Indiana University is as beautiful as all get-out, and I’m as stoked as hell to be here. This morning I meandered through a campus shrouded in fog, weaving between beautiful limestone buildings and cool, soothing forests.
Tiny streams flow across campus, cutting through the soft soil and spilling over the hard layers of native limestone in small waterfalls. There are arching stone bridges and wooden pathways. On these walks, surrounded by towering oaks and maples, I sometimes feel like I’m closer to Ihduhapi than I am to Bloomington. The cicadas and humidity lend credibility to this illusion.
I’m sitting here now in the South Lounge of the Student Union, a confused and sprawling maze that is at any point a museum, study lounge, hotel and food court. The university swag store is in a cathedral, with soaring arched ceilings and thick exposed timbers. On one floor, which so far I have only been able to reach by taking an outside stairway, there is a piece of wood in a glass case that no doubt has some historical significance. Two floors below that is a pool hall and a bowling alley.
South Lounge is an old and ornate room, done up with a squeaky wooden floor and wood paneling, stone arches and chandeliers. Belle and Sebastian echoes softly from the Starbucks next door, and the morning sunlight filters in through a bank of arched windows.
They didn’t get everything right. The hallways of Ballantine Hall smell like must and pee, while the library is a windowless hulking mass that is unaffectionately referred to as the Triscuit. Kate’s building looks like gymnasium.
Nevertheless, it’s all about finding your environment and occupying spaces that inspire you. There’s still plenty more here to explore, and I love what I’ve found so far.