An ad for the University of Chicago

July 26, 2022 • 8:30 am

Yesterday, while tending my waterfowl, I came across this student hitting the books—or rather, the computer—on a table next to the pond. On the pond ledge right in front of her, Audrey and her entire brood of 12 were resting. (They’re almost all grown up now, and all of them can fly.)

Normally the ducks wouldn’t tolerate anyone being this close (except me with food), but the student was very quiet and didn’t disturb them. I complemented her on her respectful behavior, and we had a brief chat about the ducks. There are two types of pond-frequenters: those who love the ducks and those who couldn’t care less. She was in the first group, and had lots of questions. When I told her I was looking at a mother and her entire brood, the student became even happier, and was elated when one of the “babies” fell asleep with its head tucked under its wings—a very cute posture. Note the big smile on the student’s face (I asked permission to take the photo). It’s genuine.

Anyway, when I looked at the iPhone snap later, I realized it would be a great ad for the University of Chicago, with a header like this:

24 thoughts on “An ad for the University of Chicago

  1. I fixed the headline:
    University of Chicago
    Where Free Speech Rules the Discourse
    And You Can Study with Homo Sapiens

  2. [ tries to recover from last comment ]

    U. Chicago :
    Liberum Oratio Platyrynchos

    [ hopes to hold serve ]

  3. I love the alternative titles offered so far. My four decades of teaching have taught me that the fundamental obligation of any teacher is to create opportunities for students to take pride in the work they do. This student’s pride (so clearly captured in the photo) depends as much on how something is learned as it does on what is learned. Bravo!!!

  4. I really should go and have a look at Botany Pond in the flesh (though living 4000 miles away means that this is not a trivial undertaking), as I can never quite work out what the pond looks like as a whole, or from what perspective I’m viewing it. My ability to visualise the whole pond from the tons of great photos I’ve seen is pretty much nonexistent – I just can’t do it! My mind therefore tries to fit the photos together into one big composite. As a result I imagine the pond as being massive, when I know it’s not!

    I’d be really interested to know if it is it just me who experiences this weird sort of mental blockage.

    Does anyone else struggle with the same sort of thing?

Leave a Reply