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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 31, 1995)
Fountain an artistic institution
For as long as I’ve been at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
I’ve enjoyed Broyhill Fountain.
When I was a kid (and I was,
once), Broyhill Fountain was
synonymous with the UNL campus.
Other than Memorial Stadium, it
was the one landmark that stood out
in my mind.
Once I got to school, back in the
Pleistocene Epoch, when the
glaciers had just begun to recede,
Broyhill became more than just a
landmark. It became a meeting
place, a place to relax between
classes and an observatory from
which to watch the rest of the
university community come and go.
Like it had for thousands of
students before me, Broyhill
Fountain became a part of the UNL
experience; a part of tradition.
On many a quiet evening, I came
to the fountain just to sit and collect
my thoughts. The soothing vision of
Burger King refuse floating placidly
in the somewhat blue water was a
pleasant constant in the often
tumultuous college experience.
Occasionally, the bubbly froth of
laundry detergent or the spirited tint
of red dye added to the aura of the
And it was good.
But every year, on a cold, windy
November day, the dancing waters
of Broyhill Fountain would disap
pear, signaling the onset of another
Nebraska winter. As disheartening
as the dormancy of the fountain was,
there was always the knowledge that
the centerpiece of campus would
leap back to life in the spring, just in
time for fraternity pledge classes to
dunk any pledge educators or rush
chairmen who had escaped the
water’s clutches in the fall.
And anticipation tempered
That anticipation, that knowledge
of the Broyhill Fountain’s certain
rejuvenation, is no longer.
The stately memorial to Lynn
Broyhill is slated for demolition,
perterpS^KTearty"as next October, to
“There’s been some talk
of replacing the
fountain with a ‘water
sculpture. ’ What exactly
that is, I'm yiot sure. I’ve
been told by some
reliable sources that it is
yiot, as I, behig a former
liberal arts student, had
thought, a sculpture
made out of water. ”
make way for an expansion of the
Nebraska Union and the construc
tion of a new plaza. We have been
assured by the higher-ups that it will
be replaced, but with what, no one
seems to be able to say.
There’s been some talk of
replacing the fountain with a “water
sculpture.” What exactly that is, I’m
not sure. I’ve been told by some
reliable sources that it is not, as I,
being a former liberal arts student,
had thought, a sculpture made out of
Apparently, the logistics of that
type of project are beyond what
even the brightest scientific minds
are capable of.
Nor, I’m told, is a water sculp
ture an ice sculpture in a state of
molecular excitement. These same
sources told me that such a sculp
ture, no matter how ettticing it
sounds, is more commonly known as
And we certainly couldn’t have
A water sculpture is simply a
sculpture in which water is incorpo
rated. Sometimes, I understand, you
can’t even see the water, just hear it.
That sounds like a great addition
to Sheldon Art Gallery’s sculpture
garden. It would even be neat to
have something like that inside the
new and improved Nebraska Union.
But as a replacement for venerable
I say no thanks.
And I’m backed up by student
government, albeit in a strangely
ASUN President Shawntell
Hurtgen said last week that a
fountain, not a water sculpture,
should replace Broyhill.
“I want to keep (UNL) from
becoming this artsy, sculpture
infested campus,” Hurtgen said.
Right decision, wrong reason.
Art plays an important role on
this, or any other university campus.
The sculptures that presently adorn
our campus make UNL a better
place. If nothing else, they distract
from eyesores like Hamilton Hall.
And to me, Broyhill Fountain is
art. It’s beautiful, functional and
traditional. Its visual impact on a
breezy, fall evening, illuminated red,
green or blue against the darkening
sky, is as strong as the impact of an'
sculpture that the university could
possibly put in its place.
Broyhill Fountain is as much of a
UNL tradition as Cliffs Notes,
cheap beer or low ASUN election
It has fulfilled, and even tran
scended its role as a memorial; it
has become an institution.
To fail to replace it with a
comparable structure would be to
deny not only a tribute to Lynn
Broyhill, but also a tribute to the
grand old fountain itself.
Peters Is a graduate student of Journal
ism and a Dally Nebraskan columnist
Womanhood more than a name
1 suppose I am a woman now.
