Gator Grads

This evening I happened to be   over by the university, and realized that the graduations are starting this weekend.  Before I moved here, I always thought that there was one graduation per university and everyone graduated at the same ceremony.  That’s how it worked for my other graduations.  But with an enrollment of over 50,000 (down from over 70,000 four years ago with the new stricter admissions), there are just too many people graduating each semester for that to work.  So today and next weekend, the different schools have graduations staged in different auditoriums and at different times.  It helps a little in keeping traffic flowing,but it’s still generally better to try to avoid the area if you can.

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However, finding myself over there this evening, late enough for the graduations to be mostly over for the day, I decided to take the chance to honor my school and its new graduates with a few photos on campus.  If you have ever looked up UF, or watched a Gators football game, you’ve probably seen Century Tower, which is one of the iconic buildings on campus.  To me, it was often a reminder that it was time to go home to dinner when I had lost track of time working in the studio, or a reminder that it was time to go over for Krishna lunch before class started again.  The bells rang each day at noon, three, and six o’clock, playing a variety of tunes.

Next to Century Tower, stands another frequently photographed building, University Auditorium.  This was part of my daily viewing pleasure, since it is across from the architecture building, and on the way to Library West, where the Starbucks that’s open until about 3 AM is.  It is important to know where to find coffee when you realize that it is 2 AM and you are not likely to be done in time for your 10:40 class if you don’t just keep going.

One of my favorite buildings on campus, and not just because their bathrooms were unlocked and relatively clean on game days, is the band building.  Not the new Steinbrenner one, but the old one.  It is an atrium building, with a garden in the middle of it.  The enclosed area is open to air, and is often full of students.  Practice rooms and classrooms ring the outer walls, but it seems that just as much practice occurs in the atrium and even just outside the building.  Some of those band people even stay there most of the night practicing their instruments.  Unfortunately, it is usually the very loud instruments such as the tuba or the drums that are played at 3 AM, and usually not whole songs, or even complete passages, but just a few notes, over, and over, and over again.  Still, it is nice to know that there are other students as insane as those in architecture.  It makes it feel a little less lonely.

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