As a current junior set to go abroad in just a few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with travel as a way to prepare myself for what I am positive will be an eye-opening, enlightening, and life changing abroad experience. By travel, I mainly mean I have been going around to parts of Kenyon I don’t usually go to and narrating my explorations like I’m writing an abroad blog. That is what going abroad is all about right…the blogging experience? This past Sunday, a daring friend and I decided to study in the science quad. Now, as a Psychology major I should probably be more familiar with the science quad and its many joys, but let’s face it, I’m just not. I know my way around all the secret and luxurious corners of Sam Mather and that is where my knowledge stops. Our foray into the depths of the science quad was at times invigorating, surprisingly aesthetically pleasing, straight up confusing, and a little bit frightening.
We entered the quad, or Squad, as my companion brilliantly named it, through the doors of Higley. My first insight, did you know that all the building are connected?!? My mind was actually blown. One minute we were on the basement floor of Higley interrupting some kids who were quietly attempting to conduct some crazy chemistry experiment, and the next thing I knew we were in Tomsich. I had no hold on my surroundings. Everything felt like a liminal space. Does time even exist in the science quad?
Surprisingly, because I assumed that if I didn’t have a grasp on the Squad, no one did, all of the swanky rooms were filled. Some of the rooms had couches. Some of them had huge computers, and some of them had beakers filled with ominous looking liquids. As we walked, we instagramed some artsy shots of us with the locals (Bio majors) and continued on. We trekked for what seemed like hours. At one point, we found ourselves staring straight into the greenhouse. Now I knew that Kenyon boasted of having a greenhouse, but it has always felt more like a theoretical, idealistic concept to me more than a real thing. Let me inform you all, it is real and it is beautiful. At first we thought it was a mirage…we were dehydrated from all the journeying. But no! It was not our imagination. The door was unlocked. Who knew science could be so radiant and lush.
Finally, after hours that were actually minutes we found a quiet and isolated work space. Who knows if we were in Higley, Tomsich, or Hayes? Honestly, it didn’t really matter. We were home. I learned a lot from my experience, mainly that I have terrible geographical skills and that science quad kids don’t like it when you swing open the door to their work spaces and ask them questions about everything they are doing. Don’t do that. Respect the rules of the Squad. Like my future non-Kenyon study abroad experience is sure to do, this journey opened my eyes to new people and different styles of living. We may have gotten lost, but we truly found ourselves.