Not that I ever had any doubts about
my gender—well, except that time,
when I thought I was the only
female on earth who had hairy legs
and therefore, masculine. This
column is not on doubts about my
femininity, but my eventual accep
tance of... adulthood. Yuck!
I found it ridiculous, when a
while ago, a friend referred to me as
a woman. A woman! Who me? Not
Me! I was just not ready to be
considered a woman. A woman is
somebody—older, more “mature,”
more worldly, more responsible ... a
woman is an “adult.” A woman is
someone ... other than me. So my
reaction to being called a woman
was not very favorable.
My friend was both amused and
intrigued at once.”So, how should I
refer to you?” he asked. “A young
lady?” he prompted.
Nah! Being referred to as a
“young lady” was OK. Sort of. But
it has a definite paternal ring to it. I
was a “young lady” to my dad, ever
since I ran around in pigtails and
kicked up temper tantrums.
I still throw temper tantrums,
ever so rare, around people I love,
but I don’t run around in pigtails
anymore. Nor am I a stubborn little
brat of four.
I have come a long way from
then (at least I would like to think
so!) One can not call me a “young
lady” anymore. Especially if you are
not my father!
How about a “lady” then? Bah
humbug. First of all, it is too formal,
and further, I should be comfortable
with being called a woman before I
am referred to as a ladyl^o, I would
not be addressed as lady, except of
course, if you want to dedicate the
song “Lady” to me. Be my guest.
Feed my vanity.
“Vain! That’s what you are—a
vain girl,” my friend exclaimed. “You
haven’t grown out of your teens!”
A “girl?” Preposterous!
It has a distinct high school
“/ had never thought of
myself as a woman. And
it has been a long time
since I thought of myself
as a girl. ”
cafeteria air to it. And I might
actually take offense to it — if you
referred to me as a girl — depend
ing, of course, on who you are.
That’s ruled out. It is at odds
with how the world sees me, and it’s
at odds with who I see myself as.
So, he caught on, “Who do you see
yourself as?” he said.
I had not thought about it
seriously until then. I had never
thought of myself as a woman. And
it has been a long time since I
thought of myself as a girl.
During my undergraduate years, I
was a college student. That’s how I
saw myself. A female college
student, if you insisted on gender as
a definitive factor in one’s descrip
tion and perception of self and
But being a college student was
only a part of me. The fact that I
attended college does not define me
fully. So who am I? More impor
tantly, who did I think 1 was?
I think leaving aside labels such
as engineer, female, graduate
student, columnist, instructor, etc., I
preferred to see myself as a young
A member of the world’s youth
population. A youth, that’s who I
am, I told my friend, then.
There was only one problem with
that — I was told by my friend — a
youth was officially a person, who
was neither a teenager, nor an adult
— and since I was 22 at the time of
the conversation, I was not to be a
youth in the eyes of the world!
Too bad, then. My perception of
who I was, was simply at odds with
what the world thought I was. I can
live with that, I remember thinking.
This is not exactly an identity
crisis, really! As an international
woman going to graduate school in
the United States, there are several
times when one questions one’s
identity. Now wait a minute, did I
Exactly what brought the change
of heart, you might be tempted to
ask — it didn’t change while I wrote
this column. In fact, I have been
quite comfortable with the fact that I
am now a woman — a lot has
happened between the time I had
that unwittingly insightful conversa
tion with my friend and now!
I have reached the ripe-old age of
23, but age is not the factor that
brought the change, I am sure.
Exactly what, I am not sure, but I
know I am comfortable being
referred to as a woman, comfortable
to think of myself as a woman.
And that’s all that matters. With
this smug feeling, I reached over to
fetch the New York Times, at the
Mill (my favorite source of the NY
Times, coffee and ideas). And this
kind old gentleman, who sat next to
the papers, remarked how refreshing
it was to see young girls reading
And here I was thinking that I
was finally in tune with society’s
perception of me!
