Monday, June 18, 2007

The Good, the Bad...

Him: "Amy, do you think our campus is ugly?"
Me: "Yeah, why?"
Him: "I have to take pictures of it for 331."
Me: "Of course it's ugly, I mean, just look outside, there are bricks everywhere."
Him: "Yeah, I know. I think it ranked 13th ugliest in the nation."
Me: "Thirteenth!? Haha."
Him: "Yeah, including community colleges."
Me: "Oooooooooooooo....."

Ok, it's no secret. People don't come to NCSU because the campus is charming. Before I came to school here, I was doing a fundraiser in the basketball coliseum, walking with someone's dad who had gone to school here, he was a nuclear engineer. We were talking about my college plans, as I was a junior or senior at the time, and when I said I'd probably be going "here" he said, "Get used to walking on bricks."

At new student orientation, back eons ago when I was a freshman, I remember we had to do this exercise in our group, a sort of get-to-know you game. The question was why you picked NCSU. One kid decided to be a smartaleck "Because I like bricks!"

Okay, so what's the deal with the bricks. I figure that if anybody comes here for the first time and I show 'em around, they're gonna say, "Yikes, I've never seen so many bricks in one place ever before in my life." I'm not joking, there are statues made of bricks. An alley between two buildings will have brick arches. All buildings on campus except for two, two, are made out of brick. All the walkways are brick (concrete sidewalks? For amateurs...) and instead of a "courtyard" like a normal school, we have a brickyard. You can see it from space, go look at NCSU on a map, like google maps, and zoom in over the university. Just south of Hillsborough street (another matter of ugliness entirely) you will see the vast expanse of red brick... some of the bricks are white, you'll see they made a pattern of it.

And then will you wonder, "Goodness, is it safe to walk on!?" A sea of bricks, I tell you quite urgently, is not safe to walk on. Nor bike, nor roller blade or skateboard on! You never know when a brick might be out of place causing you to stumble... but should it rain... and it does sometimes rain here... bricks don't provide the traction of pavement or concrete... oh no. Unless you are wearing exceptionally good shoes, you must be very very careful not to slip and fall! And if you fall it will be in a puddle, because the brickyard isn't flat, or inclined enough for the water to flow evenly off... oh no... it puddles... it flows... even a river when the drains clog up, flooding the brickyard. It's really awful.

However, Centennial Campus is a little different. I was in fact sitting outside tonight enjoying the lovely evening... pleasantly warm, I thought. It was actually about 90F. The moon was out and Venus was very bright... subhanallah, that's a site together that for me is very powerful. Nevertheless, I took a little walk around this portion of the campus (the bricks here are flat at least...) and looked out into the dark woods. I should come stargazing out here, I thought. It's quiet, especially at night. It's in the middle of the city but not surrounded by too many streetlights--the buildings block it there anyway--and the trees are far enough off. I dunno, it's a thought.

No comments: