[third post, travel course, Concordia University]

What did you think upon your arrival to Harvard’s campus?
I first noticed the brick wall surrounding Harvard’s primary campus, limiting access to specific gates. I’d only seen this in photos of Oxford University in the UK. Entering the campus through a gate made me think of entering differently. I felt like a true visitor. In contrast, when I enter the University of Texas at Austin’s open campus, I maintain complete anonymity. In Harvard’s small Cambridge campus, I didn’t feel that way.

I just felt cold. The weather? 14 degrees outside, with a stiff wind that created a -4 degree wind chill. It was hard to pay attention to the history of John Harvard while my feet and face were freezing over.

Are there any physical characteristics about Harvard’s campus that encourage knowledge?
What a strange question. I suppose I’ll use relevant 21st century language to describe Harvard’s general architectural appearance and say that Harvard looks very “Hogwarts-esque.” Old, red-brick buildings surround two quads.

Yale University, Southwestern University, Grinnell College, and Anderson University all look similar to Harvard in a physical sense. I don’t know if it’s architecture that encourages knowledge. If it is, and if Harvard does a particularly good job, we imply that Harvard’s style of architecture is superior to different architectural styles in that it better promotes education and intellectualism. I don’t think anyone’s interested in making that claim.

You can view some of my favorite photos from the trip on my photoblog.

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