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Remembering the Earthquake - De File — LiveJournal
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Remembering the Earthquake
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alsoname From: alsoname Date: October 18th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
And wow. When I worked on the sixth floor of Eshleman (and there is more I could tell you about the significance of the proper spelling of Eshleman and the Daily Cal's location on the sixth floor, but not in a public entry), the rumor around the office was that Eshleman Hall had never been retrofitted and that if there was a big earthquake we might all die. That must have been scary!

So who was on the sixth floor of Eshleman at that time? I don't remember when the Daily Cal moved up there.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 18th, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
It was scary, but engineer and architect acquaintances explained to me later that what scared me was cause for feeling relief. I don't think there was any damage of consequence to the building.

Back then the sixth floor was the domain of the neo-60s left-wing groups that had flourished during the anti-Apartheid movement in the mid-1980s. I had fallen in with that crowd -- which was quite different from the Noam Chomsky-ish Let's Elect the Chancellor demographic --and had a key to the office at the far, western end.
alsoname From: alsoname Date: October 19th, 2011 06:46 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Yeah, you DO want the building to sway, not snap, but at the time it's happening I'm sure your intellectual understanding of that would go out the window, as it flies in the face of lizard-brain intuition.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 19th, 2011 07:02 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
The quake lasted only a minute, but it was one of those situations in which time dilates ridiculously. I really did think long and hard, albeit over twenty seconds, about whether being on the sixth floor would make survival more likely than being on the third. And then I concluded that if the seventh floor were concrete, I was going to be fucked regardless.

You're absolutely right about the lizard brain, though. Once I fell down into the interior wall that had just been on my left, it was hard to remain a mammal through and through.
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