Crescat Graffiti: The Word Cloud

After a couple weeks of off-and-on data entry, I’ve finally put together a Google Docs spreadsheet with all the text from the Reg graffiti collection, and a brief description of all the doodles.

More data crunching is coming in the days ahead, but I’d like to start things off with a couple quick-and-flashy word clouds, courtesy of Wordle. Click to see the full-size versions.

Graffiti text


A return to the B-level men’s room

I dropped by the B-level men’s room* to see if that glorious stall of nerdiness was still evolving, and much to my delight, it is alive and well. Building upon the first 26 entries, the stall now features 40 pieces of philosophical wordplay, though the numbering system has gotten off-kilter, so the numbers only go up to 38. You can see the whole set, here.

I’ve also created a page for the B-level men’s room graffiti with all of the transcriptions and updates in one place for easy reference. And now, without further delay, posts #27-39.

27. Comte your sense, people, and put away your pens!

28. Holbach your marks, you’re going to ruin the Staël! (Addendum: I’ve been Habermas self a good time reading this.)

29. Jeez, it stinks in here. Can somebody turn the Fanon?

30. Thank you all, I really like having something to Reid Weil I’m on the toilet.

30. If only I Caird … but alas, I have no Hart. [Underneath and referencing 22-26]

31. Good thing I found this place; I’ve been Bordieut of my mind. (Addendum: I can’t take y’Althusser-iously … you Kant even spell.)

32. Don’t you guys think you should work on your Sch(p)elling?

33. Can this go on for much Langer?

34. Aw, don’t get all Ryled up.

35. I’ve been Turing all the library bathrooms and this one is definitely Laplace to be.

36. [Mostly erased] Each one … and I don’t want to start and B- … but I’m now going to UN … and Hobbes’le out of here.

36. Sounds like somebody’s enjoying the Bachelard life, eh? [Referencing #14]

37. I also disagree that this is the most Parsons-monious answer.

38. I Ayn(t) impressed with all these Rand(om) thoughts.

39. Jeez, it stinks in here. Can somebody turn the Fanon?

* As mentioned previously, that isn’t the usual gender bathrooms I use. I went before the library opened, and figured– like last time– that no one would come in. I closed the stall door to make it easier to take pictures– lucky for me, because as it happens, someone did come in while I was in the stall. Fortunately, I was standing (feet pointing the wrong direction) rather than kneeling, and I was looking at a picture when the door opened, rather than taking one. I’m short enough that my head didn’t show over the top of the door, and I decided to just freeze and hope the person didn’t notice my female-style shoes. Indeed, he came in, washed his hands, and left; if he did notice, he at least didn’t say anything.

Graffiti of the Hutch first floor women’s bathroom

I’ll admit it, I don’t really like bathroom graffiti. It’s a pain to photograph– tight spaces, risk of people walking in, not usually the best material. The B-level men’s room of the Reg is a notable exception; if Crescat Graffiti gets a sequel, the B-level men’s room will get its own section.

Nonetheless, when Emilie Shumway tipped me off to a lengthy discussion taking place in the women’s bathroom on the first floor of Hutch, I was intrigued and went to check it out. It sounded like a good opportunity to answer the question posed in the B-level men’s room: “Perhaps one of you can tell me, are there these sorts of scribbles in the women’s bathrooms here? I would think so, but I haven’t heard anything.”

Sadly, the biggest similarity between the Hutch first floor women’s bathroom and the B-level men’s bathroom is the quantity of graffiti– and the men’s bathroom would still win using that metric.

Here’s the photo set that captures all of the graffiti in that stall. It can be summed up as a combination of graffiti telling people not to write graffiti, the typical responses to such a piece of graffiti, the usual bathroom meta-commentary (“Sometimes I feel like the worst part of college is having to poop without something to read”), some poetry that’s probably not going to win any awards, and a mad lib that is the closest thing the stall offers to something B-level-like. Which is to say, it references philosopher kings. That said, it also references toasters.

Is there something about the Regenstein Library, or the people who tend to frequent it, that leads to good graffiti? Certainly not all the Reg graffiti is equally good, but much of it is better than anything you can find in the Hutch first floor women’s bathroom. Do the same people write in both places? Or are the girls who drop by the bathroom on the way to get a burrito entirely different from the girls who write in the study carrels? Is it the difference between being surrounded by crappy fast food/cafeteria food and being surrounded by bookshelves? I’m not inclined to make any claims along those lines, but I’ll happily take your speculations in the comments.

The first piece of graffiti

While chatting with a reporter from the Maroon today, I was asked what the first piece of graffiti I took a picture of was. My memory failed me, but my Flickr archive had the answer.

I first started taking pictures of graffiti on September 27th, 2007, though I first noticed the graffiti earlier that summer. The timestamps indicate that the very first piece of graffiti was misquoted Nietzsche. Also in that first group of photos was a piece that I count among my favorites to this day, “I’m in love and it’s finals week“. The others were:

Of those five original pieces of graffiti, three of them (Nietzsche, finals week, and breaker of souls) made it into the book.

Stitch your own “Go to Italy, be a cobbler”

Camilla Neppl Huber, winner of the RegRemix contest, has kindly written up a pattern for her “Go to Italy, be a cobbler” design. If you know how to stitch and are looking for a new project, check it out– here’s the PDF. If you make something cool based on it, send me a picture! quinn – at –

Feel free to share widely!


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