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Saturday Explorations

USA | Tuesday, 23 June 2015 | Views [174]

Saturday was, by most measures, a fairly dull day. I wandered around campus for a while in the early afternoon. This led to several kinds of interesting discoveries, ranging from cool to creepy.

“Cool” describes the formal gardens.They aren't that expansive, (I've been kind of spoiled when it comes to botanical gardens) but they're nice enough.

Formal Gardens

In the back, three was a pond with a a fountain and a bench facing it. It seemed like it would have been a nice place to sit if someone else weren't already there. And if it was a little cooler. As was, I ignored the benches and just wandered around the gardens for a bit. When I was done, I decided to see if I could find a more pleasant route back to the dorms. (The route I needed to take there was past a lot of construction. It's kind of hard to avoid on campus. Or in the surrounding town.)

I didn't find a better route back, but I did find a trail through the woods. If I'd been wiling to wander around further, I might have been able to find an interesting route somewhere. As was, I only walked through the woods until it was no longer leading me on the shortest path back to the dorm, then I went back to grass and pavement and roads. (The woods would have been cooler.)

Building and sign

I spent some time in the dorm, then headed out again to find the creepy discovery. It began innocently enough with the urge to explore this building. Looks cool enough, doesn't it? Out of curiousity, I went around and looked to see if the doors on the other side of the building were unlocked. They were.

The building turned out to be an academic building for biology and health-related subjects. Which wasn't so bad. I'm pretty sure there was no one else there, which also wasn't the bad part. If I didn't want to be the only one in a building, I would not be walking by myself, trying door handles, and entering and exploring empty hallways.

The first part of the buidling had a slight medicinal smell. Then there was a set of doors, unlocked, and we moved on from human biology to other kinds of biology. Inlcuidng insect biology. Which still wasn't bad, because they were inside classrooms (I didn't try any individual door handles) and thus out of sight. What was in sight was a sign declaring this area a insecticide-free zone and listnig five peopl ewho could be contancted in case of an emergency.

Take a moment and imagine a situation that would make you want to use insecticides, and that you'd describe as an “emergency.” Now imagine that you're alone and standing next to a room with that potential. Suddenly, this buidling was a lot less fun to explore. (It hadn't been that much fun earlier. Biology and such.)

After that, I stuck to walking around outside.

At 7, I went down to the lounge to see if anyone was going to meet to discuss math. No one was, but Maram and Griselda were working on a puzzle. By “working on”I mean “they were sorting puzzle pieces.” They didn't really want to start assembling the edges, and I didn't want to sort, so it worked out well. And by “well” I mean “we got along well.” The puzzle didn't make terribly much progress for that.

After a bit, Dana joined us. Then Griselda left, and Angelo arrived. We managed to assemble the border of the puzzle (more or less. One of the edges seemed to be missing a piece. It turned out it was hiding in the middle of another edge.) Then we got bored and, once Maram had eaten, decided to go for a walk.

Holy cow, the campus is huge! Angelo led us (by which I mean Angelo was declared the leader so we could blame him if we got lost. The actual “leading” was more in the form of various people saying “I want to go see that!” any time we crossed anything interesting.) roughly in the direction of the music buildings. There was no way they were going to be open, but it was at least something to aim for.

We reached one of the music halls, tried the doors (all locked) and then crossed the street to find the other. We very quickly took a turn we shouldn't have, and then we were just wandering without real aim.

We passed a number of empty fields (Angelo grew up in New Jersey, and is very impressed by open fields) and a couple of dorms. (We tried all of them, but none of them were open. Which is sad, because, because, despite the spaciousness of the rooms, kitchenette, and niceness of the lounge, Stelliott are not the best dorms on campus. One of the ones we passed had a bilalrds room.) We also reached a Nature Theater, thoguh a couple of animals scuttled away as we approached. The nature theater reminded me of the theater in my new science building, with a lot of shallow steps for people to sit on. I went down to the stage so I could look around. I could see speakers, but no spotlights, so probably it's more targeted for daytime perforamnces.

We kept walking, and reached a bridge that seemed like a huge overreaction. The bridge was probably the length of the short side of a soccer field. A decent ways below us, there was a small stream that we could have stepped over if we'd been on the ground. Dana didn't really like bridges, and didn't want to have to cross back over. Angelo and I assured her that by this point, we were not just retracing our route when we wanted to get back. There would definitely be a better way back.

In fact, I was pretty sure we were headed in the general direction of the dorms. Maram took this moment to recollect me telling her I didn't have a sense of direction and became skeptical. Unduly so, because after walking some more, we emerged by buildings near Bachelor. Angelo and I had explored the area around us more than the other two, so Maram and Dana were grumbling about how we were going to get competely lost at about the time Angelo and I realized we didn't just think we could get back, we knew exactly how. Yet another adventure I've gone on with Maram without any dog attacks or serious navigational problems. One of these days you'd think she'd get a little more faith in me.

Angelo went back to his dorm after that. Maram and I hung out in the lounge, and Dana stayed with us until she got enough energy to realize she didn't want to fall asleep in the chair and went up to bed. I was finally able to listen to the song I'd been humming to myself most of the walk. After it repeated for the fifth time, I realzied Maram was going to get really sick of it (she hadn't been listening to it consistently for the past 3 days, but she had heard it on three different occasions) and changed to another song.

“I liked the other one better.”

“Oh. What do you have against this one?”
“Nothing. I'm just used to the other one now.”

So we listened to “Antebellum” until we separated and went to bed. I'm counting that one as a victory.

Tags: gardens, music, puzzle, walking

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