Church and School (August)

Firstly: I have spent the last week working on a LEGO cathedral. Pictures can be found here. An explanation of sorts:

So when I was a kid I had a decent number of LEGOs and liked castles. So I built towers; at first just stacks of bricks with people on top, then with staircases and somewhat reasonable dimensions, then with multiple floors and a large wall attached, two feet wide and maybe a foot and a half tall all told. I always wanted to make an entire castle, with four walls and four towers in the corners, but I always figured I didn’t have enough pieces to build anything that large.

Then last summer I realized I could just buy $100 worth of LEGOs and that, combined with the by now quite large number of LEGOs I already had, would be enough to build such a castle. So I built it. How big is it? If a LEGO minifig were 6ft tall, the walls would be 35ft tall, the towers 45ft tall. By way of comparison, the Tower of London is 90ft tall.

So I had this castle. The problem was, it was a blue-and-white themed castle, meaning it used up most of my blue and white pieces but not many of other colors. So I had an overabundance of reds, blacks, and yellows. Thus, I decided last week to build a red-and-black cathedral. I finished today. It takes up less ground area than the castle, but is considerably taller; if a LEGO minifig were 6 ft tall, the ceiling would be 55ft tall, the belltower 105ft tall. In comparison, the towers of Notre-Dame de Reims are 267ft tall.

Two comments:
1) I was tempted to build a Baroque church rather than a Gothic one, but… the peak of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is 452ft tall. A LEGO-scale model of St. Peter’s Basilica would by about 8 feet high and take up almost my entire bedroom. I’m not that ambitious.

2) I might try to build something huge out of yellow bricks next summer, but probably not. There’s really nothing that looks good in yellow.

Secondly: It is now August. I’m just wrapping up my Summer II course (Calculus III), have three weeks of free time afterwards, and then school starts. My goals, for the next month, are essentially:

  • Finish reading William Faulkner’s Snopes trilogy. I started on this back in June and still haven’t gotten through the second book, which is the slowest I’ve gone through a book in a while. I need to finish it!
  • Read at least one more article, and perhaps one more book, about Gerard Manley Hopkins in preparation for Junior Poet (the big English major project for fall of junior year).
  • Get at least some other reading done – I have two Gene Wolfe books and the poems of T. S. Eliot checked out from the library, but haven’t gotten anywhere with them, and am twenty pages into a book about the public domain.
  • Finish the rough draft of chapter one of at least one of my two secret book-length projects. (I have chapter one of Project1 planned out but not written, and chapter zero of Project2 is written, I just need to start on chapter one. Writing two books at once perhaps isn’t wise, but they’re both pretty fleshed-out ideas, and after I’ve thought about one for a few days my mind goes back to the other, so I figure it’s best to work on both at the same time. Or at least, it can’t hurt.)

So that’s what this month looks like for me. I think that since I have consciously pulled myself away from the Wesnoth project – I no longer actively develop either Wesnoth or Orbivm – I’m going to discontinue theming each month around a Wesnothian character. From now on, just a boring explanation of what’s to come in the month ahead, with a fictional character (not specifically Wesnothian) listed only if one comes to mind immediately. None do right now, except for the main character of William Golding’s The Spire, which I never actually finished reading, insofar as that book’s about building a cathedral.


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