Scroll Top

St. Olaf Sentiments: September 26, 2014

RMS, top floor, 10:30 on a rainy day:

Welcome to Turing’s chic attic. The whole space is done up in a palette of green and brown and off-white, a reflection of the mostly-erased chalk- boards on its walls. Five windows let in an off-kilter pentacle of gray atmo- sphere and sometimes sunlight. The ceiling is high and steepled, white plaster marred by uncovered girders and piping. Outside there’s a vista that mirrors the inside, dressed up in the same chalkboard fashions. It’s a place for math, really, full of cushy chairs for you to sink into and unravel little mysteries.

Regents, top floor, on the terrace, sunset, cloudy:

Welcome to the sky. The sun dyes half-formed storm clouds pink and black, while a quiet industrial ca- cophony drifts through the blare of your headphones. You are very alone up here. There are the plants, the chairs and then the whole of the Mid- west stretched out before you. You’re shielded from the proper sunset by the large mass of Regents, something to both appreciate and resent. If you weren’t, you probably would be star- ing instead of studying.

Rolvaag, floor five, the corner study room, post-class, with your friends:

Welcome to not getting anything done. Six people and many, many books. Unread books. The chalkboard is covered in doodles and humorous spellings of “Foucault.” Someone is playing music through his or her lap- top. You were studying, once. Outside is the football field and the horizon, but it’s not like you’re looking. This floor is supposed to be super-quiet, you think. Oh well.

Fireside, 9:00 a.m., sunny:

Welcome to a cabin stranded in collegiate forests. Wood, stone and massive windows are sewn together and suffused with the smell of last night’s fire and so many well-worn chairs. You should probably be under a quilt, but instead you’re bleary-eyed and coffee-poisoned, gazing out at the half-hearted bustle with a half- understood book on your lap. At least the couch is comfortable.

The Cage, in those little hollows by the windows, 2:00 a.m., pitch dark:

Welcome to a cozy little cell where you can get your work done. The wood you sit on is uncomfortable, but that’s all the more reason to hur- ry with your studying. Your legs are stretched out in front of you, your computer balanced on your lap, fin- gers clicking away at a paper, and an- other paper and another. You prob- ably should have done this yesterday. But here you are.

The Facilities Building, the stone bench by the stairs, a very hot day:

Welcome to a small furnace. Over the small gray wall that separates you from the fall, you can see a small slice of Northfield punctuated by Car- leton’s windmill. The concrete is stud- ded by the small green remains of walnuts, their smell sharp and pun- gent in the heat. You’ve heard they used to sell ice cream by the block out of this building – if only they still did.

A lawn chair on the quad, next to the wind-chime tower, just after lunch, with breezes in the air:

Welcome to St. Olaf.

Related Posts