Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fairfield 13: Sprucing Things Up

In November 2016 I embarked on yet another two-week visit to Fairfield, Iowa, and the campus of Maharishi University of Management (MUM), where I participated in extended group meditation sessions. It was also a chance to catch up with several friends.

My usual place to rent a room wasn't available, so I did some online searching and found a great alternative. Here are two panoramas which together take in the whole room. Note the separate sink/toilet nook and shower; the shower is entered from the room itself. It works!
Lots of light.
If you need more space, the adjacent living room and kitchen can be rented at additional cost. I just needed a place with the basics. 

The view from that front bay window.
My traveling companions, Pork Chop and George, loved the scene.
Looking back from the street. It was a delightfully quiet place to stay.
For several days I saw this praying mantis hanging around the gate in the vastu fence.
It was a mild November, and getting up early to head to the Men's Dome, the Maharishi Patanjali Golden Dome, I admired many sunrises.
At first I thought I faced an indirect route to reach the Men's Dome, but my host let me know that there were communal paths through the intervening neighborhood. (This playback has been accelerated by 2.8 times.)

Seven months had flown by since my March visit, and a lot had been going on, the results easily spotted.

Just in front of the Argiro Student Union a miniature Vedic Observatory had been constructed. These come in all sizes, from tabletop to 1½ acres in Vedic City.
Here's a view of the center structure. The innermost ring denotes the visible planets, plus the rising and descending nodes of the moon. (The moon's orbit around the earth is somewhat tilted with regard to the earth's orbit around the sun -- otherwise there would be a total eclipse of the sun every month!)
The second ring lists the signs, such as Capricorn, etc., and the third demarcates the 27 or 28 nakshatras, or lunar mansions, one for each day in the lunar month. Lunar mansions appear in many systems of astrology, although I'd never heard of them until recently and they do not seem to be emphasized.

The campus road leading to Argiro from the north now has so much pedestrian traffic that it's been blocked off to vehicles.

Within walking distance of my room the expansion of North Campus Village continued. There's a waiting list for the townhomes being built here.

What about goings-on downtown? Well, the sushi joint Shokai now occupies the corner that had been Mohan's.
Mohan Delights was in the process of moving into a south-facing storefront on the square. They will have a west-facing entrance from the alley.
There's now a donut shop in the renovated but closed movie theater, where the lobby and concessions had been.
Repair and facelifting appeared to be the order of the day.
All around the square, and adjacent to it.

Back on campus, the bridge over nothing in particular, which had been in such bad shape that it was blocked off in my last visit, was undergoing renovation. I had to check it each day to see what the elves had done next.

New posts and railing, but no finials, and the little seats at either end have no top.
 Now we have a top to sit on.
 Finials going up.
These globes date from the original bridge.

It is good to be able to see the bridge at night.

The nearby bridge over Crow Creek has warning tape along the flanks of the entrance. Dead brush and trees are being removed, and until new plantings are made, yellow tape mitigates the risk of someone stumbling over the edge.
Saplings of several species had already been installed around the Women's (Bagambhrini) Golden Dome.
The stairway from the north parking area to Argiro was also bustling.
Storm water flowing down the steep hillside was undercutting the poured-concrete stairs. Plastic barrier sheets were put in place and well-anchored with stones.
The interior of the student union held some surprises and revelations. This is a view of the lobby.

This student-initiative poster in the lobby surprised me. Twenty years ago, even fifteen years ago, MUM administration was rather strait-laced, but now the University is moving into the same era as its students. (Click on the image to enlarge.)
Some things, however, will never change. This is an example from the food services feedback board.
There was one more surprise.
I'll wrap up this report with some odds and ends.

An electric car charging station next to the Sustainable Living Center.
A campus electrical map showing the two points to disconnect the Men's Dome solar panels from the grid.
A pig in the garden. Yay!
Moon and clouds, taken from the entrance to the Men's Dome.
There, I got through the entire post without talking about a particular election that occurred while I was in Fairfield. (I voted by absentee ballot.)