This post comes from my old blog (4/21/2011)
I was driving across campus from dropping Fluffy off at the lab. It was
early enough that I didn't have to watch too carefully for students darting
across the streets. It makes me smile, just a bit, to think that the kiddos are
like squirrels, except that the University squirrels know better than to run
into the road without looking.
I was thinking about how many roads
now have buildings in the middle of them. By that, I mean that the University
built all these roads to connect the campus and then decided that 1) it was too
connected to be safe for foot traffic and 2) they needed the space for new
engineering buildings and rehab/expansion of some old ones. If they are going to
cram 30K people onto the campus by 2015, they have to put them somewhere. I don't
know who will teach them, but at least they'll have a nice room in which to sit.
I saw a crane over what was the other half of the road I was
traveling and thought about these radical changes. People that went to school
at UA back when I was in my first go-round can't believe how much it's changed,
and they can hardly navigate campus when they get off the main drag.
one thing that never changes is seeing students walk or ride bikes to class with
large packs on their backs. I love that. I love to see the engineering
students with their T-squares poking awkwardly out of their packs and an armload
of drafting supplies. There goes an art student with an enormous portfolio case
and a music student with an instrument case. The beauty, beyond the fact that
they carry tools of the subject they love, is that their hands are too full with
real world stuff to bother with cell phones. These overburdened ones don't have
the finger and hand availability to text or chat as they walk, and so they look
up. They watch where they're going. They observe. They learn. I love that.