Friday, January 6, 2012

This, In Turn, Kept the Professor Higher than His Students

Source: Wikipedia
PGH's Cathedral of Learning
That was what our tour guide Jamey told us in the German Room on the first floor of the Univ. Of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning.

I think the Germans get a relatively bad rep for having Hitler (HE WAS AUSTRIAN!) and, well, the Nazis. NOT ALL GERMANS Were/Are Nazis!

Anyway, last weekend I got the chance to go to the Cathedral of Learning on Pitts Campus. The Univ. of Pittsburgh has a beautiful campus (Minus the construction and hospital bustle) and some really unique buildings. The Cathedral has this grand hall on the first floor open to the public and students to study.

Anyway, surrounding this magical hall is a square-ish hallway with large brown doors with a plaque on each door and a coat of arms above the archway. Coats of arms have always fascinated me not for their intricacy or abstractness, but the fact that they are completely and utterly useless. Honestly, when am I going to use my family's coat of arms? I guess that's why I don't have one.

Anyway, when the university was building the building, they needed money to help build it. They told nationality groups (Germans, Greeks, Slovak, Russians, etc) that they would be provided with a room, but they would have to furnish and pay for everything in the room, keeping in mind that this was to
be used as a college room.

Its a unique idea that you cannot find anyplace else. Germans have the idea of a Professor above his class while the Chinese room focused on Confucius's teachings that the teacher can learn just as much as his pupils.

My favorite room by far was the English room. It was modeled after I believe the house of Parliament with more coats of arms (Including Ireland being the Unicorn) . I liked the room for three reasons - The first being that it had a brick from 10 Downing Street (PM's house), second being that its England and modeled after real England, and the third being that it is unexplainably haunted.

So if you get a chance, and you are in the area, check it out.

For the record, this post was written on the 5th, but posted on the 6th as it is Orthodox Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to all of my fellow Orthodox friends, Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Oh, and HAPPY 2012!

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