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William C. Altreuter
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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Sunday LCA had to do some work at the UB Library, so I took her out there. This goose was sitting in the middle of the quad between Capen, Norton and O'Brian, at the top of Flint Loop. I see by this handy map that this location is known as Founder's Plaza. It had a friend with it Sunday morning-- perhaps its mate. It was still there yesterday afternoon when I arrived for class, and when I left, and it seems safe to assume that this bird has decided that it is by g-d going to nest in this spot. You'd have to look pretty hard to find a stupider place on campus for a goose to do this. The UB campus is set-up with clusters of buildings surrounded by parking lots nestled into a large expanse of green space that is largely unused and mostly inaccessible. There is a small artificial lake on the other side of the academic spine, and a creek beyond that, but the spot where this goose is squatting is about as far away from water or greenery as it is possible to get. It is still chilly, so a lot of people are still getting around using the various tunnels and elevated walkways that connect this Brutalist vision of a campus, but it is warming up. The women are starting to wear flipflops to class, and the men are starting to wear shorts because the warm weather season here is so short that people pretend it starts earlier than it really does. The goose is sitting about 20 yards from where the UB bus (it is called the Stampede bus these days) discharges passengers. Capen is where the main administration is housed, and the undergraduate library, and some classrooms, including mine. Norton is where the large lecture halls are housed. O'Brian, of course, is the home of the law school. The goose is, in other words, smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest pedestrian areas on campus, a spot that will only be busier in the coming weeks, and is showing no inclination to move. As people walk by it hisses at them, and there are traces of, uhm, goose residue, beginning to accumulate. This could turn into a situation, and I'm wondering how it will play out. Does the university need a permit to roust the goose from its roost? Will it cordon off the area and allow the goose to raise its family in peace? UB is demonstrating its characteristic opacity on the goose, to this point.

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