Friday, June 21, 2013

More new adventures in academic housing, from Ifrane (Morocco) to Front Royal (Virginia)

2013.05.29 Ifrane Dorm room
Al Akhawayn University
I, it seems, travel more than the average bear (or librarian) and have had the luxury of spending time in some very nice places. I've also had the even more fun of spending nights in quirky hostels (The Nunnery, Melbourne), B&B's (Irving House in Cambridge, MA and the late lamented Edward II in San Francisco). But some of the best places have been academic housing where one can relive those carefree undergrad days (but without the negatives of all night next door keg parties).

In the past few weeks I've had two curiously congruent stays in academic housing, one in Ifrane, Morocco and the other in Front Royal, Virginia at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

In Morocco, I was a guest at the Al Akhawayn University. Attending the ICADLA conference at the end of May 2013, I had the pleasure of academic housing for a couple of days. Situated in the Atlas Mountains, the campus was a lovely "Swiss" village. The dorms rooms themselves were in a complex of small buildings, 2-3 stories tall (no elevators!). The rooms were very nice and functional and had desks with what seems to be the current trend in academic housing of wooden chairs with rockers. The single beds were comfy and all was nice and clean (plus a bonus super fast wired Internet connection!).

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After being home for a week or two, the Advisory Board of Smithsonian Libraries was holding a retreat at the Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Front Royal, Virginia. The SCBI is an animal breeding center and hosts a joint program with George Mason University in Conservation Biology. Rooms were functional and had the obligatory (it seems) rocker desk chairs; there were single beds that could convert to bunk beds (!). Only finished in late 2012, the rooms still had that fresh dorm smell!

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For past academic housing adventures see:

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