Sunday, February 3, 2008
Butler on a Sunday Morning
There is something serene about Butler Library. I was randomly trolling the internet the other day and ended up clicking on something that led me to a link (which I of course clicked on) of Columbia's page on the Priceton Review. Columbia made the list, right behind Harvard and Yale, for the Best College Library. It got me thinking about how great Butler really is. I am in one of the Milstein rooms, the ones that are open 24/7 and have certain pre-med students living in them from day 2 of the semester, sitting next to the complete collected works of Lenin, and I am awed by the beauiful stacks of old books that have been here for decades, the ornate woodwork of the paneling, the secion floor with its brass fence to keep people from falling, and the wonderful bas relief ceiling with naked classical figures galavanting around with the winged horses. It is so Ivy League. It reminds me that I am part of an institution.
Pierre asked me last night if I liked Columbia. I do. I do. My answer had something to do with loving the freedom of college and liberal arts education. But it is more than that. It is even more than Manhattan, even though that is a good percentage of my love of life at the moment. But Columbia could stand on its own if it really had to. I could spend days wandering around campus, meandering through random hallways fueled by nothing but curiosity. What happens if I walk up this foreboding black spiral staircase that looks to rise up into the ceiling? What if I go down the staircase that submerges below the known floors of this building? The more I am here, the more that my curiosity grows. Every time I discover something it leads to enhanced curiosity about something else. There are so many secrets here that still need to be cracked.
Good thing I have 3 1/2 more years.