Monday, December 10, 2012

Macalester in Instagrams!

A new phone translates to constant photo opportunities for me and I have recently joined the hordes of the artistically-challenged, instant-gratification, facebook-generation driven by an irrepressible urge to document their surroundings at any and all given moments. My penchant for scrap-booking and journaling converges with this access to quick and easy-to-use technology (Instagram) to manufacture this new obsessive habit of mine. However culturally annoying the impulse may be, I have included in what follows, a few choice shots of the Mac campus in this blogpost: Macalester in Instagrams!

This first shot is of the flagpole at the center of campus which flies both the US and UN flags. Macalester was the first college in the United States to fly the UN flag (as they're bound to tell you if you join one of guided tours for prospective freshman). The dark buildings in the foreground are Carnegie Hall (left), home to the Geography, Political Science, International Studies and Anthropology departments and Weyerhaeuser-- the school's administrative building. I just finished taking Gender, Power and Sexualities in Africa ANTH 394 in this building. Great class.

The flagpole is a focal point of campus, with major buildings such as the Campus Center, the library, Old Main and the Chapel forming satellites around it. In fact there are a lot of flags in general around campus. Behind Carnegie are four more flagpoles that display various countries' banners on a rotating cycle. More flags are to be found decorating the annals of the Campus Center and every commencement ceremony is preceded by a long parade of flag-wielding students. We're all about our flags at this school.

Next up is actually a picture of a picture. This is Old Main circa 1900, recaptured on my phone from an old photograph (with the "Toaster" filter laid over the top-- a little insider lingo for the other Instagram fiends). As an English major I have the privilege of taking a good number of my classes in this building, perhaps the most iconic building on campus and certainly the oldest. Old Main also hosts the Religious Studies, Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Philosophy departments.

Every Wednesday night the third floor English lounge hosts delectable treat nights. Last Wednesday was the holiday edition of treat night and the English department coordinator, Jan Beebe (who organizes the coolest events for the department) put together a sumptuous buffet of pasta, sparkling punch, fruit and chocolate fondue. Not only does it fill you up on good food but it also gives you a chance to rub elbows with your professors, meet new people in your department and catch up with people you haven't seen since that one creative writing class in freshman year.

This last picture was taken two days after the general elections in 2012. It's a red "I Voted" sticker that fell off of some upstanding citizen's jacket lapel or backpack strap and stuck itself to the sidewalk outside of the library.

Even though this isn't a trademark image of Macalester, like the flagpole and Old Main are, I decided to include it, not only because I happened to stumble across it on campus, but also because I thought it was also a fairly good characterization of a student body that has a long-lasting reputation for being politically active. The same sidewalk where I found this sticker is liable to be found surrounded with picket signs calling attention to femicide in Juarez, Mexico or the protests of Tibetan monks. That sort of global consciousness is a common trait amongst Mac students and one of the school's distinguishing characteristics in my opinion.

But that'll do it for cheesy Instragram photos for me (really though, I can't help but fall for their lazy artsy charm!) Back to cramming for finals!