I thought, upon graduating, that I would only see Lawrence when I returned for family get-togethers at our home in the university's immediate vicinity, or when I returned for reunions and other functions. Most graduates don't expect to be reminded of their school, visually, in the months immediately following their departure, and I always thought this rule would apply to me.
I was wrong.
I was with a friend in the U of C's official bookstore, run by Barnes and Noble, when I ran across a rack displaying Jansport backpacks, the top of which is shown here. Big deal, right? My friend was considering getting a new bag, so she browsed through the contents of the rack while I looked aimlessly off into space. Eventually my eyes wandered to the Jansport rack, and I gazed unfocusedly at the obviously posed photograph of young, trendy people cavorting in the leaves.
And then I saw it. Oh. My. God. What is that in the background?
I practically pounced on the display, much to my friend's bewilderment, and looked, not at the people, but at the building they were standing in front of.
It's Lawrence. Main Hall! LAWRENCE!
I was, to say the least, shocked. There is was - the east side of Main Hall, which I know so well from approaching it for classes for three years running. The stairs where the really cool Humanities people would smoke, blatantly disregarding the smoking halo, the ugly retro lampposts, the light above the door that was on whether it needed to be or not - Lawrence!
Now, it's fairly obvious that this shot has been edited, because the light on the people in the foreground is inconsistent with the light on Main Hall; the background is a fairly dismal fall day, sun behind the clouds, but the people in the foreground have direct light on then, casting shadows (look at the orange pants, and the shadow of the right leg on the left, as well as the shadow the Asian girl is casting on the guy in red's face - there's not enough light going on outside Main Hall for that to happen. Light more light, eh wot?). But even so, here's Lawrence, in the middle of the University of Chicago, in a glossy advert! I was a bit giddy for the rest of the day - what a surprise!
HVAC James: Half a dozen or so. The Radiators: 3. Burns acquired from accidentally touching them, that is. The Condensation All Over My Windows: At least 30, plus a handful of mold and some cracking paint on the windowsill. In the Kitchen James: 1 Gas Oven: 0