Submarine Time

When I was an undergraduate at SMSU, the design program was about a mile off campus, on the fifth floor of an old AT&T Bell building. The design majors were always getting kicked out at about 11pm when the building closed for the night. We would beg and plead, and sometimes eek out another 15 or 20 minutes, but more often than not we were kicked to the curb, licking our wounds and grappling with our T-squares and SyQuest disks on the way back to campus.

Here at CMU, the design building is open 24 hours a day. While that's been convenient for me, I've started to worry about the rabid work ethic that characterizes the CMU undergrads here. If I show up at Margaret Morrison hall at, oh, say three in the morning, chances are there will be communication design students roaming the halls. And not just one or two. They're right next door to the grad studio, and from the sound of it, whole herds of them are hard at work, whooping and hollering and generally exhibiting the symptoms characteristic of being awake at 3am with access to rubber cement thinner.

This is what it must be like aboard a submarine, with no real "night." Things don't shut down here. After a few months of working around the clock, it starts to feel normal. You start to anticipate people sleeping on the couches, wearing the same clothes from day to day and drifting bleary-eyed through critiques.

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