What you don’t see on a tour II: Mudd’s nooks and crannies

This week Lin brings you the second installment of her blog series, “What you don’t see on a tour”. Enjoy!

If you attend a campus tour, you’ll likely see some of the high-traffic areas of campus: the Shanahan center (classrooms with big white tables and teal rolling chairs), the Engineering Clinic rooms in Parsons (exhibit A: multimeters, breadboards, and electrical components scattered on a table), and Platt campus center (the room with lots of comfy couches). Although Mudd hasn’t been traditionally known for having beautiful spaces (see various “Ugliest College” lists), we do have lots of nice spaces where students love to work or hang out. Consider this blog post an unofficial tour of some of the lesser-known nooks and crannies where you might spend your time in the coming years (:

In order to bring this blog post to you, I dragged my fellow senior intern Kaitlin away from her dutiful post at the Admissions Office and kick-started her modeling career. You’re welcome, Kaitlin! As you can tell in the following photo series of goofy pictures in study spaces, Mudd students tend to take their work but not themselves seriously. Scroll along (all the way, because there’s a bonus prize at the end for reading all the way through) and enjoy!

1. Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning Outdoor Classroom.

There's a really nice outdoor space on the third floor of "the Shan" (or the "RMSCTL," pronounced "rum skittle"). Kaitlin models one of the dry-erase markers on the frosted glass whiteboard.

There’s a really nice outdoor space on the third floor of “the Shan” (or the “RMSCTL,” pronounced “rum skittle”). Kaitlin models one of the dry-erase markers on the frosted glass whiteboard.

2. Harvey Mudd College Writing Center

Located on the first floor of the Shan, the Writing Center is a great place to get help from student writing tutors at any stage of the writing process. The meeting rooms are also a popular place for students to study during the daytime, when the Writing Center is closed. We stumbled upon some notes on orthogonality, so we learned something new today with the help of a friendly neighborhood sock puppet and a dictionary (two of the Writing Center's many available resources).

Located on the first floor of the Shan, the Writing Center is a great place to get help from student writing tutors at any stage of the writing process. The meeting rooms are also a popular place for students to study during the daytime, when the Writing Center is closed. We stumbled upon some notes on orthogonality, so we learned something new today with the help of a friendly neighborhood sock puppet and a dictionary (two of the Writing Center’s many available resources).

3. Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts work space

One of the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts (HSA) Department's work spaces can be found right next to the west entrance to the Parsons Engineering Building. I found my friend and recent grad Greta Gadbois doing reading for a class she is taking with Professor Steinberg here, and she let me take a picture :)

One of the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts (HSA) Department’s work spaces can be found right next to the west entrance to the Parsons Engineering Building. I found my friend and recent grad Greta Gadbois doing reading for a class she is taking with Professor Steinberg here, and she let me take a picture 🙂

4. HSA Department Corner Workspace

The HSA Department also houses one of my favorite couches on campus: purple is one of my favorite colors (currently ranked third behind glitter and pink), and the shape reminds me of lava lamp goo.

The HSA Department also houses one of my favorite couches on campus: purple is one of my favorite colors (currently ranked third behind glitter and pink), and the shape reminds me of lava lamp goo. What more could you want in a chair?

5. Engineering Department Lounge

Juniors Faith Lemire-Baeten and Ian Song sip on Engineer's Select coffee while working on summer research.

Juniors Faith Lemire-Baeten and Ian Song sip on Engineer’s Select coffee while working on summer research.

6. Engineering Department Keurig Machine

While coffee might be the unofficial drink of academia, you should be relieved to know that the Engineering Department Keurig also makes tea, hot chocolate, and hot apple cider* (*while supplies last).

While coffee might be the unofficial drink of academia, you may be relieved to know that the Engineering Department Keurig also makes tea, hot chocolate, and hot apple cider* (*while supplies last).

7. Computer Science Department Olin Lounge

Why was Kaitlin compelled to sit down on the couch? Because Science (magazine).

Why was Kaitlin compelled to sit down on the couch? Because Science (magazine).

9. Biology Department Lounge

Kaitlin made friends with a cactus plant in the Biology Department Lounge in the Olin Building. The cactus seemed pretty prickly, so Kaitlin attempted to comfort it.

Kaitlin made friends with a cactus plant in the Biology Department Lounge in the Olin Building. The cactus seemed pretty prickly, so Kaitlin attempted to comfort it.

10. Cooper

Kaitlin checks on Cooper, the Biology Department's guinea pig, while he sleeps. No, we don't perform experiments on Cooper--he's not *that* kind of guinea pig. [Disclaimer: rumor has it that biology majors sometimes *do* perform behavioral studies experiments on Cooper by running tests to figure out how to maximize the cuteness to carrots fed ratio. This rumor has not been confirmed and remains a mystery to this day.]

Kaitlin checks on Cooper, the Biology Department’s guinea pig, while he sleeps. No, we don’t perform experiments on Cooper–he’s not *that* kind of guinea pig. [Disclaimer: rumor has it that biology majors sometimes *do* perform behavioral studies experiments on Cooper by running tests to figure out how to maximize the cuteness to carrots fed ratio. This rumor has not been confirmed and remains a mystery to this day.]

