Report from the University of Arkansas

6 Comments

 

The bell towers were kissed by the setting sun this afternoon as I approached for my night class. I was about an hour early, over-eager and afraid to be late.

The bell towers were kissed by the setting sun this afternoon as I approached for my night class. I was about an hour early, over-eager and afraid to be late.

Tonight I had my first class in the PhD. program at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. It has been 10 years since I have taken a class, and I was a little nervous. First, I had to get a parking permit, as the U of A has a zero tolerance policy for people who park without a permit. Even visitors are required to get a permit, and the U of A police are real. If you don’t pay the fines, they boot your car. OK. Then I had to go to the Union and get my books and a Razorbacks ID Card. 

 

I work at a University, but I felt so uncool today. I’m certain I stuck out like a sore thumb. Everything was so new to me. And carrying a backpack again — it took me a bit to get the hang of the backpack, then I remembered how to carry it. That sounds silly, but it was a big deal. I’m not going to be one of those old ladies who carries a backpack on wheels. Nope, I’m carrying it over my shoulder like I used to. But a backpack is a necessity, because I have to hoof it across campus a ways to my classes, which are in Old Main.

 

The parking lot where I park looks fairly close to Old Main (in the far distance), but it is like Las Vegas blocks. You keep walking, and walking and walking and the building stays the same size.

The parking lot where I park looks fairly close to Old Main (in the far distance), but it is like Las Vegas blocks. You keep walking, and walking and walking and the building stays the same size.

 

 

 

A Swiss Army backpack with room for everything. But no frigging wheels!

A Swiss Army backpack with room for everything. But no frigging wheels!

 

Old Main is the original building on the University campus. In the early 1990s, Old Main was restored, and in recent years it, and some other buildlings around it from similar vintage, were all given a massive upgrade in facilities. A special fund for the restoration of these old landmarks was put into force, and even today classrooms carry placards honoring the donors. The walls of Old Main are hung with portraits of former chancellors, University presidents, and school deans. 

 

 

Old Main, built in the 1870's, as seen from the Maple Street side of campus. Another entire wing on the other side of this building is connected by a long central wing with an auditorium.

Old Main, built in the 1870's, as seen from the Maple Street side of campus. Another entire wing on the other side of this building is connected by a long central wing with an auditorium.

 

 

The hallway of the second floor of Old Main, showing recent redecorating efforts.

The hallway of the second floor of Old Main, showing recent redecorating efforts.

 

 

One of the placards.

One of the placards.

 

 

One of the classrooms where my classes are held.

One of the classrooms where my classes are held.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But Universities aren’t like they used to be. In the hallway, right next to the elevator (a retrofit that retains an antique look somehow – hope it is not the original) are two vending machines for newspapers. The New York times, USA Today, the Morning News and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Instead of paying, you insert your Razorbacks ID card, pull it out, and there you are! Full, free access. I took a picture of the newspapers I took out of it, just to prove I’m not lying. 

 

Newpapers for free to UA Students. Wow!

Newpapers for free to UA Students. Wow!

 

 

The proof.

The proof.

 

 

I'm impressed with the University of Arkasnas. Razorback Red is everywhere, even in the loo. And Razorback Red is an actual, defined color, with it's own Pantone number. Really! I know -- because I was a member of the University PR team 10 years ago.

I'm impressed with the University of Arkansas. Razorback Red is everywhere, even in the loo. And Razorback Red is an actual, defined color, with it's own Pantone number. Really! I know -- because I was a member of the University PR team 10 years ago. I wonder if the tile and the paint are true, Razorback Red?

