Sunday, September 10, 2006


Campus, for those of you who'd been there in years past, hasn't really changed all that much. The main thing that took some getting used to was the fact that Steven Beering already has a hall named after him, the spectacularly ugly liberal arts building that stands on the former site of Education Hall, which was itself the site of a rather singular drunken breaking-and-entering event during my freshman year. Perhaps more on that later.

I couldn't bring myself to take a picture of Beering Hall on its own, seeing how ugly and poorly designed it is, so instead I thought I'd snap a pic of a prettier building on campus that is directly in front of it; the Recitation Building (Or RECITATION BVILDING, as its plinths read) is the place where all must live somehow through math classes. Beering Hall is the ugly pile of bricks behind.

Directly across the mall from it is this lovely flipboard display, which went up during my undergrad years. It seemed like the most impractical thing to stick right in the middle of campus, but some graduating class or other thought it would be a wonderful thing to offer the university an Amber Alert style sign that was sure to cost lots of money to maintain. In cold weather the glass would frost up, making it unreadable, or the blacklight would go out, or some such thing. As you can see the flipboard has been removed, and as an afterthought, it has been turned into an oddly-placed "Welcome to Purdue" sign, plonked right in the middle of campus. Money well spent. To the left is Wetherill Hall of Chemistry, which still smells like, um, chemicals, as does the whiff that comes up from the manhole covers in the sidewalks surrounding it. Further back and behind the sign is Heavilon Hall, the place where I spend all of my time these days:

This is the home of the English department and all of its smaller factions, such as Literature, Linguistics, the Writing Lab, the offices of the Sycamore Review (Purdue's literary journal, which I now help select poetry for), and Creative Writing. Audiology and Speech Pathology have been thrown in for good measure, and languish in the basement. This building shows up in students' schedules rather unflatteringly as HEAV.

As far as my lovely office space, I happen to have a photograph of that as well:

The room is a former classroom (evidenced by the blackboard behind the bookcases) and of the three desks, which one is occupied by our hero? Yep--the messy one. The room is jam-packed with 10 desks, half of which are occupado and generally the place is very quiet, much unlike the other grad offices, where a good deal of conversation happens, as well as the odd football toss or two. One possible reason it is so quiet might be because the air conditioning in this room is set to "Stun and Immobilize" mode. Nothing quite so brisk as stepping into this room after getting all sweaty from pedalling ones guts out on Chauncey Hill. Invigorating isn't quite the word. Another of the great perks of my office is that it is right in the middle of the front of the building, which affords a rather pleasant view of the Union and the older part of Stewart Center which used to be the library up to the 50s:
The Engineers have redesigned the area here, which I think looks nice. The centers of the circular areas are echo points--if one stands precisely in the center of them and claps loudly, one can hear echoes off the neighboring buildings. The whole area has them and, in the first week of classes, was mobbed with people clapping as if in some sort of ritual. Some people think its kinda neat. My more cynical view is that it is one of the more elaborate schemes to quickly identify and smirk at incoming freshmen. Still, though, the result here is far better than the asphalt parking lot that was on the spot when I was an undergrad. The little grassy knolls were intended to be "outdoor classrooms" and have steps leading to the grass. An insect which I've seen nowhere but in Lafayette, the Cicada Killer, seem to rather like the grassy areas to make their underground nests in. Those not prepared for the Cicada Killer will--without fail--freak right on out in front of anyone passing by. Put simply, this bug is just like a wasp, only about 4 times larger and a bit territorial. You can see what they look like here. Comparing the wasp to the size of the cicada it's killing gives you an idea just how Gi-normous the things are. While walking to lunch I've seen multiple incidents of people going into full-out Daffy Duck mode, scattering folders and papers behind them as they try to avoid impending doom. One thing I've learned though is that, territorial though they be, they won't sting you unless you grab 'em. And who would want to do that?

1 comment:

Kristen said...

I am hunting wabbits!