The Secret Society of the Science Complex

Monday, January 28 – On the surface level, the Lokey Science Complex is ornate, expansive, and accesible to all. Its cornerstone, Willamette Hall, is an open expanse that stretches four stories high, and is riddled with bubbly oddities and spidery infrastructure. Here, a business major who is fulfilling his science-group graduation requirement, studies for his astronomy class. “It’s a good place for studying,” Ben Phillips remarks. “I always heard good things about [the science complex].” The fluorescent glow of the London-park-at-night globular lamp posts do emanate brainy vibes.

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Willamette hall resonates with the sciences

In another corner, Chemistry Major Eric Vanderhoof studies as well. When asked what is commendable about the science complex, he says, “The lab equipment and rooms are put together. They got good set-ups.” Neither student has any qualm with the complex, though both seem to struggle to come up with something to say. Ultimately, Ben would like to see a bagel shop, while Eric cannot think of anything that could be improved.

However, go beneath surface-level, and a different world unfolds. An intricate network of tunnels and halls, where it is confusing if one is passing teachers’ offices, or rooms of cadavers, or the notorious secret testing labs. Senior Human Physiology Major Rebecca Feldman, who has been frequenting the space for four years, is highly familiar with its buildings. In addition to being a science major, she is a biology peer tutor (BPT), so she even boasts having keys to certain rooms. “All of the buildings are connected through secret passageways,” she says. “There’s a whole little community of us that like, live here. We’re always there.” She seems to be describing some sort of secret society. She even admits that she and the other BPTs often go to bars together, study together, and are essentially, a community of people connected on a, shall we say, physiological level. She seems to spend much of her time beneath the science complex, for as to its faults she comments, “It’s old and dingy. You don’t see the light of day. There’s a lack of windows for sure.”

There are a plethora of windows in Willamette Hall, where Ben and Eric study quietly. So, Rebecca must be alluding to her secret world beneath the surface, one that is puzzling and even dizzying to the novice non-science major, but in a strange way captivating to those who have spent most of their college experience within its dark and dingy tunnels. Rebecca nods perfunctorily at the outsider, and slinks back into the shadows.

– Lucas Stewart

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