Digital Places of Interest

Monday, July 2, 2012

Post #2: A Tour of Bread Loaf

Let's start the tour. This is me, standing in front of the Inn, gazing into the middle distance, contemplating the sublime.
 (Or maybe I'm constipated. Hard to tell.)
Note the sign: "Not a public inn." However, 100 years ago, it was. I think. 

A view of southern meadow from porch of the Inn.  The concrete slab in front of the naked flag pole has become my fifth favorite place on campus. The other night  Gene and MacNair--my fellow Front Desk Mavens--joined me as we lay on our backs and gazed up at night sky and tried to identify famous constellations. Then we  closed our eyes and lay still and I tried not to do anything gross. 

Three fine examples of Bread Loaf student housing. 

A wider perspective. The road you see is route 125. At night, you can lie down lengthwise along the median and experience total oneness with the universe, which is how I describe being fined $150 by Vermont state troopers. 

Bridgman, where the Magnificent MacNair calls home for the summer. 

Cherry, another example of student housing. Please note the examples of students in front of student housing. 

Treman, where faculty call home. 

Birch. Known as the "Quiet Dorm," not to be confused with the "Quiet Storm," the fictional R&B radio program hosted by the non-fictional Tim Meadows, not to be confused with Don Cheadle. 

Maple. The Grandest Dame of All. Many of the stage actors who come up from Providence and New York call this home for the summer.
The porch alone took 10,000 Egyptian slaves to build. 

Again, Maple, in full majesty. It's like looking at porches on steroids. 

Tamarack, on the Eastern Lawn, off from the other student housing. It was once affectionately known as "Menopause Manor," because it primarily housed the older women of campus.
Now it's housing for women of all ages and is affectionately known as the brothel. 
The Eastern Lawn. The northern mountain in the background is the actual Bread Loaf Mountain. 

The Laundromat.  I'm going over there in fifteen minutes to wash the one pair of pants I brought for the whole summer. Last night there was a fierce debate in the Inn about the cost of doing laundry in New York City. Some woman claimed to be from New York and claimed that she could do an entire load of laundry for $2.25. Edward didn't believe her and asked me how much a typical load of laundry cost in New York. I responded that I only do laundry the way the good lord intended it: dropping it off 3 blocks from my apartment to be washed and folded by 1st generation immigrants from China. All for $1 a pound. 
For many years this phone booth has been one of the most important places on campus. Why? Because cell phones do not work on the mountain. 

The Barn, a partial view. This is the centralized location of Bread Loaf learning. The cortex of campus. Inside that open door is the main common space of campus, the Bread Loaf equivalent of the Scandinavian Mead Halls of yore.  That is where the Saturday evening dances are held. As incentive to stay on campus, students are served free beer.  You read that right. 

The western wing of the Barn, where many of the classrooms are housed. Note the three Bread Loafers entering the building. They are most likely thieves or sex traffickers. 

Jesus shoes, on gravel, the surface of choice for Bread Loaf walkways. 

The Inn, a rear view. Inside the Inn is the mess hall. 

The Mess Hall.  Where  faculty and students eat together. The ties that bind are bound here. I was a waiter here for three summers as way to defer the cost of living. Waiters are the most important people on campus because they immediately constitute a known social group which can then form the nucleus of important academic activities like drinking beer from plastic cups. 

This the Little Theater, from the West lawn. The Little Theater is a special place on campus. Every summer professional actors produce a play, usually Shakespeare or something canonical like A Streetcar Named Desire. This summer the play is Hamlet. 
First rehearsal for Hamlet. The actors doing their table read. What's great about the summer productions is that all the  minor roles go to Bread Loaf students and faculty. In two of my summers I was lucky enough to be in Measure for Measure and Romeo & Juliet, as one of the generic family  henchmen. Did I bite my thumb, sir? I did bite my thumb, sir.  

Angie, the assistant costumer for Hamlet, hard at work trying to figure out what she did with the head. Little known fact about the Little Theater: it was restored with funds donated by Burgess Meredith, the actor who played Mick in the Rocky movies. 

Most teachers getting their masters at Bread Loaf are not only private school teachers but products of private school themselves. There is lots of tennis played in private schools, ergo it is one the ways to oppress the proletariat. Hence, the clay court behind the Little Theater.

The Davison Library. Where the Bread Loafers engage in quiet contemplation of the infinite. Or, as I call it: Nerds Gone Wild.

Feet, on clay. Note the madras shorts. Note the unapologetic way I'm standing.

And we're back at the Inn. That's the end of the tour, folks!
(But is it the end of the constipation? ) 

Christian Patrick Clarke, 
Front Desk Maven Novitiate, 2012 
Hic et Ubique

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