“Hmmm, not sure; maybe ask SISS.” This is a common response of mine when international students come to me with a question I can’t answer. SISS (Services for International Students and Scholars) is a central department on campus for dealing with international student issues, and as a very international-oriented campus many departments rely on them. A lot. They generally have the answers. They live in University House, which is, I’ll have you know, one of the oldest buildings on campus. It is also known as Temporary Building 8, which is a little rich since it is 105 years old, so not all that temporary. It’s older than the old Wembley Stadium. When it was built, the Habsburgs were still a big hit in central Europe, Britain had an Empire that stretched from the Hebrides to the Pleiades, and Ryan Giggs had just made his debut for Manchester United. It was part of the original University Farm. This building has a lot of history, and given its current use, it has a lot of geography too.
I sketched this in my Moleskine at lunchtime on one of the less sunny days this week (occasionally this happens in Davis, it’s rare I know), but had to finish the colours later.
(By the way I always hated that song, “international bright young things”, but the title seems appropriate here – though not all the students and scholars are young, most are pretty bright, probably brighter than me).