Campus Life

Deluxe College Grindstones

For those of you who don't understand my cryptic title, I'll explain. There's an old adage about work that creates a colorful, if not painful, image. It says that to get down to business, we should “put our nose to the grindstone." That seems a bit excessive in my view, especially in these days of cosmetic surgery. To alter the shape of one's nose, one needs only a good plastic surgeon. Of course, I'm kidding about the reason to put our noses to the grindstone. Since the topics of my articles here are related to college, the adage in question refers to studying. That's why we go to college, right? (Don't answer that!)

Anyway, I was inspired to write today by an article on Campus Grotto entitled America's Best Study Spaces. The “spaces," of course, refer to places on college campuses. There are some dazzling pictures that illustrate just how grandiose some of these spaces are. Naturally, no article of mine would be complete without a boring, corny remembrance of my dim-past days of collegiate glory. So, allow me to recall one of mybest study spaces.

When I was a high school senior, I was recruited to play tennis for a small liberal arts college in the mountains of Central Pennsylvania. Lycoming College is located in Williamsport, Pa., home of the Little League World Series. It's a beautiful region. Lycoming's campus was rather rudimentary back in those days. “Those days" would be the middle-Sixties. I remember some of the classrooms with not a small amount of curiosity. One music survey course that I took was located in an old house on the edge of campus. It looked a bit like the house where Norman Bates lived in Psycho. Arriving students occasionally had to sidestep hunks of plaster that fell off walls or, more dangerously, ceilings in the “foyer" (if one could refer to such a sad space in such fancy European terms). If you check Lycoming's Web site, you'll see nothing resembling Chez Bates, just the usual modern buildings and inviting study spaces worthy of a Campus Grotto mention (which doesn't happen).

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