Learning and Labor

The Alma Mater, a sculpture on the corner of Green and Wright streets shows the University of Illinois’ motto with a figure to the right representing Learning and a figure to the left representing Labor. If you’ve visited campus in the past few weeks, you might have noticed the pedestal was empty. An outdoor bronze statue can’t last forever without restoration work and this past summer, the 5-ton statue was removed for a touch up by the Conservation of Sculpture and Objects Studio. One of the interesting questions they’ll answer is what was the statue’s original color? If you notice above it is clearly green, but any photos of the original statue cast in 1929 were in black-and-white. All I really care about though is that they promised to have it back by 2013 commencement so I will still be able to get my coveted graduation photo with it.

It seems fitting to title my first blog post of senior year with the motto of the University of Illinois. Those two words pretty accurately cover my past three years on campus. If you wanted to cover my entire experience it’d have to be Learning, Labor and a Whole Lotta Fun, but that wouldn’t be quite as appropriate for such a prestigious university. As I enter into my final year at U of I, my main priorities are finishing up my education requirements, completing my Senior Design Project, and getting a job. I’ll be busier than ever before doing all these at the same time, but I want to make sure I don’t take this amazing campus for granted.

I can’t stress enough how much I have loved these past three years in Champaign-Urbana. Some people say that college was the best four years of their lives, and right now, this seems pretty hard to beat. For my own sanity’s sake, I’ve started to accept the idea that fun won’t end after college and that my real life will actually begin. It’s easier when I see the enormous network of alumni out in the real world that have shared the Illini experience. I may not have really understood what it meant to belong at U of I when I applied here, but I sure get it now. I hope you choose to Apply to Illinois to be a part of such a great community not just in college but in your career afterwards.


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