6 thoughts on “Report from the University of Arkansas

  1. Well, after a struggle, I found the comment section. I figured it out once, but evidently have short term memory loss. Your return to grad school at the U. of A. made me nostalgic. I really enjoyed my time there earning my PhD. However, except at work, don’t expect anyone to call you Dr. in Pineville. After 28 years, I no longer even hope for that. 🙂
    Marilyn

  2. Call ME Doctor? LOL. I doubt if that will happen even if I earn the degree. I really don’t think it matters, and I know you don’t think so, either. I have many friends who have earned the title but don’t claim to be “Dr.” this or that. I’m sure you will agree that most people who insist on being called Dr. So and So are really rather stuffy and need to chill out. I think I would prefer to be called “Brenda Kilby, Ph.D., ” on paper, and just plain “Professor Kilby” by students. But hey, I may never have to worry about that. I have a ways to go before it is a consideration.

  3. Are you freaking kidding me? I am amazed at everything you do. Not only are you a professor, but you’re a Martha Stewart too. And on top of that you’re going to get your Ph.D. Where do you get all of this energy and still find the time to write amazing letters of recommendation for your former students. You are an amazing woman!

    By the way, do you still make that yummy soap? I would love to get some.

    Carmen

  4. Oh, Carmen, I’m blushing!
    I haven’t made soap in awhile because my husband hates the mess. But I need to do that some weekend. It is relaxing and I need to use up some of my oils.
    And the letter was easy. You were one of my favorite students! My husband even asks about you – he was on the trip to Paris that time, you know!
    As far as energy, I’m not sure I still have any. But I’d better find some. I’ll blog later this week about my first week of CLASSES, and talk about that experience. My hand is hurting today from lifting a 45-pound book bag on my shoulder and my body is in pain from hiking down Leverett Avenue, up Maple, and over to Old Main, which is a “fer piece,” as they say in the hills.

  5. I can not believe you drive to Arkansas every week; I thought just driving down there about twice a month was a lot of gas wasted…but I do not make a lot of money LOL. I honestly can not stand the U of A, however, I think NWA is not a bad place. I can not even imagine what it is like having to carry a 45-pound bag…especially as big as that university is. I was sitting in my college algebra class today and I have this older lady, about mid to late 30’s, that sits right behind me. Everytime I walk into class, I see her sitting there and ask myself “I wonder if she feels uncomfortable being the only student in there that is over 23 years of age?” today was different because I thought about my teachers and other students I know that are older and continuing their education after many years of life, and thought they are probably sitting their thinking how lucky the rest of us were for going to college right after high school. I was texting in the class today, and wondered if that lady thought i was stupid for not paying attention in class, and that somehow I would regret slacking off…but then she got up and left early, so I figured it is probably hard to go to class when you have a family, and other adult responsibilities to assume on a daily basis.
    I will say that I look forward to the class this semester, and hope that you do not judge to harshly as I am not a descent writer.
    thanks,
    Beau Spinger
    oral comm, 10 am

  6. Thanks for the comment, Beau! Yes, I just got home from Arkansas, about an hour ago. I drive up on Tuesday evenings and Thursday afternoons, and it adds about 190 more miles a week, with my already driving 500 to work and back. But I’m sort of used to the driving. The night drive home on Tuesday is the worst, because I’m usually pretty tired. But hey, I’m old! I’m supposed to get tired. Of course, I’m old enough to be that 30-ish lady’s mother that you have a class with. You devil! 30 or so is not old. But I understand where you come from. When I was your age, we said, “never trust anyone older than 30,” and we meant it. I now realize we were pretty lame to say that. But it took me awhile. I went back to finish my bachelor’s degree when I was in my late 30’s, but it wasn’t bad for me. I enjoyed being around all the younger people. It was a good thing for me, and even got me to stop smoking, a bad habit I had not been able to break. None of the younger students smoked. I felt old, doing it. Usually, older students have better study skills and are better able to priortize (from experience) than younger students. In any case, even if the older student is not as fresh on some learning skills and knowledge, they are better able to work to get those skills and being patient with themselves.
    I do have something to confess, though — I was exaggerating about the 45-pound bag. I think it is more like 25. It just feels like 45. See you in class!

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