Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Stanford - the campus

Stanford was not my favorite campus on the California grad school excursion, but I ended up with a fair number of photos nonetheless. Enough that I'm going to break them down into different segments - this one for the campus proper, another one on a mission I made on behalf of dear daughter, and the last one on the hotel and food.

This photo is the quintessential Stanford look. I'm not sure why I didn't like it except that the buildings here weren't my favorite architectural style and the open areas felt too exposed and too huge. The whole place felt very impersonal to me and that's not how I want a college campus to feel.

It's entirely possible the front and center headlines to do with the rape case sentencing spilled over onto my Stanford visit. I have no way of knowing if the huge impersonal feel is connected to what happened in that case but it seemed like it might be related. I tried to put the case out of mind while visiting and mostly succeeded at least consciously. I don't think I would go to school here unless there were a compelling reason - like a professor I wanted to work with specifically, etc. But I did enjoy exploring.

This was a common look across campus. 

These trees were huge and in some ways lovely but they just didn't inspire me. 

In this next one I think I see what I didn't like - the huge trees were nice but then in then distance you see the huge open area that is pavement/concrete. There were roads throughout campus with traffic and I didn't like that either. 

The blue skies and stucco were lovely but again, so exposed, and cut through with the huge driveway.

This next area was nicer and I enjoyed the sense of forest and the benches.

Certain spots were postcard perfect.

This little haven was appealing. There's a campus eatery down there and I loved the shade and sense of privacy in this nook.

This section had stone insets along the walkway for each graduating class for many years running and I saw them installing the Class of 2016 inset while I was there. The walkway itself was quite nice but the huge courtyard in the center (not shown in this photo) was too theme-parkish for my tastes. 

The physics building was kind of a disappointment on the outside.

But inside there were a few nice features.

I left dear son to his own devices and headed to check out the library. Another postcard scene.

When I got to the library I was a bit annoyed that I had to provide scans of my driver's license and fill out a huge online form to get a visitor's pass. I guess it was worth it to see this:

On my way out I had to offer my backpack and purse to be searched. This is the only library I visited where this was done and it seemed like overkill. Definitely annoying.

I headed back to the chapel to see what it was like on the inside.

I got a little obsessed with this donkey.

My favorite thing about the chapel was the tiny bathroom which was charming and very cool on a hot day. And it had its own stained glass window.

Back to physics to meet dear son:

I'm saving my little side mission for tomorrow. I had a nice lunch outside the library at a very fun campus eatery that had lots of great choices and a lively cafe atmosphere. There were also neat fountains just adjacent which I neglected to photograph. 

Overall? This campus didn't really click with me. Neither did Palo Alto. 


Matthew said...

Lovely pictures even if you didn't feel inspired!

billie said...

It was weird how uninspired I was. It proves how valuable visiting campuses can be - I can't imagine applying to Stanford, getting in, and then arriving there to find.. not at all my style.

Grey Horse Matters said...

It doesn't look that bad, some spots were pretty. Very one has their own taste and feel for a place though. I guess it depends on the courses offered as to which one will be chosen.

billie said...

Definitely, A - I really encourage prospective students to visit and spend some time on a campus if possible to get a feel for it. And of course - if there's a course of study or specific professors one wants to work with, that could override other things that might be not quite perfect!

You'll see an example of that in my next post. :)