Author: Lisa Vaccarelli, C’02, GEd’10
As a double Penn alumna who has worked at the University for nearly seven years, it’s easy to take Penn’s campus for granted. Every day, I walk briskly up Locust Walk unfazed by the greenery that surrounds me. When I find the time to leave my desk for lunch, I make a beeline to Houston Hall or a nearby food truck, rarely detouring from my all too familiar and direct route. But every once in a long while, a fresh set of eyes and an unseasonably spring-like day combine to pull me out of my bubble.
Last week on a particularly sunny and warm day, my dear colleague Liz Pinnie, who has been at Penn just under six months, organized an expedition to the Bio Pond. I’d only visited the Bio Pond one time prior, during my freshman year at Penn – well over 10 years ago. At first, I met Liz’s suggestion with some resistance – it was so far away and what if it was muggy and bug-ridden? But with just a bit of extra prodding – and a personal map – I agreed to join her.
The Bio Pond is truly a little oasis in the middle of campus. Grad students and staff and young families sit at picnic tables eating their lunches, while turtles sun themselves on rocks nearby. Yes, the trip required a deviation from normal routine. But thanks to Liz and those extra rays of sunshine, I was reminded of what a truly extraordinary place Penn’s campus is – and of just how lucky I am to spend my 9-5 here!