Seeing Things, Saying Things

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Archive for the ‘College campuses’ Category

Words to Live By

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College campuses and certain types of museums and government buildings are known for expressing words of wisdom.

I found this credo carved in stone on the campus of Indiana University outside the Indiana Memorial Union.

In some ways these three phrases sum up the purpose of higher education. I can only imagine what a better world this would be if all of us sought to live by these words in everything we do during every day.


Written by csanders429

May 7, 2018 at 5:42 am

Preview of What is to Come

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It is a tradition at Penn State University for graduating students to have their portrait taken next to the limestone Nittany Lion carving that resides near the Nittany Lion Inn.

When I last visited the PSU campus, where I taught journalism and mass communication in the early 1990s, it was a hot late July day and no commencement ceremonies were being held.

So I took an interest in this scene of what I presume is a mother photographing her daughter next to the Nittany Lion wearing a graduation cap.

Perhaps this young lady will graduate in another week or two and they wanted to beat the crowd to getting a photograph with the lion.

I also thought that she might be an entering freshman and Mom wanted to demonstrate what her goal is in college. But she looks more like a senior than a freshman.

Whatever the purpose of this image, I thought it summed up well what many Penn Staters want to do one for one moment on one day of their life.

All That’s Left is the Glitter

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Graduation day has come and gone. The newly minted graduates have posed for photographs wearing their cap and gowns and moved on to the next phase of their life after college.

But they did leave some things behind. Shown is glitter and and other trinkets that fell to the ground in front of the Rose Well House on the campus of Indiana University.

It is a well-known landmark on the IU campus that many students will have passed by countless times while going to and from class.

It also is a popular spot for making graduation day photographs.

I was here a few days after the commencement activities had ended and the glitter had yet to be swept up and removed.

Written by csanders429

March 19, 2018 at 6:23 am

What Big Paws You Have

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At the front entrance to the Palmer Museum of Art on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University are two oversize bronze casting of cat paws.

Presumably, they are of a Nittany Lion, which is the school’s mascot.

Representations of the Nittany Lion can be found throughout the campus, with the most famous one being the limestone lion located near the Nittany Lion Inn.

But to my knowledge these are the largest and only bronze lion paws on campus.

Wait ’till Next Year

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As this is written at the end of the first full week of March, the Indiana University men’s basketball team is done for the season.

The Hoosiers lack a “resume” good enough to be chosen for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament and their body of work is not likely to be good enough to even land in the National Invitation Tournament.

It’s wait until next year for coach Archie Miller and his players.

But on the wall of a building on Kirkwood Avenue near the IU campus, it is always basketball season.

The scene depicts a game at Assembly Hall, where Indiana plays its home games. Although the name of the opponent is not specified, the uniform colors suggest that it is arch-rival Kentucky.

The two schools used to play each other regularly, but in recent years have yet to agree on a contract to resume the series.

Steps to Knowledge

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For most of the people who walk on these steps, their purpose is to attend a class in which they will, presumably, learn something that will be useful to them as they go through their life and career.

But for others, the steps are just another short part of their journey to work, whether they are professors, maintenance workers or academic support staff.

These steps lead to one of the entrances of the Sparks Building on the campus of Penn State University in University Park.

Although I taught at Penn State for two years, I never once ventured into the Sparks Building. None of my classes met there and I didn’t have any other reason to go inside.

Most of the time, the walk up or down these steps is routine. But not always. It is not difficult to imagine that over the years many students have climbed these stairs with a sense of dread.

Maybe they had a test that day for which they weren’t prepared. Maybe they really needed to get a certain score on the final exam in order to get the grade they desired for the course or even to pass the course.

Then again it might be that some students dreaded going to the class every time it met because they just didn’t enjoy the experience. They would rather be doing just about anything else rather than going to that class.

It works the other way, too. Some students have climbed these steps in anticipation of attending a class they loved and working with a professor they admired.

Students eventually graduate or drop out of school short of finishing a degree. Those joys, anxieties, fears and sense of indifference will fade from memory.

But no one ever leaves behind climbing steps. The stairways leading into college campus buildings are replaced by those leading into a workplace or any number of other places.

And people will climb those steps with all of the range of emotions that they felt during their college days while going to and from class.

Once Part of My Life

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For two years the Carnegie Building on the campus of Penn State University was my academic home. I had an office on the second floor, yet I only taught one class that met inside this building during the time I was at Penn State.

Most of the classes taught by the School of Communications met in other buildings because there were few classrooms in the Carnegie Building.

The Carnegie Building opened in 1904 as the Penn State library. It was funded by a $150,000 gift from Andrew Carnegie, a steel industry magnate who served on the PSU board of trustees.

At one point the building was known as Carnegie Hall. It was expanded in 1921 and renovated in 1940 when the library moved to another location on campus.

In the ensuing years, the Carnegie Building was used for numerous uses, including offices, studios and storage for the university’s music program.

The journalism program moved into the Carnegie Building in 1950 and at one time the student newspaper, the Daily Collegian, was housed there.

Today the Carnegie Building is the home of the Donald P. Bellisario School of Communications, named after a 1961 Penn State alum.

The school’s website quotes Bellisario as saying “winning is having the right person believe in you.”

I’ve found more than once during my life that there is much truth to that statement.

Although my time in the Carnegie Building was short, it was quite memorable and not always for good reasons.

I went to Penn State on a one-year contract and it soon became apparent that I would be moving on to something else and not staying for long.

Academic life can be that way. For some, a particular campus can be a lifetime endeavor. But for most people, including students, your time on any given campus is transitory even while it may be quite memorable.

Written by csanders429

January 9, 2018 at 6:39 am