Sunday, May 06, 2007

Photo Tour of the University of South Florida

My friend Mia and I both got nostalgic with our cameras... She during the last week or so before returning to Del Ray Beach on the East Coast of Florida, and I on the very last day following my last exam at about 4:30pm. My photos, because they were taken on a camera phone and not a "real" digital camera as hers were, are of much poorer quality. (Oh, yeah, and I have the pictures of the exorcism of the Pentecostals posted below... just scroll down.)

First, my photos...

These photos are of the courtyard/lunch area outside of Cooper Hall (which is the Arts and Sciences Building). There is a Subway where the green awning is, where we often buy sandwiches for lunch... like two to three times a week... You would think that we would hate Subway at this point, but we don't...

This is a big old Live Oak tree near Cooper Hall. We often sat under this one for lunch early in the year when lots of people were eating in front of Cooper and we didn't want to vie for tables. Toward the end of the first semester though, fewer and fewer people come to school, lots start to drop out and so for the rest of the year, one can usually find a table somewhere... Also in the colder months, it's not particularly comforable to sit in the deep shade, so we would sit on the middle lawn in the sun where it is warm.

Palm trees and the side of Cooper Hall.

This was taken lying in the grass. In the distance through all the greenery, you can kinda see the Burger King. I hate that we have a Burger King on campus...

This is the view to the North of Cooper Hall and that's the corner of the relatively new Education Building that is visible there. My friend Maria is walking toward me with her cell phone out...

This is the side of the Education Building.

We have these super-uncomfortable benches all over campus... People sit on them, but it usually is not for very long. There are more comfortable ones as well, but I don't have a picture of one of those...

These two pictures were taken while I was sitting in my absolute favorite spot for a solitary picnic at USF. It's under a very big Live Oak tree, one of the largest I've found on campus, whose branches stretch out very far over the lawn on a rise next to this nice pond. I think it's an Ent. Across the pond is one of the newer, nicer dorms - Castor Hall, named for Betty Castor, one of the former Presidents of the University. Her daughter, Kathy Castor, is now a US Congresswoman from Florida.

Now, on to Mia's photos...

As if the "Go Bulls!" banners on all the light posts and the huge "USF" sign at the entrance weren't enough of a clue, they have road signs... ;P

This is the Sundome and the Sundome parking lot. This is where I would usually park my car as it is the closest student parking lot to the buildings I usually have classes in. Still, it's about a quarter of a mile walk to just get near Cooper Hall. The Campus Recreation Center is just to the left of the frame of this photo. The Sundome is a pretty nice concert venue and it is also where graduation ceremonies are held.

Here's the west-facing side of Cooper Hall.

Here's the sign on Cooper Hall next to the Subway on the north side.

Here's the biggest Live Oak outside Cooper Hall in the middle of the courtyard.

Here's Mia's bike parked outside Cooper Hall:

A lot of people who live on or near campus get around on bikes because it's cheaper and in some cases much easier than having a car on campus.

These three photos are of the Communication and Information Sciences Building, aka Mass Comm or CIS, located directly south of Cooper Hall:

It's one of the newest buildings on campus.

This is the inside of CIS. I love the sky light and it has real trees growing in the atrium (I don't know what kind they are though).

In between Cooper Hall and CIS is this big, metal, solar swirly thing:

It creates fun shadows on the cement...

As you can see, in the center is this:

At various points around the plaza are significant events in history, like this one...

Not all of the events are linked to space, however, some are significant in Florida history or are significant yearly events, such as the summer solctice, which is when the circle is around the center piece of metorite, pictured above.

The cardinal directions are also marked:

This is the east lawn outside Cooper Hall, in between that building and the street that borders the Sundome Parking Lot:

ROTC uses the east lawn to do formations and whatever else it is that they do...

This is another view from a different angle. The Business Administration Building, aka BSN or "the bunker," is visible in the background (where the rise is in the center and toward the right). It's called the bunker because the building is earth-sheltered and two of the three floors of it are fully underground. It think it's pretty cool. Should get more pictures of it...

A stone's throw to the west of Cooper Hall is the Library:

A six-floor plus basement repository of knowledge... The first floor also contains a Starbucks (one of two on campus - the other is in the Marshal Center in the Bookstore).

It was recently repainted... It still looks old...

Mia also took pictures of her dorm, Epsolon, which is one of the oldest not-recently renovated dorms on campus. It is the "ghetto dorm" according to Mia.

As you can see, it has tiny windows when it has windows at all... Why is it that school architecture in the 1970s hated windows? Were they afraid that the Vikings would attack that they needed buildings that looked like fortresses?

Between Epsolon and the Student Union (the Marshal Center) on the north side of the campus (Cooper is on the south side) is a parking garage. I think it was the first parking garage built on campus to try to cope with the parking crisis we have.

They put "art" in the elevator banks on every floor. Most of it isn't all that bad, but on the first floor, the pieces of canvas which were superglued to the cement walls are peeling off...

The Marshal Center is pretty small for a school with over 35,000 students. They are in the process of building a new Marshal Center which should be finished about a year and three months from now if it will be on time. One of the nicest places to eat at the Marshal Center (because it largely serves as a glorified food court) is on the patio, which is shaded with a wide overhang:

In the summer on days around 90 degrees or hotter, they turn on this water misting system to keep people cool on the patio. It's actually really nice... What's not nice is that they leave the fans on all the time, no matter what the temperature is...

Connecting the Marshal Center and the Administration Building (where the office of the President is as well as the cashier, where you go if you have to pay your tuition in person) is the MLK Plaza Colonade.

In the above photo, you can see the blue contruction fences surrounding what will be part of the new Marshal Center.

We have fun squirrels all over campus who like to steal food and pose for pictures because they aren't very afraid of people:

We also have ferel cats on campus, but Mia didn't get any pictures of them.

Mia also didn't take any pictures of the MLK Plaza for some reason, and I should get some myself. It was designed to mimic the Mall in Washington, DC, where a lifesize bust of Martin Luthor King, Jr. is in the position of the Lincoln Memorial, then there's a reflecting pool and on the opposite end there's a Lincoln Memorial shaped granite slab, where the Washington Monument would be, inscribed with the "I have a dream" speech. And then there's a very large lawn several hundred feet long stretching out to the West, just like the Mall. It's pretty cool.

1 comment:

Sean said...

I love your blog, it's a shame I haven't found you sooner. I recently was accepted to USF and offered a scholarship to go there. I've visited on my own and loved it.

I was just wondering if you could give me some perespective as someone who has lived at USF and gone through the entire experience there.

Considering that Tampa has something of a reputation for being a dangerous/crime-ridden city, did you ever at any time feel unsafe as a student at the University? Do you think that it would be reasonable or unreasonable for a prospective student who lives on campus to have significant concerns about their safety at and around USF?

Any information and details would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to email me at that would be fantastic.

Thank you so much for this blog and your virtual tour of the campus.