“Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do.” ~ Unknown
It’s been one of the most technologically frustrating weeks of my career, and it’s pretty clear from the look on Doug’s face that he’d had a pretty rotten week, too. (we both got a big laugh out this picture) If I told you just how bad it was you wouldn’t believe me, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say it was really rotten. Thankfully, Ida Sell and Danielle Gabbard maintained a jolly outlook for us all. “But Abba got back together and they caught the Golden State Killer this week,” Danielle quipped. “So, see, it wasn’t all bad!” You can’t argue with that, and that’s one of the reasons I adore her. She sees the good in nearly every situation, and it helps remind me that I do, too. That’s especially important to remember when I’m struggling on days like this.
After we four grabbed a pick-me-up coffee I excused myself. It was a beautiful day, I had my camera, and I just needed a quiet, little adventure to ground me. Last Saturday I’d passed the front of the new Student Center and noticed major progress. It was begging a second look. I was across the street admiring the impressive UK stone work when I noticed students filing out the doors. I soon realized it was open. Naturally, I jaywalked in front of a cop to see for myself. (I did not get a ticket)
Last month, Mike Moore told me he had installed escalators in the new student center. I found them inside the bookstore, which opened just this week. Not only does it span two floors, accessible by said escalator, but it houses a Starbucks cafe – not just coffee, but cafe – as well as a small market that sells cold drinks and collage durable foods like chips and cookies. It’s impressive. I knew the old student center and Alumni Gym sections were still being renovated, but I wondered what else might be accessible. I decided to wander some more.
Earlier this week on social media I’d caught a glimpse of another Bowman statue (Bowman is the Kentucky Wildcat) being positioned somewhere inside the student center. He was easy enough to find. I just followed the crowds. I later learned from this video that this area is called the “social staircase.” It warmed my heart to watch parents photograph their collage-age children with Bowman. That’s the kind of photograph they’ll look back on someday with, I hope, fond memories of their time at the University of Kentucky. And just like that I’d been put right. My technological doldrums seemed a distant past. I left the new Student Center with a glimmer of hope, not just for the rest of my day, but for the future in general. This generation of young people are bright, talented, conscientious, and good. I’m glad that they’ll have a nice place to gather. I’m betting one of them will invent superior technology that will make my work-life a whole lot happier one day.
“In the blink of an eye, everything can change. So make the most of those who mean the most. Forgive often and love with all your heart. You may never know when you may not have the chance again.” ~ TinyBuddha
The new student center is being opened a little at a time. The dining facility, Champions, has been open since January. A few weeks ago this logo appears on the outside, but it’s not the logo that captured my attention. It’s the gorgeous words written beside it by former Kentucky Poet Laureate and current UK faculty member Frank X. Walker. It’s an excerpt from a poem Walker wrote for the University’s sesquicentennial in 2015 called Seedtime in the Commonwealth. In typical Frank X Walker fashion it’s exquisite, and these words in particular, “There is no vaccination against ignorance, but there is us,” are pure poetry. They lift me up. “But there is us.” Amen to that.
“There is no vaccination against ignorance, but there is us. There is this university. And we still have heavy doors to open, unmet obligations to the land and its people. There are still leadership opportunities to advance the Commonwealth, this nation, and our world towards fulfilling its potential, towards meeting its lofty promises.”
The Lunch Ladies made our way to the new Student Center today. So far, only Champions Food Court is open, but we’re good with that. We’re called the Lunch ladies after all. The builders said they’d have this part of the new building open by January, and dag-gum-it, they did. Orange barrels, flags, raw steel, half built walls, a host of other not-quite-finished pieces parts along the way, but they did it. We were joined by Judy Sackett, fellow Capricorn, who, just yesterday, celebrated her birthday, and that made the trip even more fun. I look forward to seeing the rest of the building, though I have no idea when that’ll be open. Oh, for those of you following along, an update from last night’s sleep study. I slept great, though I got the wires on my legs crossed and that made for an interesting wake up at 1am. By interesting I mean completely frustrating. In any case, not only do I have a brain, it’s perfectly normal…at least while I’m sleeping. No apnea. No heart issues. No breathing issues. I snore a little, and if that’s the worst thing about me, I reckon I’m doing pretty good. So what’s it all mean? Basically, my TMJ is pretty bad, and I need a job that doesn’t require mornings. I’m not an alarm clock kinda gal. Never have been. Confirmed. The question now is, what’s the next chapter? You know, the one that gets up later, isn’t tired, and has a blast going to work. We’ll see. Onward and upward!
This is some part of the new student center. I’d say it’s the back, but I’m not 100% sure. It looks like the bow of a ship that gives way to a theater of concrete seats. The mockups I’ve seen have only been from the Euclid side, which I assume is the front. Anyway, it’s one of the more bizarre footprints I’ve seen on a building. Plus, it’s just huge. The whole building is huge. This is just a small portion of it. It will be interesting to see it finished I’m sure. Meanwhile, it was a gorgeous fall-feeling Friday and now we’re into a three-day weekend. Huzzah!
“One life. Just one. Why aren’t we running like we’re on fire toward our wildest dreams?”
The student center is pretty much rubble at this point, and that’s why the bridge is so funny. It doesn’t go anywhere now. It’s just a bridge to a dropoff. Bridge to nowhere aside, I’ll never see this view again once the new student center goes up. Not in my lifetime anyway. Unless the next administration doesn’t like the new student center, tears it down, and builds another. I’ll have the camera ready.
“Wrinkles mean you laughed, grey hair means you cared, and scars mean you lived.”
The windows illuminate the grand ballroom staircase. The ballroom is attached to the student center that is being demolished. I thought the original plan was to keep this section that sits adjacent to Alumni Gym which they really are keeping, but recently I’ve been hearing it’s destined for the garbage dump, too. The walkways leading to it have been removed, and several panes have been destroyed. At least from the outside it looks like it’s prepped for demolition. Goodbye ornate iron work windows. Goodbye grand staircase. At least they’re keeping Alumni Gym.
“Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.
~ Robert H. Schuller
Crystal loaned me her long lens for a little project tomorrow. I took it for a test drive today watching the chomper continue to take down the student center. It was kind of sad seeing the Subway sign hanging there, waiting its turn. I’ve walked passed that sign too many times to count. Just after I shot these a PT Cruiser pulled up beside me and a voice yelled, “Hey, nice lens.” It was Crystal. Yea, it’s a nice lens, and I’ve got a really good friend that let’s me borrow it in a time of need. These things do not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~ Aesop
The student center had been built onto at least twice. They tore down the newest portion weeks ago. This was the same portion that was slightly remodeled just a few years ago. In any case, they tore it down so long ago that we were beginning to think they weren’t going to tear down any more of it. That changed today when, on the way to the garage, we heard the giant chomping machine chomping away at the middle section of the building. I can’t wait to see the view when the whole thing is down. It will be a temporary view, of course.