logan emerges from the tent wondering if the music could quiet down just a bit, since he was trying to sleep. We all have to get up early ’cause of the administration coming in, damn it.

There’s so much to say, so much to tell. Like the funniest thing that’s happened so far: today Ned was meeting with Mary Sue and the legal counsel guy, whatever his name is–he’s sort of a tall, vague looking man with hair of no color. Anyway, there they were, having this whole discussion, terribly serious, and then all of a sudden–a poster appears in the window–the one of the Devil spanking Mary Sue. Ned said he just lost it. Legal Counsel was not amused. Neither was Mary Sue, needless to say. I think Ned explained that we might be getting a little rowdy. Not exactly the best tactical move on our part, but it really was fucking funny as hell.

[Note to self: Why am I forgetting everyone’s name? What’s the first sign of early onset Alzheimer’s again?]

Greg Brown on the stereo now.

Yesterday, after she’d been carried out, Deb was almost ghostlike, her face a study.