There’s a devastating scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, in the opening, tone-setting portion of the movie. C-3PO and R2-D2, droids carrying fabulous secrets, crash land in the barren wastes of the planet Tatooine and immediately survey their surroundings, intent on making their way to civilization. As they gaze about, nothing but sand dunes and craggy, parched rock stretches away to the horizon. It is a landscape devoid of culture, of habitable climes, of — we might say — emotion and morals. They are alone in the caustic backwater of the galaxy, and there is no way out.
To make a long story short: let’s get the quad in front of the SciLi renovated already.
The vegetation exists, in its current form, as a series of unkept polygons of dust, pitiful handfuls of Miracle-Gro scattered hither and thither. These plots of land are, ostensibly, gardens, those organic lenses through which we view the relationship between our academic lives and the vibrancy of the natural world. In reality, though, they resemble the V-Dub’s rock garden after a marriage between Agent Orange and the type of California fruit farm cropdusting that inspires class-action lawsuits. The few hardscrabble shrubs that have survived look desperate, calling out for succor, slowly suffocating like a Gary Sinise-less Apollo 13 crew.
This shouldn’t be that hard of a decision for the University to make: They already rebuilt the dormitory equivalent of Alderaan, post-Death Star attack (yeah, we’re continuing the Star Wars parallels), and if Keeney can be hailed as the year’s greatest comeback story, then surely a few pickup trucks of dirt can roar in here from Home Depot and we can get this place looking habitable. And flowers! Can the people that run Brown even fathom how quickly tiger lilies spread? That shit is like a pandemic. Some color in that quad may increase the morale of the huddled masses trudging to the CIT. Hey, it might even look like we actually care about our school.
Now that’s an interesting thought! How WOULD the quad look if we renovated it? Click on the humble image below and feast your eyes on a plan that the head honchos should really consider.
The idea is simple: make big mounds of earth with grass, flowers, garden gnomes, whatever, all throughout the quad. Simple. Throw down the soil, pack it down, and hoo-rah, you’ve got yourself a nice green quad with garden features that kids might not actively try to destroy by tramping across. Did I mention this is simple?
Someone’s gonna be that guy and ask about pricing, but honestly, people forget that this is a school where the E-board looks at $1 billion and thinks “what about next month?” I’m thinking this will top out at a couple hundred grand — or, as the Corporation would say, “lunch money.” It’s basically…well…dirt. And grass seed. Let’s say we add some of that Scotts turf builder stuff the weird red-haired guy is always advertising on TV, then stick in a couple geranium bulbs, then water the thing, what, twice a week? With a hose? Hell, I’d volunteer to do it, I walk through the SciLi Desert M/W/F. I bet, and just bear with me here, that our new grass mounds could even be planted with red mums in the shape of big letter B’s. Aesthetic humor? Some much-needed beauty? Maybe a few moss-covered boulders to add visual interest during the winter, or big boards for encouraging street art and student displays? Geez, this sounds almost doable.
Hey, you know what? I bet some generous alum would just give us the money for a chance to get the family name displayed on a lovely bronze plaque.
Haha, naaahhh, who are we kidding, let’s just raise tuition and pass the buck.
BlogDailyHerald gives the University the maximum penalty of five flogs for this aesthetic atrocity. Your move, Paxson.