20 November 2006

Tourist trap

I work in a building that is also a tourist attraction. Given that I come from unremarkable Midwestern suburbia, it never ceases to amaze me that people from all over the world enter this building's courtyard to snap pictures of my office windows. And when I pass through the courtyard with my bike in tow, I am stopped by camera-toting Italians, Americans, and French wishing to capture their image next to the beautiful brick.

My office windows overlook this courtyard, and everyday at 12:15 an American guy brings his tour group within the four walls. As I check my email or compose brilliant dissertation chapters, he enthusiastically recites the stories that these walls hold, and his backpacker crew stare wide-eyed at hundreds of years of history.

Day after day, scores of humans marvel at this structure that now houses part of a university. Working in a building like this and even residing in a city like this is will always be an exercise in appreciation of my surroundings.

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