Saturday, May 24, 2008

In Normal

On Thursday, I took the train down to Bloomington. Actually, it's Normal. The station was relocated from Bloomington to Normal, IL. But Amtrack still stubbornly calls it "Bloomington."

The conductor came through the cars, calling out: "Next station, Bloomington. All passengers for Bloomington, please check the area for personal items and then step to the front. This train is on time!"

Apparently, the train was on time for the first time in several months.

Normal is called "Normal" because Illinois State University is here.

It used to be called Illinois State Normal School, being the downstate teacher's college.

This picture is Watterson Towers, built on the lowest point of the glacial moraine. The townspeople

waited for years for it to be finished, before realizing that the unfinished look was planned. The town still calls it the ugliest building in central Illinois. It's hard to know what the "gown" contingent thinks. But all the other new building since built look more like they belong on the brick-and-ivy quad.
Although I am here to visit family, I am also going to be meeting Susan from the Corn and Oil Blog.
She lives, homeschools and writes from her home here in central Illinois, and we both attended ISU in years past, although we do not know each other in person.
I will be returning to Albuquerque Monday, and I will begin teaching the following the week for IRD. This weekend is for visiting. And the sun has finally come out.
It may act like Memorial Day Weekend after all.


Susan said...

Hi Elisheva, hope you had a safe trip back.

I didn't know about Watterson being built on the lowest point of the moraine, but it makes sense that you would know that.

I'm glad we got together for a bit. I learned a lot about central Illinois geology and the Illinois Arch, for one.

Hope we can do this again when you're in town. 'Course I'd rather be visiting you in NM.

Thanks for noting Corn and Oil. It's been in severe neglect the last few weeks and it's time I got back on the blog wagon.

Off to our local Memorial Day ceremony....

Melora said...

I love the second picture -- perfect college campus! The first Is remarkably ugly, though. Reminds me of Madonna, in her torpedo bra phase.

Kaber said...

NORMAL SCHOOL sounds funny... ike as opposed to the IL Weird School

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Hi, Kaber--Yes, it is a strange way to think about it. Living in a town called "Normal" can get really strange, too.
When my first husband and I were married, they published the marriage license info like this:

"C., L. and K.,E.; both Normal."

In leaving out the "of" The Daily Pantagraph gave me printed proof that I am not as eccentric as I seem.

Teacher's colleges used to be called "normal" schools for reasons I do not fully understand.