October 2009


Visiting the University of Wyoming

More Trees!

More Trees!

Friday was all about the University of Wyoming and its environs.

Let me be quick and direct: The campus looks more beautiful than it ever did when I was a student here. Additionally significant changes have been made to both the Wyoming Union and to Coe Library, rendering both nearly unrecognizable—and I have nary a negative word to say about either reconfiguration.

I think the biggest change to the campus is that it is now pedestrian—and I mean that where cars used to circle and park around the campus’ main quad (Prexy’s Pasture), there are now walking paths and no cars in sight. Although they were unusable Friday, there are also more benches and attractive landscaping throughout the campus. About the only thing that should have changed but has not is the hideously ugly University Family statue directly in the center of the quad.



Facilities wise, I only wandered through a couple buildings—and I was impressed to find that in the classroom building, they have electronic displays outside each classroom letting you know what class is scheduled to be in the room at that time.

The Wyoming Union, the student union, is basically unrecognizable. The shell is essentially the same, but the interior has been gutted and nothing seems to be where it was before—other than some doors—and even some of those have moved. As far as I was concerned the space is much lighter, brighter, and better arranged. There seemed to be a lot more seating space conducive to casual studying and informal meeting than ever existed before.

Across from the union is Coe Library—which has changed significantly—the entrance has been relocated and it now has a built in coffee shop. I went in the library specifically to find my thesis, and I was happy to discover that it’d been checked out at least twice. The space seemed a lot lighter and brighter than before—although I didn’t really spend too much time exploring it.

Unfortunately the weather is pretty cool with periods of swirling snow. This drove me indoors and I went to the Honors Convocation for the College of Arts and Sciences. It was as I remembered from before: lots of students walking across the stage, with the Dean of the College enthusiastically shaking their hands (same Dean as when I was a student). It was followed by a couple of student lectures, a performance by an all-male a cappella group, and a keynote address by Dan Haley (’92).

If you’ve never heard of Dan Haley, it’s because he’s the editorial page editor for the Denver Post. Although he meant it as a joke, he sounded pretty serious while pleading to keep his job: he wants you to subscribe to the Denver Post and, while reading it online, pay micro-payments to read full articles. He’s also won a Pulitzer Prize as part of the Denver Post team coverage for Columbine back in 1999. Today my Mother reports that she learns more about Denver and Colorado reading The New York Times than she does reading the Denver Post—and the last time I read the Denver Post it took me less than 5 minutes to read all substantive content.

Meanwhile, it’s Homecoming weekend—the weather forecast for tomorrow’s football game is calling for freezing—the high will be lower than 32F/0C. It turns out that I’m a fair-weather fan. If the weather’s fair, I’ll go—but the weather’s not going to be fair. I’ll be finding alternative activities—the only thing I really want to do is see the homecoming parade.

No Irony.

No Irony.

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