el diablo robotico (platypus) wrote,
el diablo robotico

UW Madison's Union South has closed. The enormous campus has two student unions; the other is the far more glamorous Memorial Union, with its famous Terrace. I was a south campus girl, though, and I always liked Union South best. It may have been a dull concrete monstrosity, but it was home. My campus orientation was there. I spent many (many) pleasant hours in its game room, playing Ms. Pac Man and Bubble Bobble. Sometimes I had an audience. Freshman year, I walked down there on a snowy night a few days before Christmas; it was the end of Finals Week and campus was empty, but I was happy to have somewhere to go (this was a month before I discovered MUDs). I had my first job at the ice cream shop at Union South. Later, I worked at Wendt Engineering Library next door (what's with me and science libraries?), so I had many more occasions to hang out there. I had many, many lunches at the Red Oak Grill, and attended a few of its Jazz Nights. On Tuesday nights, I could always be found at the Starlight Cinema independent film series (it was never the same after it moved to the fancy theater at the Memorial Union). I stayed in Union South's guest rooms once, on a visit after I graduated. I was always amused by the lounge in the women's room, though I once spent far too long in it when I got stuck there with a nosebleed. Ken and I went there to use the public computers once, to get information on a geocache next door. I always stopped by when I was in town, to browse through the Corner Store or check my email or just look fondly at its familiar spaces.

And now they're going to tear it down, and that makes me sad, no matter how big and shiny the building they replace it with may be. I didn't know its fate, last October, or I would have made more of a point of having a last look (as it is, I can't remember if we did more than wait for a bus outside). Campus has changed a lot since my day. I say that like it's more than twelve years gone, but since then they've torn down a dorm I stayed in, built a towering building on top of a plaza where I used to shop, remodeled my old library past recognition, gotten rid of the Bucky Badger clock, changed in a hundred other subtle ways. It's good; I'm glad they're still active and vital and all that. But it's strange to think that the university I remember no longer quite exists.
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