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Big Brother Is Moving You

A (somewhat confused) Insider's Guide to a Peripatetic University


One of the favorite insights of contemporary social analysis is that modern society is increasingly transient. People today seem to be lacking both roots and direction, constantly searching for the good life, the American Dream, or the Holy Grail.

Many of the New Nomads band together, roaming the countryside in loosely organized groups, terrorizing their neighbors as they look for a place to hang their dusty boots. One explanation frequently offered for this phenomenon of peripatetic organizations is that while many of the groups are formed by individuals seeking relief from the insecurities of modern mass culture, others are actually being moved by some unseen bureaucratic force, which has an ulterior motive in stimulating constant movement. See Erik Von Daniken's discussion of this theory in Chariots of the Gods.

Harvard has not escaped the effects of this social movement. Consider, for example, the experiences of the departments and groups detailed below.

1. All the freshmen are moving to the Yard.

2. Social Studies will leave Putnam House for the basement of Hilles Library. Some Social Studies tutors are happy about the move. Others...well, they're singing the "Subterranean Homesick Blues." They'll get used to it.

3. The Center for International Affairs has to leave its present home so the Semitic Museum can fully move in. The CfIA and several other international studies programs are moving into 1737 Cambridge St.

4. Before that rather controversial move occurs, however, the Economics Department--or at least the part of it that has offices in 1737 Cambridge St.--will move out. The Ec Department eventually will move into Littauer, to join its other half.

5. First, however, the Government Department, which currently takes up a lot of space in Littauer, has to move into its new building--which should be completed sometime in the next few years. Maybe.

6. While the Ec Department is waiting for the Gov Department to move, and after it has been forced out of 1737 Cambridge St. by the international studies programs, it will move into a building across the street or Canaday Hall.

7. That building, however, is the site of the proposed Biology Laboratories for which funds are now being raised. So eventually the biologists and biochemists will move into a still-unbuilt building there, displacing the horizontally mobile Ec staff.

8. Speaking of the Ec Department, it makes sense to mention David S. Landes, Goelet Professor of French History, who is moving from the History Department (Robinson Hall) to the Ec Department (somewhere, over the ...).

9. The General Education Office, now located in 1737 Cambridge St., is not moving to the Quad, but for a long time it looked like it would.

10. Were you wondering why Social Studies was moving out of Putnam House (see number 2)? The Radcliffe Child Care Center, currently located in the basement of Larsen Hall, is being moved to Putnam House to free up more classroom space.

11. Speaking of child's play, the Oxford St. Day Care Center, one of Harvard's seven, is leaving its present location because of increased radiation emanating from a cyclotron located here. If you see any radiant kids around...

12. Hillel, as you may have noticed, is moving--or rather, has moved--from 1 Bryant St. to 47 Mt. Auburn St.

13. While we're talking have-moves, an awful lot of people have left Cambridge entirely for Washington, D.C. It happens every four years, kind of like lemmings.

14. And then there's the Byzantine Studies Center, which may or may not be leaving its spacious residence at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C. for less-palacial quarters in Cambridge.

15. Last of all, there's the mailbox at the corner of Mt. ?---Auburn and Plympton St. It wandered off, and appears unlikely to return.

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