George Mason University
Some might say this place made me a more educated individual and others might wonder what went wrong. For better or worse, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, this is my alma mater. I majored in Spanish and minored in French. In the summers of 1989 and 1990, I studied abroad in Nice and Madrid (I have individual pages on each trip). With one or two exceptions, I had good and competent professors. Dorm life was mixed throughout my time there. Because this campus has more commuters than most, from Friday afternoon through to Monday morning, the campus was a ghost town, reminiscent of the Johnny Cash song "Sunday Morning Coming Down." I made quite a number of good friends, many of whom I still maintain contact today and some are mentioned throughout these pages.
From seeing some of my other pages, some of y'all might not be too surprised to see me snap the clock tower at my alma mater. It wasn't there at the time I attended here. They put it up to spruce the place up right about the same time the Johnson Centre was built. It is at a crossroads between the Johnson Centre and 3 academic buildings. Behind the clock tower is the path which dips into a "V" shape from the academic buildings to the University Commons. Oftentimes, folks would go up and down that sidewalk on their skateboards.
Claude Moore Colonial Farm
This living museum is a reconstructed Revolutionary War farm.
Staff and volunteers dress in period clothing, work the farm and answer visitors' questions. The farm is located at 6319 Georgetown Pike, McLean. Phone: 703-442-7557
Foreign Language Department
This is where the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures is located. I majored in Spanish and minored in French, so I spent a lot of class time and met with my faculty advisor in this one building. Because the foreign language teachers know me the best, I come back here to revisit former professors. The majority of the lot were here 10 years after I graduated.
Horrible suburban sprawl?
In Georgetown (Washington, DC) while Urszula was doing window shopping almost a month before my visit to Fairfax I was talking with a middle-aged guy, met on a street, about places to visit around US capital. I asked him, among others, about Fairfax. As I remember well the very sympathetic guy was from Boston. He told me that Fairfax County is a synonym for horrible suburban sprawl and home to George Mason University, generally rather not interesting from the visitor's point of view.
Fairfax is an independent city forming an enclave within the confines of over 1 million people Fairfax County. The administrative division works quite different in the USA than in Europe. Passing through large urban area in Northern Virginia I never knew whether I was in Fairfax city, Fairfax county or maybe in Falls Church, Arlington, or say Alexandria. Drivers use number of exits and routes not names of cities/towns to navigate.
Now I know, Fairfax city and county being quite a rural community of farms and small estates in the early 1950s, grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s (including an almost 700 percent increase in population during the '50s). Today it is a highly urbanized area, a part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States after New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.