June 14th, 2005
|10:33 am - Walking in unfamiliar territory|
The Oval is massively different now. Most people will look at it and say, "It looks about like it did before," and they'd be right. But a lot has changed.
Certain trees that grew tall and strong are no longer providing shade. There is no scar in the earth where they stood, because the earth itself was replaced.
As I walked across it today, it did not feel familiar. The ground was strange, different. I walked the path I always do, one not marked by asphalt or brick, and felt it had changed.
"My feet have never passed here," I thought. "This is new to them."
I passed under trees that no longer stand and by students who have new traditions of studying at Mirror Lake or the South Oval, and so no longer sit near where I now walk. I crunched new grass underfoot that may never have been crunched before.
But it looks about the same, and not everything is gone. The oak tree I love to climb still stands near the center. The seals at the end of the long walk still ward the path. The birds and squirrels never left.
All is not as it once was, but much is ready to become now. The Oval is fertile ground for new traditions, new friendships, and shenanigans of all types.
The old is now new, and there is much work left to be done.
[Some background: the Oval at Ohio State is kind of like the "quads" that other schools have. It's the center of campus, a large grassy area where the students study and lounge. Over the past year and a half, it's been under construction, being renovated. It was opened last week for general traffic.]
Current Mood: contemplative
Current Music: "A Pirate Looks at Forty", -JB
Strange how the Oval I know and the Oval you know are so completely different. Or rather, maybe it's just that I barely know the Oval at all, as like you said my traditions mostly focus on the stream-bed by Mirror Lake and the benches around Baker. The Oval is largely out of the way for me, or at least it has been so far, but now that I am going to be living on 8th perhaps I will visit it a lot this summer. I have no history with it beyond one night of sneaking past the fences for the final segment of the rite that Nick and Misty and I did together... yet.
I like the big old trees in the Oval. I feel small when I go there, but not insignificant.
Yes, one of the things that bothered me most about the Oval renovation is the fact that lots of Freshmen don't know it exists. They call the South Oval "The Oval". I've heard it lots.
Mirror Lake and the South Oval used to be quiet spots where you could go just to study or hang out. Now, you get popped in the head with a frisbie. :)