Twice in two days a photographer doggypleaded me to pose in his photographs of the new dorms at Reed. "It will take like five minutes," he assured us this morning. We stared silently back at him and uneasily at each other. We didn't know what we were going to do anyway but we were pretty sure that looking like liberal arts college kids for this guy was not it. "I'll buy you coffee. All you need to do is sit down or stand around over there." He pointed towards the new cafe.
The cafe was empty, as usual. New is bad when it is concrete. New is good when it is abstract.
We continued our conversation as he shepherded us into position. He reminded us of the coffee deal although no one was interested. In fact, when I met Greg that morning, I told him that this was the only morning so far for me on campus that I allowed the coffee in my thermos to get cold. I was on my way to pouring it down the drain.
As the photographer barked at his buddy to fill some empty space in the cafe and gathered more students, probably secretely pleased to have an alien excuse to keep them from their books (we can't figure out how to do this ourselves), he assured us that these pictures were strictly for the architect and would not be otherwise shared, "except with the school, maybe, and I don't know what they'll do with them."
I read the Times, and wished that he understood that we were cooperating, even though the irreverant dick in me wasn't allowing the communication. I just wanted him to stop justifying this before it got worse. I don't know why Reed hired architects that need to admire their final product with students articifially scattered throughout, but I don't think that was the case. The guy was just lying and doing his job. If I had called him out for it, I would be honestly voicing the way I felt about the situation, but I would have had to pursue this distraction even further, and recognizing him as a person meant sinking to his level, kind of like the United States talking to the Iranian terrorist Ahmadinejad.
Anyway, Reed is no place for that righteous bullshit, and I'll pose unhappily for what they call architectural photographs. I thought my cold coffee was something to be proud of. It really turned me around to be offered another cup.