We’ve all seen it, the lovely little college brochures that advertise university life. Pictures of smiling students reading and learning spread across the pamphlets. The groups are always diverse; the sun is always shining; and the grass is always green.
Such photographs are quaint and represent any given university to an extent. But here in my snowy Northern town, I’ve come to view our campus in a different light. The following is a quick glance of what I have observed.
It’s only a few unedited shots, but it’s the campus I know.
Here are the dorms. This is where they want you to live.
This is the wide grassy yard they show you. Across the way are just a few places where they want you to buy food, topped with more dorms where they would like you to live.
This is the long path where they capture countless pictures of students merrily walking along, chatting on their way to class.
This is where knowledge is king.
I have met with my English professor in this building. It is a maze. But the view from the top window is beautiful.
Here is one of the buildings for the theatre department, conveniently located by a fire hydrant in case it ever spontaneously combusts.
These bikes are star models in the average college brochure. Cheerful, friendly looking students zip in and out of the frame, seemingly eager to learn.
However, most students prefer a car. There are always strangers rushing by. You see them, but you will never know their name.
Melissa Dow: teacher, reader, occasional rapper and Bohemian Rhapsody singer. The two of us embarked on our photo-shoot adventure on a surprisingly warm day for our little Northwestern town. I could tangent off into cliche observations of the brilliant dappled leaves (They really were beautiful) but I won’t. Instead I will make an observation about the lady making funny faces in the majestic autumn leaves. Put simply, Melissa Dow is hilarious. My camera could hardly keep up with her spontaneity. She read to me in Latin, rolled various accents off her tongue and the only legitimate instruction I had to give her was, “Stop talking! Your mouth is in weird shapes in all the pictures.” But what grand pictures they were. I’ve never had such ease getting shots that really showcase a person’s vibrance. Even with a book in front of her nose, Melissa could never be hidden. The more she reads, the more she knows, and the more she knows, the more she wants to tell everyone about it. As Melissa and so many other brilliant individuals before her have shown, reading is sexy. Case closed.
Using colored pencils, I did my best to capture a moment of Lizzy’s laughter. I have no experience with this medium and felt like an incompetent child most of the time I was working on the project. Still, the colors were a lot of fun to play with and even though it was a challenge, it depicts what it was meant to: a vibrant girl enjoying life in the Northwest. It doesn’t get much better than that.