Bricks are forever

You know how it is with recurring nightmares. It’s said that many folks have them, to the ongoing delight of those who sift through the psychological. Well, I have one that bubbles up occasionally. It’s not very juicy I’m afraid, no strippers hurling sticks of pepperoni into train tunnels or any stuff like that. Mine takes place in a typical university classroom, where I’ve just walked in to discover that somehow, I’ve blown off the first two-thirds of the semester, and I’m going to have to work like an ox on Red Bull to catch up and pass the class. These dreams invariably ooze with frustration, similar to those where you’re trying to run away from some giant bloodthirsty monster but you’re moving as if you’re wearing Andre the Giant’s ski boots.

Anyway, I had some time to kill last week, so I thought I’d walk around UNR to (a) see what was new, since I’ve haven’t strolled the place in at least five years, and (b) see if I’d encounter something that would put those damn dreams to rest forever.

I walked onto campus from the corner of Ninth and Evans and veered over to the Quad, which is still the best zone of the school. Its instantly recognizable classic look positively reeks of “college.” Here’s hoping the university never needs to dig up the Quad for the Sig Rogich Institute of Lobbyology.

Then heading north, past Getchell Library and the student union building, I encountered a whopper of a new building, The William Raggio College of Education. It’s big, handsome, impressive, and I just couldn’t help but think of how fun it would be if this fortress of higher learning contained the Joe Conforte Lecture Hall.

The fairly new Student Services Building/Brian Whalen Parking Garage ain’t no Quonset hut, either. Construction crews in the last decade have been busier than the poor guy who has to bleep the Osbournes’ TV show. Chugging northward, you can’t miss the latest parking project, a gaping hole between Mackay Stadium and the Planetarium. For now, the Space Place has been spared, but the pit for this new garage extends to a point where it is almost literally underneath the roofline of our beloved little hyperbolic paraboloid, an encroachment that seems to scream “borrowed time.”

One thing I noticed while walking the campus was the bricks. Kids, if you love bricks, you’ll love going to school at UNR. Even the new buildings have been built as monuments to brickness, so as to keep a thematic structural continuity with past, and that’s a positive.

Another thing I couldn’t help but notice is that, even on a 41-degree day, many of the female students were wearing tops that didn’t tuck into their jeans, but revealed just a sliver of midriff. No finer testimony to (a) the burning blood of youth or (b) an insane devotion to current fashion trends was spotted on that crisp January afternoon.