This is going to be a rather long post, but it’s mostly photographs so I think you’ll enjoy it. When I went to get my student ID card at Kerckhoff Hall, I asked for directions and was told it was “the one that looks like a big castle.” Indeed, as you can see, it does resemble a castle quite a bit.
As I was leaving Kerckhoff, a campus tour was just about to begin so I tagged along. The tour itself was somewhat informative, but it was also pretty funny because the guide kept talking about various #1 rankings for UCLA that UCSC also has (e.g. most vegetarian/vegan school cafeterias in the country) – although probably from different entities/magazines.The tour basically gave me a cursory overview of the central campus (what several of the buildings were named and where their were).
I always like to nose around wherever I happen to be, also I’m thinking of applying here for grad school, so I revisited some places in more detail (by going inside, for example) and looked around a few other places that weren’t on the tour.
I passed by Royce Hall a week or so ago and found it all decked out for a certificate program’s graduation ceremony. It’s a pretty building, isn’t it? I wonder if they hold all the graduation ceremonies there.
Royce Hall Graduation
I also visited three libraries. This was partially because I had to get a book from each one, but also partially out of “professional” interest as a student library assistant at UCSC. The arts library isn’t as grand as the other two, but the Powell Library looks like the inside of a church and YRL, as they call it here, kind of looks like a cross between a modern art museum and a faux-futuristic set from a 1960s television show.
Powell circulation desk
YRL circulation desk
You already got to see the screening room in Melnitz Hall where I have my class in a previous post, but the vicinity around it is quite interesting too.
The lobby for that building is covered with various movie posters, and makes quite a striking impression on visitors.
Also inside the building are a number of TV studios and their associated control rooms. This is quite a bit beyond what I’m used to seeing at UCSC’s Press Center.
The production office, basically the main office for the building, had a few neat ideas that I rather wish would be implemented at UCSC. For example, as you can see in the picture below, they give filmmakers and actors ready access to each other by putting the resumes/photos of the available performers right on the front counter in the office.
Behind Melnitz Hall is a kind of back lot area with some storage rooms for props, some staging areas where fairly large groups of students with cameras were shooting videos, and a small eating place called the Stage Canteen that serves sandwiches, snacks, and drinks. I always bring my own lunch, as a cost-saving measure, but if I didn’t this place would be quite convenient.
One place that I ended up going to much more often than Melnitz is the John Wooden fitness center, UCLA’s gym. It’s been interesting comparing this place to our own OPERS.
Running track (located directly below dorms)
The area immediately around the facility has a soccer field, a football field, a running track with a field in the center, and a very large tennis stadium. Each of the lanes on the track is dedicated to different activities: (5-6) running, (7-8) jogging, (9) walking, except lanes 1-5, which are closed to visitors.
I still can’t get used to the idea of blue tennis courts. Walking up to this place, I thought it was the location of the swimming pool until I reached the top of the stairs. Still, it is a pretty stadium.
The inside of the John Wooden Center is rather large. It houses a full sized rock wall, a circuit room, several racquetball courts, a few dance studios, a basketball/gymnastics court, and what seems to be a volleyball/badminton court.
My roommate has also been taking fitness classes in this giant, powder-blue room, so I guess it’s kind of a multipurpose court.
The exercise machines (ellipticals, treadmills, stationary bicycles, etc.) are located throughout the building. There is a very large room called “the strength zone” where most of the weight training machines are located, separated into sections by the categories of upper body, lower body, and free weights. There are also some in the “circuit room.” Most of the people that use the circuit room don’t seem to have any conception of what circuit training means, as they tend to camp out on each of the machines by doing a set, sitting on the machine for a couple of minutes, doing another set, and repeating this until they’re done instead of moving from one machine to another after each set like they are supposed to. This is true of any gym though. Many of the cardio fitness machines are located in a room adjacent to the “strength zone,” but they also line the halls on just about every floor.
UCLA’s version of our own recreation/ELP programs are also located in this building. Here are a couple of message boards giving some idea of the programs they have available here.
Recreation trips to Big Sur, Yosemite, etc.
A few days ago, when the sight of some rather interesting flora drew me to wander into the music building, I happened upon the school’s marching band just as they were wrapping up a rehearsal and held the door so that the tuba players wouldn’t have to struggle to get out. One of them commented, “You seriously just saved my life!” An exaggeration, to be sure, but it’s nice to get thanks for being polite. A few minutes later, on my way home I heard the band playing from somewhere up in Kerckhoff Hall, so I followed the sound and found myself right in the middle of a summer orientation session for new incoming students.
UCLA marching band
I got the impression that it was really more of an all day event, but the portion that I stumbled upon looked to have been just after they had eaten and were wandering around amongst various tables manned by several of the on-campus orgs.The last place I went, and unfortunately forgot to take pictures, was the student commons located in Ackerman Hall below the area with most of the little restaurants. The Commons has a campus credit union, almost a dozen ATMs (including a free credit union co-op ATM, which was the reason I came there in the first place), several more boutique like eating places such as Jamba Juice and Wetzel’s Pretzels, a tiny natural foods store, several study areas, an information desk, a textbook store separate from the regular UCLA Store, and some kind of a place meant to collect blood donations. There was probably even more down there that I missed, but it was nonetheless an impressive experience.
One thing that definitely takes some getting used to about this campus is the fact that many of the buildings are interconnected. If you enter the UCLA store and take the elevator, you can get out into sections of three or so different buildings altogether. However, if I were to sum up the biggest differences between the layouts for the campuses of UCLA and UCSC, I would probably just say that UCLA is like a giant public park (mown grass, trees, squirrels, statues and buildings on a mostly level campus with several large staircases that one must scale to get to class) and UCSC is like a state park (forests, open meadows, deer and raccoons with the squirrels, and buildings placed all up and down great hills and mountains that one must hike to get to class). I can’t honestly say that I completely prefer one over the other. Both are lovely campuses in their own ways and I’m glad that I’ve taken the opportunity to study at both.