Monday, September 11, 2006

From Fossils to Fashion

I went to my first Paleoanthropology class yesterday. Before the class I was as nervous as a young gazelle wandering through a pack of hungry lions. Once I arrived I calmed down a bit, the professors seem friendly and enthusiastic but still quite intimidatingly knowledgeable.

One professor went to get a piece of chalk out of a narrow deep cup and remarked “you have to be a Daubentonia to get this chalk out”, and it took me a minute, but then I laughed. He was referring to the primate called an Aye-Aye who has one strange long thin finger for the purpose of extracting termites from a tree. So this is the kind of geek humor that goes down in these classes, it is kind of charming if you get it.

After class was over and Joe and I went to the Marc Jacobs fashion show for Fall Fashion week. Joe built the runway and set.
The set was beautiful and lit in a magical way. The music was Pachelbel's canon, which contributed to its surreal dreamscape feel. The clothes were interesting, the shoes looked uncomfortable, the models walked like robots. The show lasted about 25 minutes if that, very short especially considering the work that went into it. The people around were elitist and strange and I felt out of place in my Target sweater.

What a weird day I had and I rummaged around for commonality between the two events. The common ground is passion for what you see as purpose and humans are the focus in both. Also, both groups of people are so deeply immersed in their very narrow, specific world. But mainly the connection that I saw is that the right person’s opinion can grow into a crowd of hungry supporters, both in science and fashion. Its just one person’s idea of what is right or what is beautiful.

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