It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, ... it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair ...
With apologies to Charles Dickens, I am writing about two sun dials on Cornell's campus. One is outside Goldwin Smith Hall in the Arts Quad.
|As A Shadow Such Is Life|
The other is in the Engineering Quad.
|Designed And Erected In Memory Of His (Joseph N. Pew, Jr.) Loyalty To Engineering At Cornell|
As an undergrad, I didn't pay much attention to either of these works of art. Apparently, neither do current students as they hurried past me while I was taking pictures. But these two sun dials merit contemplation. One is from the past, and with the gravitas that a layer of patina brings, provokes thoughts of time and mortality. The other looks outward, and with modern, shiny arms, seeks to embrace a future where the sky's the limit.
When family and friends talk about college, and when college bound students ask me what they should study, I show them these two photos and ask them which one piques their curiosity.