Student life at the University of Chicago is famously un-fun: we were, in fact, voted last on a national list of “fun colleges”—and the students are proud of it! Every year, for instance, the students sell tee-shirts showing our school at the bottom of the fun rankings, along with the motto “The University of Chicago: Where fun comes to die.” (Another favorite shirt proclaims: “The University of Chicago: Hell does freeze over.”)
But the administration does its best to try to enliven the College Experience for a bunch of studious kids. Sadly, their “idea” of fun involves things like having students get up at 6 a.m. on days as cold as this and gather at the gym daily for a week to do group exercises (I think they used to do them by the lake in the freezing weather). Calisthenics build solidarity!
Our winter fun also includes ice sculpture. Once a year, during the coldest weather, the U of C hires several ice sculptors to carve blocks of ice in the quad right outside my lab. They’re quite amazing—at least until they’re vandalized, which takes about a week.
They just went up this week, so here are two showing the U of C emblems: a phoenix and a gargoyle:
During the day. Note the modern touch: that scanning code, whatever it’s called.