Sunday, November 29, 2015

Walking the University of Minnesota Quad

Today we made a ten mile urban loop through some appreciating neighborhoods of Minneapolis.

Our urban walks take us by or through the University at least two dozen times a year and it is always enjoyable.  I confess I enjoy it more in the winter and more so on a Sunday morning.  Yes, there might be a little vomit in the bushes or on the sidewalk but the grounds keepers have been out and the ice has been removed.  

Besides, where else am I ever again going to hear a twenty something girl say the words, "Well, aren't you a handsome boy!"  I could care less that she is staring at the dog at my feet.

Learning is line a never ending staircase.  Sometimes, as in this case, sections of the staircase are covered in goose poop.

Cyrus Northrop Auditorium
The Cyrus Northrop Auditorium was built in 1929 and renovated in 2014.  I haven't been inside since a friend too me to hear Desmond Tutu speak in what must have been 2003. That was a good day.

The inscription reads,

The University of Minnesota
Founded in the faith that men are ennobled by understanding.
Dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth.
Devoted to the instruction of youth and the welfare of the state.

Maybe the first statement is true, maybe understanding just makes us more efficient and effective bigots.  I'm agnostic on the topic.  The second two statements, however, are great values on which to build a good life or a good society.  Those are the values that did, and could again, unite a diverse nation.

I vote for a return to those values as the foundation of our education system.

Bronze doors on Walter Library.  Completed in 1923, it was the primary library of the university for many years and now houses the College of Science and Engineering Library.

The building itself is in the Roman Renaissance style that dominates the U of M quad, so much so that I first thought of them as "square and non-descript, a testament to the utilitarian values of the upper mid-west of the late 19th and 20th century."  The truth is my high school was in the Roman Renaissance style, and there is a fair chance that your's was as well.

Architecture, just one of the many everyday things we take for granted and must learn to see.

The bronze doors and metal work, as recognition to the value of what lies beyond them.  A small force armed with spears could also defend the library against a riotous mob of ideologues, if it ever came to that.
Dogs dig bronze.

Ever vigilant against ignorance.

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