I’m going to let you finish but The University of Texas at Austin has the most beautiful campus of all time. The best campus of all time!
If that Kanye outburst didn’t get you, maybe the picture will. I mean, who doesn’t like watching turtles sunning all day? My favorite spot on campus is the Turtle Pond, located at the heart of the campus. I usually take a walk during the workday to see Crush and family hanging out at the pond. As a student affairs professional, the pond is the perfect place for self-reflection and quiet time on a busy campus.
The Turtle Pond provides the perfect escape from all the noise, the traffic, and the bustle of 50,000 strong. Amid all the people on campus during the school year, you can add 140+ turtles to the mix. At the Turtle Pond the inhabitants are free to do whatever they please. When a turtle wanders astray a student or faculty/staff member will pick him or her up and put them back in the pond. The process usually provides mini comic relief for the onlookers.
Additionally, the Turtle Pond is quite popular with families and kids of all ages, and recently the popular game PokemonGo transforms the pond into a go to destination for young adults. Typically random gatherings of 30-50 people at night are common at the pond. Maybe one day the gamers will outnumber the turtles in the pond?
The Turtle Pond is an example of juxtaposition since its location is adjacent to the Tower Garden Memorial. The Tower Garden Memorial was dedicated in 1999 by the University to provide a “place to honor all those whose lives were touched by the shooting tragedy.” If you are curious about the Tower Shooting of 1966 you can read about it online.
On one hand the Turtle Pond sheds light on a tragic past, thanks to a new memorial placed by The University of Texas at Austin on the 50th Anniversary of the shooting. It is a way to honor and remember the lives forever changed by the event. To me it serves as a reminder of how far we have come, and how much farther we must go.
On the other hand, the pond represents a beacon of positivity. It is an oasis of nature that serves to balance between moments of peace. Ultimately the Turtle Pond provides students with a place to relax after a day full of classes and exam prep. The Turtle Pond is a little microsystem filled with laughter and joy.
This post is part of our #CampusSnapshots series, a fun look at our favorite spots on campus. We will see pictures snapped by #SApros of all kinds and hear why they love that spot! For more info, please see Sabina’s intro post. Be sure to check out other posts in this series.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Conor McLaughlin on SA Work-Life Balance