Fiona Parker’s Campus Quirks

There is, subject to several University and national laws, nothing you can’t do here. With this in mind, I decided to grab life by the balls as well as the binoculars and go in search of the hidden treasures within our very own concrete jungle

Lily Grant

1. The Campus Buddha – The stresses and strains of undergraduate life may prompt you to call on your inner zen more than once during your time here. Located between Vanbrugh and Derwent College on Hes West is your very own piece of the Far East. The bronze statue was donated by Mrs Elizabeth Cooper and was part of a collection owned by her father, JB Morrell. He was a historian, author and a Lord Mayor of York. The library is named after him. He is a pretty major BNOC.

2. Hendrix Hall – The Derwent lecture hall was named after Jimi himself played a gig there in 1967. Nowadays, the stage is headlined by the big names of your academic departments, these guys are probably right not to risk too many stage dives. While the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll of the location may have died earlier than Hendrix, there’s no reason why you can’t live the rock and roll lifestyle whilst you’re there. Who’s to stop your purchasing a cheeky Kopparberg as a sweet filling for your double lecture sandwich? Go on, I dare you.

“But however tempting a cheeky Chinese pancake may be, do restrain yourself from wielding your kitchen knife.”

3. The Larpers – On the second day of my university career I came face-to-face with my own mortality. Whilst walking back to my new home with my new flatmates, the forest by the Alcuin car park resonated with a roar that couldn’t possibly come from somebody being sick. In the wake of a flock of fleeing rabbits, stood a tall figure clothed in leather and chainmail. He held a weapon in his hands – as a result of the trauma, I cannot remember exactly what kind of weapon it was, but I remember being quite intimidated at the time. It was my first encounter with a LARPer and I doubt I will ever forget it. If you fancy joining these cheeky chappies, they’ll be hard to miss at Freshers Fair.

Lily Grant

4. What the Duck! – No, seriously, what is with all the ducks? Your University may not have quite scooped the top spot on the national rankings for its research, but we can boast of the highest duck population of all UK institutions. Our duck density stands at 14 birds per quarter acre. The duck-deprived students of Warwick can only boast of 7. But however tempting a cheeky Chinese pancake may be, do restrain yourself from wielding your kitchen knife. Any student found guilty of duck murder is expelled. One particular famous moment in duck history saw a cleaner find what remained of a poor mallard’s foot in a campus bin. Expulsion is far too soft a punishment for such a crime. Might I suggest death by hoisin sauce.

“The University of York is indeed, a place where dreams are made of.”

5. Cognitive Congestion – On the Hes Eastern Front (sorry, I did try to stop myself) two spherical statues can lead you into a world of internal thought as you begin to question the meaning of the unnamed and apparently unrequired statue. Countless cogs tessellate together to form two earth-shaped sculptures. Such a lack of description may lead one to ask numerous questions. Do we live on earth or in time? Does time form our experiences of the world or does the world form our experiences of time? Does the world need these statues? Does the world need you?

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And so concludes my campus exploration. A third-year such as I can no longer deal with such a physically-demanding labour of love. I must retire to the hidden confines of the J.B Morrell library. Please go out and continue to surprise those who still believe that the University’s architectural style is nothing more than one of the many “mistakes” born from the 1960s. When you have done this come and tell me about it. I’ll be the young lady tucking into a takeaway at the Library Cafe. Sometimes pancakes can appear to have lives of their own.

2 comments

  1. The cog-orbs on Hes East are a sculpture called Algol, donated to Goodricke by the Physics department in 1970 to commemorate astronomer John Goodricke’s (the college’s namesake) discovery of the binary star Algol.

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  2. 4 Oct ’13 at 4:28 pm

    Michael Walker

    As far as I’m aware, the orbs are made out of old train bits.

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