Ramallngam Is a graduate student la
computer science and a Daily Nebraskan
ktfe.ii... from the
We’re driving, hairy,
TV-watching lab rats
Humans are so weird. I think
that if I weren’t a human, I would
be fascinated with their strange
behavior. Even though I am a
human, I still don’t quite under
So much of human behavior is
completely strange. Take cars.
Cars are one of the weirdest
things around, but no one realizes
it. They’re these big metal boxes
that we depend on for almost
It seems so strange to me how
people climb into these metal
boxes to transport themselves to
their destinations. Inside a car is a
whole other environment, totally
isolated from the rest of the
Most people have very bored
and angry expressions on their
faces when they’re in their cars.
Even though it looks like no
one’s very happy when they’re
driving, they still spend enormous
amounts of money on them, and
are even very attached to their
cars. Can you imagine what
people would do if all of the cars
There are other things that
fascinate me about human
behavior, such as hair. Hair is
very weird. It’s kind of disgusting
if you think about it.
It’s this substance that is
constantly, slowly oozing out of
our heads. Hundreds of strands of
it are seeping out of tiny little
holes in our scalps. And we like it
We spend lots of money trying
to make it look a certain way. We
even have a certain amount of
emotional attachment to this
There are hundreds of people
employed as hair stylists, whose
job it is to fulfill all of our hair
needs. Some of us even suffer
emotional trauma if this oozing
substance doesn’t look the right
Another thing that I’ve always
thought to be strange is high
school. The thing that’s strange
about it is the way it’s organized.
It felt like we were all pro
grammed laboratory rats. We
were programmed to file into
different rooms in time for the
sound of a bell, and to file out
when the bell sounded again. So
all of the little rats wouldn’t run
wild until the next bell, they gave
us our own little metal boxes with
locks on them called lockers.
Most of us were programmed
very well. We trotted off to our
metal box between each class and
latched on until the time came for
the next bell to ring. The whole
thing was really quite demented.
Then there’s that whole ritual
people do when they see each
“Hair is very weird. It's
kind of disgusting if
you think about it. It’s
this substance that is
oozing out of our
heads. Hundreds of
strands of it are
seeping out of tiny
little holes in our
scalps. And we like it
other. It seems that almost every
conversation starts with, hello,
how are you? I’m fine, how are
you? I’m fine, thanks.
Even when we don’t know the
person, we feel the need to repeat
this exchange. Not many people
actually care how the other
person is doing; they just ask to
be polite. The other person
usually knows that they don’t
care, but he or she is forced into
this ritual of politeness.
Some conversations consist
entirely of this fake politeness.
I’ve had conversations like this,
and I can’t help but laugh when it
Of course, how can you ignore
the strangeness of the whole
phenomenon of television?
Millions of otherwise sane people
gather around their electronic
boxes every day in a trance.
People cease to think on their
own when they watch television.
They fall into an absent-minded
semi-coma. It’s comforting to
have a break from thinking.
A television is a box that tells
you what to think about for a few
hours. It tells you when to laugh
and what to buy.
Something else that seems
strange to me is the way we can
transfer intangible thoughts in our
heads into all sorts of combina
tions of sounds to form words.
Then we can transfer the sounds
into various combinations of
symbols to form written language.
And we can preform the whole
process backwards too. It all
happens so fast, it’s amazing.
I think that one of the weirdest
things about humans is that they
don’t recognize all of the weird
things that they engage in every
day of their lives.
If someone does recognize
these weird things and tries to
stop engaging in them, that
person is deemed insane. And it’s
just because they realize how
insane the rest of the population
is. Insanity is completely relative,
but the majority of the population
doesn’t realize they are insane.
If everyone all of a sudden
realized how weird and insane we
all are, society would break down
and chaos would run rampant. It’s
a good thing no one knows it.
Chllcote Is a freshman women’s stud
ies major aad a Dally Nebraskaa colam
BE OUR GUEST
The Daily Nebraskan will present a guest columnist each Monday.
Writers from the university and community are welcome.
Must have strong writing skills and something to say.
Contact Mark Baldridge c/o the Daily Nebraskan, 34 Nebraska
Union, 1400 R St., Lincoln, NE 68588.
Or by phqne at (402)472-1782.
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