May 012013
 

Author: Kelsey Contouris

Unless you study education or social work, the education building is probably just one of those buildings that you often walk past on your way to classes. But what lies within those weathered, vine-covered walls? The question had been nagging at me for much of the semester as I passed by the building on my way to Clark C, so I finally decided it was time to go exploring.

The cozy lounge area lies on the north side of the second floor overlooking the Eddy lawn.

The cozy lounge area lies on the north side of the second floor overlooking the Eddy lawn.

I entered the education building through the door on the west side, which I quickly realized was not a main entrance. I found myself in a white concrete stairwell, not sure where to begin my journey. Tentatively, I walked up to the second floor, figuring I would start from the top and work my way down.

Like many of the older academic buildings on campus, the inside was mostly filled with offices and small classrooms – nothing too exciting. These hallways felt especially school-like to me, though – the office doors had cute comics and signs on them, poster projects hung on the walls and colorful bulletin boards advertised department news. Perhaps aspiring teachers can get used to their future work environment while still in college.

I also found a quaint lounge area on the second floor – every building on campus seems to have one. Large windows overlooked the grassy area between Education and Eddy, and clusters of cozy-looking chairs filled either side of the space. There was even a small kitchen in the hallway right before the lounge area. It all felt very homey.

The lounge area also had a staircase in it, so I took that down to the first floor. As I explored, I found more classrooms and offices, but these were mainly related to the department of social work. I also found what must be the front entrance to the building (on the south side) – the space was filled with tables and chairs, a couple of computers and signs for navigating the building. Finding nothing else of note, I went down to the basement, but it turned out to be even less exciting – mainly just stark, white walls and a handful of classrooms.

Two of the benches on the north side of the building memorialize Sean William McGowan, who was a freshman in 2011.

Two of the benches on the north side of the building memorialize Sean William McGowan, who was a freshman in 2011.

It was the outside of Education that I found most intriguing. You’ve probably seen the east side – a few tables and chairs sit in front of a waterfall feature near the side of the building, and students can often be found hanging out there when the weather is nice. The wooden benches on the north side are also a somewhat popular place to relax, and I also noticed that they’re memorials to a couple of people who have passed away. I think it’s a touching gesture, and now I’m curious about whether or not the other benches on campus serve the same purpose.

I snapped a few more pictures of the north side of Education (and the random primate painted under one of the windows) and went on my way. While I probably won’t have a reason to go in there again, at least it’s now something more to me than just another building I pass by. Hopefully this will be true for all or most of the campus buildings by the time I graduate – I just have to keep exploring.

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