Thursday, October 16, 2008

A day at Stanford


Yesterday I spent the day on Stanford's campus. I rode my bike to Caltrain, then rode to Stanford. Coming up Palm Drive was amazing, so beautiful, and it takes you straight to the main entrance. It's obvious that Stanford was very well planned. Then I made my way to Green Library, and talked to the guy at the front and showed him evidence of being a continuing education student so I could be allowed to pass through the pearly white gates. Then filled out paperwork to receive a shiny new library card.

The woman in front of me was pratically begging to gain free access to the library because she worked for a non profit, but DENIED. I felt like a golden key was needed to access the premises, but somehow I was able to get by with a temporary and fragile plastic one that can only open certain doors. I asked for some general information, and was guided towards the business school library. Pedaling around campus was like a dream, did these people really appreciate all that they have going for them? Their school is AMAZING. The views are AMAZING. The buildings are AMAZING. At Purdue we had 37X the amount of students on 1/5 of the land. And we were in the middle of INDIANA.

At the business school library I logged onto one of the computers as a visitor (Continuing education students do not have internet privledges or logins). They have similar research databases for market research as Purdue students have access to. I was able to get some good articles from Marketresearch.com through the stanford library website. However, I did realize that I was able to find more relevent articles by searching on Google that pointed me also towards marketresearch.com, but there listed were articles that I had to pay for that were not listed through the Academic version. Very disappointing.

But then I headed over to an Entrepreneurial Leadership Seminar open to the public, and heard a terrific speaker who is a designer and architect, and now a partner in a venture capitalist firm. Much of his lecture was on sustainability with very eye opening themes, and some interested concepts such as 'leasing recyclable carpet'. He is the author of a book titled 'cradle to cradle'. And at the end of the lecture, Stanford had deli meats and cocktail shrimps just waiting to be eaten. AMAZING. The only time we got snacks like that at Purdue was upon graduation. How differently things of the same concept can be...

And then I met a pretty interesting Architect who also attended the lecture. We discussed the lecture and other subjects, and it blended in with the current theme that I've noticed here in Silicon valley, how well educated and free spirited people are here. Its so simple to strike up conversation with someone here and have it full of substance. A quality that I haven't found anywhere else in the US, people here are very educated and worldly, you could learn so much just by wondering the streets and asking questions. (And I'm not talking about the "can you spare some change" kind of questions.

So I rode with my new friend a different route, toured Stanford some more, and their breathtaking campus, and ended up at another Caltrain station. The train was late, so I striked up a conversation with a Biochemist from Holland. And we proceeded to talk about sustainability and energy...and he wasn't even at the lecture...brilliant. Then we crammed our selves onto the packed bus with about 3 times the bikes that should have been, and rode off down the tracks.

Just another day in the sunny valley.

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