11. Sprague Library

Sprague used to be Harvey Mudd's library, but we now share the Honnold-Mudd Library with the other Claremont Colleges (they even sell donuts in their cafe; it's wonderful). However, there's still some take-one-leave-one book shelves in the building, and Kaitlin was able to find the second book in the Twilight series, Eclipse. The white board (normally used for thinking through problem sets) also acted as a convenient privacy shield from the rest of the floor so that Kaitlin didn't have to die from embarrassment if she got caught reading about vampires and young love.

Sprague used to be Harvey Mudd’s library, but we now share the Honnold-Mudd Library with the other Claremont Colleges (they even sell donuts in their cafe; it’s wonderful). However, there’s still some take-one-leave-one book shelves in the building, and Kaitlin was able to find the second book in the Twilight series, Eclipse. The white board (normally used for thinking through problem sets) also acted as a convenient privacy shield from the rest of the floor so that Kaitlin didn’t have to die from embarrassment if she got caught reading about vampires and young love.

The board provided a convenient shield from seniors Casey Cannon and Laura Zhang, who were working hard on their research with Prof. Donnelly.

The board provided a convenient shield from seniors Casey Cannon and Laura Zhang, who were working hard on their research with Prof. Donnelly.

12. Sprague Patio

Sometimes, going to college in Southern California *is* all sunshine and roses!

Sometimes, going to college in Southern California *is* all sunshine and roses!

13. Stauffer Lounge

Located in Keck, Stauffer Lounge is the official lounge of the Physics Department. Last year, there was a group of senior physics majors would would do their problem sets, lab write-ups, and graduate school and job applications in here. We asked Prof. Saeta if he wanted to photo-bomb, but he politely declined because Kaitlin was doing such a good job modeling.

Located in Keck, Stauffer Lounge is the official lounge of the Physics Department. Last year, there was a group of senior physics majors would do their problem sets, lab write-ups, and graduate school and job applications in here. We asked Prof. Saeta (the Physics Department Chair) if he wanted to photo-bomb, but he politely declined because Kaitlin was doing such a good job modeling.

14. Prof. Saeta’s Office

Prof. Saeta's office can be considered an unofficial physics department lounge, because many students like to do homework here. Clear off some desk space for yourself, erase the previous week's physics assignment from the board, grab a pretzel (or a few hundred...), and settle in! When you get stuck, you can chat with your classmates, ask for help, or play with one of many physics toys around the room until inspiration strikes. Kaitlin poses with the tower of pretzel jars, which are actually for science (you might use them in the freshman physics lab).

Prof. Saeta’s office can be considered an unofficial physics department lounge, because many students like to do homework here. Clear off some desk space for yourself, erase the previous week’s physics assignment from the board, grab a pretzel (or a few hundred…), and settle in! When you get stuck, you can chat with your classmates, ask for help, or play with one of many physics toys around the room until inspiration strikes. Kaitlin poses with the tower of pretzel jars, which are actually for science (you might use them in the freshman physics lab).

15. Physics/Chemistry Corner

The table at the junction of the Physics and Chemistry Departments is a popular work spot amongst physics majors and freshman alike. Here, Jim Wu, Tim Middlemas, and Rachael Kretsch work on summer research. Prof. Cave's office door is open behind them (fun fact: Prof. Cave is a chemist, but his office is in the Physics Department. He was the one who converted me to physics, too!)

The table at the junction of the Physics and Chemistry Departments is a popular work spot amongst physics majors and freshman alike. Here, Jim Wu, Tim Middlemas, and Rachael Kretsch work on summer research. Prof. Cave’s office door is open behind them (fun fact: Prof. Cave is a chemist, but his office is in the Physics Department. He was the one who converted me to physics, too!)

16. Chemistry Lounge

I spent a lot of time in this lounge when I took Physical Chemistry Lab during the fall semester of my sophomore year. It was an 8-hour/week lab split into two days, with motivation fueled by Butterfingers and Salt and Vinegar Lay's provided by the friendly instructors, Prof. Cave and Prof. Grimm (a visiting professor). In the glassblowing unit, I learned how to make my own test tubes (easy) and t-joints (hard), and only burned myself twice!

I spent a lot of time in this lounge when I took Physical Chemistry Lab during the fall semester of my sophomore year because it was a great place to do lab write-ups. It was an 8-hour/week lab split into two days, with motivation fueled by Butterfingers and Salt and Vinegar Lay’s provided by the friendly instructors, Prof. Cave and Prof. Grimm (a visiting professor). In the glassblowing unit of the lab, I learned how to make my own test tubes (easy) and t-joints (hard), and only burned myself twice!

17. Olin “Zen Garden”

We ended the tour by walking back to the Olin building to enjoy a moment's rest in the "zen garden."

We ended the tour by walking back to the Olin building to enjoy a moment’s rest in the “zen garden,” as it’s sometimes called.

Bonus:

And as promised, here's the "bonus prize" at the end of the post. We strolled by Biology Professor Daniel Stoebel's molecular genetics lab and saw Moira Dillon, Carla Becker, and Lakshmi Batachari working hard in the lab. We asked them if we could take an action shot, and ended up with a surprise guest appearance by Prof. Stoebel himself!

We strolled by Biology Professor Daniel Stoebel’s molecular genetics lab and saw Moira Dillon, Carla Becker, and Lakshmi Batachari working hard in the lab. We asked them if we could take an action shot, and ended up with a surprise guest appearance by Prof. Stoebel himself!