August 01, 2005
Chris and I took an evening trip to Morris Library last week, to get some photos (especially of old pencil sharpeners) before the uppermost six floors of the building close today. I never spent as much time there as I could have, since I'm lucky enough to have an office on campus. And there is something decidely...Cold War about its design. I don't mean to call it ugly, but it's not pretty. As, anyone here in the summer can testify, the climate control system is antediluvian enough to belong in the Smithsonian. And I'm terrified of those elevators, regardless of the fact that those steps make me hurt for two days after hitting the sixth floor for research. While hot having a library in the traditional sense for years will certainly be unpleasant for the university, having a new, modern building will be a boon for the future of the Saluki-Nation and Carbondale in general. But still I'm pretty sad that I will most likely never get to go there as a student at SIU ever again. The dates I've read for its completion are January 2008 or December 2008, which means (in my experiences with university building projects) that it will be finished in 2009 or 2010. Hell, I'll be Doctor Johnny G. by then, provided I pass them there prelims in yonder two weeks. Southern Illinois is not exactly a tourist's dream, but I would come here just to see the library one day. I really would. And this all reminds me that, regardless of my pretentious and haughty disdain for much of the Heartland, I'll miss parts of it when my time at SIU is up and I've moved somewhere else. I never thought I would miss the Sunday morning half-mile walks to the market when I lived in Boston. Or the two-hour train(s) ride to Boston College. Or the crowds and tourists. But I'd kill to be in Beantown today, buying more books than I can fit in the Focus or afford or read, taking so many photos of people that my head spins.