You know, Temple, I’m sick and tired of people telling me how ugly you are. I’ve seen the University of Pennsylvania, I’ve seen Villanova, I’ve seen St. Joe’s and I like you more. Confucius said, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
That’s you, Temple.
You’re beautiful when I walk down Liacouras Walk, seeing trees, students and perhaps getting a Slurpee at 7-Eleven. You’re beautiful when I walk down Broad Street, with red Temple flags flying above me, old brick buildings covered with ivy to my left and City Hall off in the distance.
You’re beautiful in the spring when the sun is out and students camp on Beury Beach, the grass in front of Beury hall. You’re beautiful in the winter when the snow sticks to the red flags and the Bell Tower and students grumble as they walk to class.
You’re beautiful in the fall when students return to campus and have reunions next to the Bell Tower or on Liacouras Walk. Your packed-to-capacity bookstores and your long lines, there’s beauty there too. There’s beauty in the humor of it – people have to see the humor in it – otherwise we’ll have nervous breakdowns.
You’re beautiful at three in the morning in Tuttleman computer lab, when students are drinking coffee and desperately trying to get their paper done before class in a few hours. Your beauty is amplified when those students look around and see their classmates also drinking coffee and pounding mercilessly on computer keys.
You’re beautiful during football season, when students go to Lincoln Financial Field, hear the band play, see Hooter and Baby Owl run around, watch the cheerleaders and the dancers and pray that maybe, just maybe, Temple will win the game.
You’re beautiful when students frantically attempt to register for classes at 12:01 a.m., throwing up their arms in victory if they can get onto Owlnet, and registering as quickly as possible before they get booted from the site for no apparent reason.
I remember sitting in the Franklin House computer lab my freshman year, making the best friends I’d made in college as we united in the common struggle of registration.
You’re beautiful when I walk to my 8:40 a.m. class and chuckle at the students who drink coffee like they breathe oxygen as they trudge to class.
All your inconveniences and quirks are beautiful, Temple. People just have to see them that way. You force people to be patient and resilient. If everything was easy, that wouldn’t be real world training now, would it, Temple? There’s beauty in the fact that every Temple student can relate to each other at least in talking about troubles with registration, financial aid or other school-related inconveniences.
St. Joe’s has grass, UPenn has its Ivy League status and Villanova has nice scenery. They can have as much clichéd beauty as they want, Temple, but they’re still boring. You’re never boring. You don’t need Ivy League status or nice scenery because you have a beauty all your own.
Carolyn Steeves can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.