The Golden Era

Today, I revisited a place that I once inhabited for a brief time four years ago during my new student orientation (NSO). It was the North Residence Halls on campus. When I walked into the commons areas, it all came back rushing to me. I had only spent one night there, but I remember that commons desk like it was yesterday.

I think of the girl who I had met during that one night stay. I remember struggling to think of how to ask her for her number. I remember trying to court her by serenading her with Justin Bieber tunes on stage in front of many other prospective freshmen. We had lost touch shortly thereafter, and our paths never really did cross much while at Penn State. The reality of our different worlds came into fruition and hit us too hard and fast for us to even notice.

I think of the many girls I chased and pursued in my early stages here. It was a whole new world to me, yet I was still very unaware of how small of a game I was playing. So much prospective looking back now. I wonder who I would be had I used much of that time working on becoming a better musician…or getting better grades.

I left the North commons area (Warnock), and I was so unfamiliar with the pathway ahead of me. With the day starting to dim, I proceeded forward and tried to take it all in. Here was this perspective that I had never seen Penn State from ever before.

This passageway led to what is known as the Stuckeman Family Building. It was a building I felt like I had never seen before, but with further examination, realized that I had actually seen this building before, but only from one angle — over and over again. It looked huge, with its glass windows and studios filled with what seemed like a lot of junk — creative junk.

I continued to walk further and came upon two very short building which appeared to be very makeshift garage art studios. I walked closer across the cracking asphalt. I began to see that these were not abandoned buildings, but art studios of some kind. I walked into one of them. I rounded a corner near the entrance and spotted a young woman with whom I then expressed my current eureka moment. She then proceeded to give me a brief tour of what I was informed was the Ceramics Building. We proceeded to the other building across the asphalt walkway. This was the Visual Arts Building, I believe. We toured that one briefly before she left me to tend back to her work.

I exited this building and proceeded down the walkway I was on before I was distracted by the discreetness of the ceramics and arts buildings. As I continued to walk, I noticed the path becoming more familiar. I had spotted a bus stop well known to me, and I was finally able to comprehend where I was in relation to the rest of the Penn State “world.”

To my left, there was a building with the words “Borland Building,” printed on the door. It is apparently the home of the College of Arts & Architecture. This building was unknown to me, and so I figured to keep the walk of discovery going. I entered.

Before me was this room which stretched out to the other end of the building. Lining the sides of this elongated room were classrooms, studios, and coupled benches. Each couplet of benches had a table between them and a monitor affixed to the wall above it. I was taken aback by the color scheme of this room. It was very yellow. Rather, it was golden. I started feeling pangs of nostalgia. Much of my early childhood memories have an undertone of amber to them.

This lobby was the end of my miniature tour which left me wondering about the other parts of this campus I have not yet traversed, if ever. These relatively minor discoveries leave me hungry for more. What more can I discover if I just explore life I little harder?

As I left the Borland Building in delighted awe, I whispered to myself, “And now begins the Golden Era.”