Wednesday, December 06, 2006
My favorite place to sit on campus is at Ludwig's Fountain. Ludwig's Fountain is located just to the side of Sproul Plaza between the little market place and the student store. It's just before students meet a handful of groups "tabling" for student support for various causes from wanting a free Palestinian state to the Berkeley College Republicans (yes, they do exist). Ludwig's Fountain has a history behind it, as well as half of whatever is on campus. Ludwig von Schwarenberg was the campus canine back in the early 1960s, he enjoyed hanging out near the dining commons hoping to get scraps of food from students and he enjoyed just playing with all the young adults. When the new student union center was built back in 1961 the university built a fountain to attract foot traffic to the new plaza. It attracted four more legs than it expected. Ludwig enjoyed playing in the fountain with the students during the day and he went home promptly at 5:30 everyday. He became the unofficial mascot to the university from 1961-1965 when his family moved to Alameda. The regents dedicated the fountain in honor of the campus canine making Ludwig's Fountain the first place on campus to be named after an animal.
As I was saying, this is my favorite place to sit on campus. I either read the Daily Californian while eating breakfast or just sit and listen. THe fountain makes a great calm background noise of flowing water. Now, one may be asking why I would want to sit in a place with so much foot traffic. The truth of the matter is that I am rarely sitting at Ludwig's Fountain with anyone else. I feel like I can step out of time at the fountain and watch the world around me. I see dancing, hook ups, breakups, successes and failures. Just as the water reflects my image, I can reflect on life and where I am and where I want to be. Whenever I think of the history of the fountain I think of a more carefree time, when animals would come on campus and the students would play with it. Before the idea of having to make a six digit income after graduation planted itself into the mind of every university student. I enjoy Ludwig's fountain, I can look into Sproul Plaza around Sather Gate to see all the activism and think about changing the world or I can look out into the city and think of being part of something unique, or look out to the west side of campus and think about how I can escape life. It's a magical place, I invite you to come there with me.
Posted by Benji at 8:34 PM