Sample Gates at Indiana University-Bloomington, Indiana
I'll tell you something that most of the students around here don't realize. I'm a bit of an upstart! Shhhh. Don't spread it around. It's sort of fun sitting here day after day listening to those kids speculate and make up 'facts'. I sit as a grand entrance to the oldest part of the Indiana University campus, so naturally lots of people think I'm old.
Truth is, I'm only a bit older than the kids who go to school here. 1987 is when I came into being, and most of the undergrads here came into being in the early '90's. We're nearly the same age, but because of my bearing and my location at the edge of old grandeur, they mistakenly assume I've been here forever!
Here's a sampling of what I heard last May:
"Take my picture by Sample Gates. It's a tradition from, like, since the university started!
"Why do they call it gates? I bet it's from when they used to lock the poor people out." --Okay, that kid was only about 8 years old, but still I got a chuckle. Locking the poor out of the campus.
"How old do you think these are?"
"This part is the original campus. These were built around the 1800's."
Then of course there's the older generation. Graduates love to come back and reminisce...some of them are bringing their own kids to school. Others are here for the sports or arts. I'm a very mixed bag for that group, let me tell you.
There's those who bemoan the fact that Kirkwood doesn't run through campus any longer. They are full of "it used to be..." and "When I was here..."
Lots of folks love the way the campus looks with me standing guard against the traffic and town. In the spring they ooh and aah at the lovely tulips. In the fall it's the autumn colors. In winter I get dressed up for the holidays with wreathes. Fortunately I've got style and lots of alumni love me. And in another generation I imagine I'll have been here long enough that there will be some truth to the "traditions" that new students are sure surround my existence!
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