Section: Opinion

Editors’ Corner

Looking back on three and a half years at Kenyon, I think I have spent most of my time sleading, which is what I term reading with little nuggets of naptime in between. The prime location for sleading are rooms where I would feel smarter just by sitting there.

Though the Kenyon’s master plan does not change the temple of sleading, Ascension Hall’s third floor, the library’s transformation into what looks like the lobby of a Hilton and the Village of Gambier into a hulking mega-NCA makes me uneasy. I do think the NCA style of the new Health Center is bright, sterile, calming, and therefore perfect for its purpose, but I don’t want every building on campus to feel that way, especially places where I want to work.

I have nothing against modern architecture — I think the new Panera in Mount Vernon is a work of art. But the open, airy design of the master plan’s buildings leaves me feeling exposed. The clinical atmosphere of the proposed library makes the space look so neutral, like I could be doing any number of mindless chores, such as getting a manicure or buying a new toothbrush, and just happened to sit down to read.

I like reading in places where doing anything non-intellectual would feel out of place, so I feel shamed out of going on Facebook in public, but where crackling fire sound effects would not be out of place. I like imagining that I can glean a little knowledge residue from someone’s past brain explosion that hit the all-observing collegiate wood paneling.


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