Wednesday, June 29, 2016

UC-Berkeley's stunning campus

UC-Berkeley campus was amazing. I couldn't walk more than a few steps without stopping to take a picture!

These are roughly in the order we encountered things as we walked to campus from the Berkeley City Club. The best thing about the campus was the sense of energy that was all around. I actively wanted to be back in graduate school just to tap into it.

This was the first thing that stopped me in my tracks:

Then this:

You'll see how much I notice trees when I visit places. Berkeley's campus feels like it is inhabited by trees and the spirits of trees. I love how they live so very close to the buildings. 

The tower is a centering structure on the campus. Once you get your bearings you can use it to get around. 

And this is the view toward San Francisco from the bottom of the tower:

More trees and buildings:

It felt like the trees were perfectly suited to the buildings they flanked, almost as if the trees chose what course of study they would live with.

This one was stunning on the cool gray first day of our visit:

Of course we were heading for the physics and astronomy departments where my son had meetings with professors. This was the first thing I saw:

How many Nobel Laureates does one university have? And is that a future one walking to the door of physics and astronomy? Inside, I found this:

And this very cool display in the astronomy lobby. Note the temperature in June at near-mid-day:

I stood there pondering whether I could up my math game and apply to the program. On the other side of the lobby there was this:

Upstairs, my favorite display of all:

Meanwhile, over in the physics department:

In case you'd like a closer shot:

I left my son to do his thing and I went on my own expedition. This was outside the physics department entrance, looking back toward the building:

This large courtyard sits outside the physics department and I became mildly obsessed with it:

Somehow it felt like a mathematical equation.

Or a metaphor for a physics concept.

I came at it from every angle, trying to understand:

Sometimes my brain goes sideways when I think too hard.

But I decided the answer lies here:

Then I made a friend and ended my obsession.

I walked down the hill and found a wonderful coffee and lunch spot:

Somehow I think I should have been at Berkeley in the 60s, though I would have been a very young revolutionary.

My son went back for more meetings and I headed to the library that lies just below the physics building. It was the beginning of another obsession.

A display on the National Park Service. Of course horses were a part of making national parks happen. I couldn't help wonder - could the November Hill herd manage to eat their way around the trunk of a redwood?

It was a lovely display and I photographed each panel.

And more:

I especially loved this:

And this:

I finally walked on and discovered the undergraduate reading room, where I loved the artwork more than the desks:

And then the graduate reading room:

This was a lovely space and I spent some time writing here before wandering on to my favorite space in the library. I can't recall the name of this lovely room but it had literary journals on display, shelves of fiction and more journals, and even upstairs study nooks that peeked down around one side. I wanted to take more photos but there were people working and I didn't want to disturb them. Suffice it to say, if I went to Berkeley this would be my hang-out.

Leaving the library I spent a few moments with an old friend. 

What a campus! I hope I can go back one day and explore further. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

That's just beautiful. The students who go there are certainly very lucky. I wouldn't mind going to that school at all. Is that Mark Twain on the bench? We have a library in our town named for him because he once lived here. About two years ago his house was up for sale and I always wondered if a writer bought it.

Matthew said...

A wonderful, visual and textual tour!

Thank you.

billie said...

It was a lovely place. I'm so glad I got to go and that you were able to stay home and hold down the farm so I could!!

billie said...

A, that is Mark Twain! Wow re: his house going up for sale. I wonder too if a writer ended up there.