(mostly) daily photoblog

Posts tagged “University

Old school

SFU vine mapleThis photo was taken at Simon Fraser University.  I’ve had little time to take many photos lately, and I found this and felt a little pang of homesickness.  I’m not homesick; I’m really happy here, but this photo is one of my all-time favorites.  Those vine maples are so pretty.

More Jakarta tomorrow, okay?

How do you like your greys?

The architecture at SFU is evocative.  It inspires double-takes and depression.  Yeah, you heard me.  Depression.  It’s probably because it’s mostly concrete, which is grey, and at the top of a mountain, so it’s often covered in clouds that only exacerbate the grey-ness.

But it also inspires those double-takes.  The “tunnel” above is a walkway leading from the Academic Quadrangle, featured in a photo two days ago, to the W.A.C. Bennett Library, featured in yesterday’s photo.  During a sunny day, it is lit in all kids of angled lines and the light keeps shifting as the sun moves through the day.  The entire Convocation Mall, the area you can see ahead through the tunnel, is lit in strange angles.  At the right time of day, the shadows and light look like they were designed by M.C. Escher.  Awe-inspiring.


WordPress Photo Challenge: Ready

There’s nothing like a bit of rest and reflection to get ready.  I don’t know for what you need to get ready, but this would be a pretty nice place to rest and reflect.

Oh, and the reflecting?  There was no pun intended.

Good morning, from SFU

This is what it looks like when I arrived at SFU yesterday morning.  I have to arrive, to mark exams, between 7:30 and 7:45 in the morning, as we start marking at 8:00.  With the incredible weather we’re currently enjoying here in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, the sunrises are gorgeous.

Well, I guess you might have already guessed that.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Seeing Double on Saturday

I was marking Provincial Exams at Simon Fraser University today and the weather was insultingly beautiful.  Insulting because it was beautiful and I was contractually obligated to sit in a room and watch the sun pass across the sky through our classroom window.

I got out during lunch and shot some of the area and managed to get some wonderful candids.  The one above is a photomerge of two captures taken one after the other.  He was really moving, apparently.  I was just playing around but it seemed kind of fun so I’m posting it.  It’s about the most obviously manufactured photo I’ve ever posted here.  I hope you find it amusing.

A Canadian Hero

At Simon Fraser University, in Burnaby, BC, there’s a bronze statue memorial for Terry Fox.  He’s a Canadian hero.  He decided that, while he had cancer and had already had a leg removed, he would run across Canada to show both that people with cancer could accomplish great things and raise awareness to the cause of research for a cure for cancer.  Along the way he quietly ran into the hearts of millions of Canadians.  He’s definitely one of my heroes.

Keep running, Terry.

Hmm…where does this lead?

I’ve written quite a bit about Simon Fraser University over the past week.  This will, in all likelihood, be the last SFU photo for a while.  The thing about this photo is that I honestly do not know where it might lead.  The reason for my lack of knowledge is twofold:  1. I’ve never walked to the end of this hallway.  I’ve never had reason to.  I’ve never been so overwhelmingly curious that I felt I had to.  2.  I cannot reason out, in my puny mind, where it might lead.  This is the basement of the Maggie Benson Building.  The building itself, like most of SFU, is built into the side or slope of Burnaby Mountain.  The building also has only so much space, and I’m pretty sure I’ve covered most of it, and yet this hallway seems to extend into what I can only predict is more workspace, but I don’t know.  It seems, in my brain, to extend into part of the mountain, because I know that there are no classrooms that are that far out of the building.  Perhaps this is a secret place, a special place.  Perhaps it’s where they put you when you don’t pay your tuition.

Or, maybe my brain isn’t as spacial as I’d like to think it is.  I guess I’ll have to wait to find out.

The AQ; or why SFU architecture is really cool

Okay.  I know. Yesterday I wrote about how much I hate the depression caused by all the concrete on the SFU campus.  But I am large enough to contain contradictions.  But there are introductions to be made, so…here goes.

Everyone, this is the AQ.  AQ, this is everyone.  Well, not everyone, but a bunch of people who are nice enough to read my blog.

AQ stands for the Academic Quadrangle.  On the left, you’ll notice there is some water.  That water extends all along the west end of the AQ.  In that water live a school (pun intended) of koi fish.  Also, there are some chairs and a safety cone, but those are probably not supposed to be there.  To the right is a bronze statue of Terry Fox, a Canadian hero.  The two stories of the AQ you can see in this photo are classrooms.  The all have a great view of the quadrangle itself, except for the corner classrooms, which have an outside view.  What you can’t see are the two floors of classrooms, lecture halls, theaters and museums that are underground in roughly the same shape as the quadrangle you see here.  It’s pretty cool.

One bit of personal trivia:  you’re looking north toward the Education department, which is where I spent the summer of 1999 while attending class in my PDP year.  Pretty cool, I know.

BTW, if you click on the photo above (a panorama made up of three individual frames) you’ll get a larger view that might add some details.

Where do these stairs go?

Sorry about the scrolling down.

These are stairs that exist in the back hallways at Simon Fraser University.  I marked Provincial Exams there today (and yesterday and tomorrow and Tuesday).  I marked 660 exams today and over 1000 over the last two days.  It’s been fun.

What really has been fun is the Maggie Benson Center.  We mark exams in three different rooms in this building and I’ve spent quite a number of days over the last 10 years marking exams here.  What that means is that I’ve tried out as many back hallways as possible.  Some are not accessible without a security pass, but quite a few allow anyone to wander around.  I haven’t taken these stairs, but I think they come out near the student services area.

SFU is a big, concrete mass on the top of Burnaby Mountain, and was designed by Arthur Erickson.  I love Erickson’s vision, in that he followed the contour of Burnaby Mountain with his designs.  What I’m not sure I love is that it’s all grey.  On the top of a mountain.  In the Lower Mainland of BC.  What that means is that it rains a lot, and even when it’s not, it’s cloudy a lot, and when you’re at the top of a mountain you’re often surrounded by clouds, even when everyone else is not.  Let’s just say, it gets a little depressing up there.

But what the school has done is put in these splashes of safety yellow.  On stairs.  On railings.  All over the place.  Yellow explosions amongst the sea of grey.