So Friday after I finished, I decided to take a tour around campus to take some pictures of my favorite memories. For 11 years I worked full-time and spent my lunch hours mostly at the student center. I was always up for delivering something somewhere on campus - I loved walking around there (but only in good weather - the other times, I preferred to send a work study student!) But most of the time it was nice enough to walk - and read as I walked. When I went to part-time four years ago, I have really missed this time of getting out of the office and onto the campus.
Something really unusual and unexpected happened as I did my final walk-around. Remember a few weeks ago when I did a post in which I stated that there were only two things I was going to miss? Those two things - the students and my colleagues. Turns out that really wasn't true, evidently. As I walked around and took pictures, so many pleasant memories came to my mind that tears formed more than once. I never thought I would be so emotional about the end of this part of my life. The first 10 years were so great (the last 5 not so much). The fact that there doesn't seem to be any formal send-off planned has been hurtful, but I will walk out the door Friday with no regrets.
So - come with me around campus as I remember the "good old days" from my time in this position. Most of those 15 years have been spent in this building - nothing pretty about it. You can tell the era of the buildings by the style - what architect in the 60's thought those concrete circles were decorative is beyond me!
This sculpture was placed in the middle of the street outside our building in their quest to make this a walking campus - no more driving through. It was frustrating for awhile to restructure our way to work and place to park. But it does make it much more peaceful.
The north side of the building is much more pleasing to the eye than the south!
I love this view that looks out to the west. If you have need of a quiet place to study (remember when all places in the library were quiet? They have a coffee cart on the main floor!), you can go to the third floor and situate yourself with a view of the mountains - and try to study or read! The library was devastated during the $100 million dollar flood damage 11 years ago next month. You would never know it was so badly hit.
Heading north from the library, to the right is this huge new four-story building in process. It's amazing to me that I did not know about this big project - in the days when I was out on campus every day, I would have been watching it happen from the ground up. Last I knew, they were just beginning work over there, but I had no idea this large building would go up so quickly - I don't even know what department it is going to house. What is sad to me, though, is that there used to be a lovely green, grassy area there where students sat under trees and studied and visited. During Holocaust Awareness week, there were always flags planted in the grass to indicate home countries and numbers of those who were slaughtered by Hitler's regime. At the same time, Jewish students took turns reading off the names of the victims at a podium inside the Student Center - hour after hour after hour. It was eye-opening and heart-breaking.
On to the Student Center - the hub of the campus. It is a little town of its own - with banks, a beauty shop, about 8 restaurants in a food court, the book store, a convenience store, a florist shop, a very popular coffee shop.
I just loved eating lunch over here - I took my book, found a spot by myself, and enjoyed an hour. I'm not one who loves to "do lunch" during my work day. Lunch time was my escape. I especially loved it when I saw students doing a Bible study together - what a joy in contrast to all of the talk of others about what they did last night or over the week-end - and it wasn't studying! I could never figure out how they get through school when their week nights were spent in party mode - and wondered if their parents had a clue how their money was being wasted.
Or you can eat in the atrium and enjoy the beauty to the west.
On warm spring and summer days, I always found myself here with my lunch and my book.
See those trees up there on the patio? They are surrounded with an iron grate - the trees are actually growing in the middle of the patio. Like this:
I was walking to one of the picnic tables one beautiful spring day four years ago when my foot went into this very hole - the tree was very uncentered in the hole - I was suddenly in the most horendous pain - I dragged myself over to the table and sat there trying to catch my breath, and figure out how I was going to get back to my office - probably two blocks across the grass. I ended up calling my office and one of our work study students went to the health center, got some crutches, and helped me get back to my office. If I had thought about it being Worker's Comp, I would have definitely called an ambulance. I was in a boot for several weeks, and in physical therapy for six weeks. It still causes me trouble on occasion.
This is a view looking down into the basement area of the student center. See that little green circle with a line through it? That is the water line during that 1997 flood that I talked about earlier.
Here's another angle - it was total devastation in so many buildings. The deeply disguised blessing is that many buildings had upgrades that were not scheduled for many years, and they happened because of insurance.
TO BE CONTINUED!!