In the increasing volume of what could be deemed “UVa First World Problems,” the renovation of the UVa Rotunda fits nicely next to “waiting five minutes in line for dumplings” and “getting volunteer pamphlets thrust into your hands as you walk past the amphitheater.” Yes, the woes of Hoos run deep as Rotunda renovation enters “Phase Two” (which interestingly enough, is also the name of a bar… having drinks would probably make the renovation phase two much more bearable). At least it gives us something to bitch about on Yik Yak… and that’s worth all the sobriety in the world.
If you walk to the Corner on a break from ENGL 3830, thinking about the fruitlessness of studying T. S. Eliot, you must first navigate the fences and walls that surround the Rotunda. The feeling you may notice, as you try to find one of the openings in the maze, is that Gandalf is standing in front of you screaming “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” But I just wanted a quick cup of coffee and an everything bagel with cream cheese! Your personal problems do not affect the resolution of the walls, they remain immovable.
By the time you finally make it to Bodo’s, you have already passed the statue of Thomas Jefferson, reaching dramatically for the horizon. It’s an inspiring statue but unfortunately it’s fenced in, making ol’ TJ look as if he’s behind prison bars. Ouch! And yet we all know how he feels… and we lack any liquor to numb the pain.
Thousands of students each day are forced to walk extra feet miles just to get to class on time. That is unacceptable. Have any suggestions been made for underground tunnels? Hot air balloon lifts that will gently pluck up a student and set him down on the other side of the wall? Couldn’t we at least have an escalator or something? No, none of these, which is—if you’ll pardon the pun—a real load of Hoo-ey.
As you’re walking through the desolate maze of construction paths, your mind might start to wander beyond dreams of escalators and air balloons…. Wander into reality with questions like How many phases are there? Is phase two different than phase one? What did phase one do? Is this just the UVa version of singling out the sick and weak students? Like The Hunger Games? Do yourself a favor, don’t ask these questions. The answers are inevitably complicated and the rules are probably stiffer than a wintertime Lawn streaker’s nipple.
And while you’re not asking questions, don’t complain. Who knows what could incur the wrath of the construction gods. You never know, the next time you’re heading off to Chem Lab you might find a badass unicorn with a machete guarding the entrance for “safety regulations.” Or worse, there could be a “Phase Three.”
One thing is for certain: We, as Hoos, can pull together. We will handle this crisis and band together in our time of sorrow. Phase Two has brought us together as a community and, much like some of the food at Newcomb, it has impacted us all for the worse.