With the end of classes at Warren Wilson College, summer life begins. A handful of students remain on campus to take advantage of summer work contracts that provide room and board in addition to a summer job.
Erik Gern is working on the Web Crew while he applies for jobs and prepares for life after college. Around ten-o-clock each morning, Erik likes to escape from the office and take a walk around campus. This morning I joined him, and we went in search of some sun and snacks while looking out for those things that make Warren Wilson such a unique place.
Today there was a garden market set up in front of the Gladfelter Student Center. The college’s garden boasts organic practices and some excellent, lush produce. These vegetables were fertilized with compost from Gladfelter. For $7.50 I pick up some baby fingerling potatoes, kale, carrots, and basil—a bargain.
Karen Kruiser has baked some fresh breads and goodies as well. Cookies and bulging challah braids were made with eggs from her chickens.
The vending machine in Gladfelter is a chocolate lover’s paradise with several varieties of gourmet dark chocolate in addition to other natural and organic snacks. The eclectic, off-beat selection is an echo of the type of food served in the Cow Pie Café during the school year. (Traditionalist need not worry, though—there’s no shortage of Coke and m&m’s around and at least two pizza joints that will deliver to campus.)
On the way back we detour through the newly renovated Laursen building, which houses most of the Academic Affairs offices. The renovation produced a building with a spare interior design reminiscent of the “arts and crafts” style. It features repeated vertical lines, warm honey-colored wood, and expanses of wall and ceiling lit with energy-efficient indirect lighting. The building now includes many “green building” innovations that have become standard on campus, such as geothermal heating and cooling, salvaged and recycled building materials, and advanced insulation and windows. The result is a building that is not only a model of efficiency but is also a beautiful space.