August 04, 2006

On  Harvard's Hallowed Ground

With one last day here in Boston, my wife and I traveled on the Metro to the Harvard campus, and though we didn't pick up an admissions form, we did get to see landmarks of the Revolutionary War, monuments to those students who lost their lives in the Civil War, and in a more modern twist, we stepped inside the campus' bookstore and a number of the nearby shops and eateries.

As I had expected, regardless of an institution's interpreted valor, nearly all college campuses follow the same format - large lecture halls, narrow stairways, cement, brick and columns. Having attended UC Berkeley myself, and returned several dozen times post-graduation (mostly to attend Cal football games), it was fairly simple to note the similarities between Harvard's setup, the surrounding Cambridge community, the meandering tourists and the streets' cast of characters.

Really, the only superficial differences between Harvard and UC Berkeley was Harvard's lack of a central bell tower, and the age of its buildings. While UC Berkeley was the first UC institution to start up in 1868, Harvard had been well under way in the previous century. Notes throughout the campus and its diameter remind you of this. Monuments celebrating George Washington and Abraham Lincoln also dot the area.

The homage to history got me thinking - in two centuries forward, what of today will be marked and kept holy, preserved for future onlookers? Will it be our capitol buildings? Our ballparks? Sites of riots and disaster? What will be erected to remind others of what we will someday leave behind? It's an answer none of us will ever know.

Listening to ''Motion'', by Paul Oakenfold (Play Count: 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment