Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Postcard from Cambridge, Mass.: Whispering arches

Of Sever Hall, Harvard Yard (next to yesterday's library). If you whisper directly into the bricks on one side of the arched doorway, you can hear it on the other side of the arch, 12 feet away.
***
Fun Sever story: Writer Gertrude Stein once took a class from psychologist William James (Henry's brother) and during a final exam in Sever, wrote in her exam book: "Dear Professor James, I am so sorry but really I do not feel like an examination paper in philosophy today.” She received a response the next day: “Dear Miss Stein, I understand perfectly how you feel. I often feel like that myself.” James gave her the highest mark in the class.

23 comments:

William Kendall said...

There is a monument here that has the same acoustic trait.

That is quite a story!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Your story reminds me of one told by a Cambridge (UK) professor:
In a medical exam students were asked for suggested treatments for a particular ailment - "Put the patient to bed with a good nurse" suggested the student hopefully. "I gave him half a mark for that" said the professor, "If he'd said 'put the patient to bed with a bad nurse' he would have got a whole mark!"

Peter said...

My current MOOC does not allow me to enter comments, how would Gertrude go with multiple choice computer marked exams. Love the photos - so red.

cieldequimper said...

My Dad once did something too and got a very high mark. He wrote about a completely different topic than the one he was supposed to...
Lovely door!

VDP's feed isn't updating again...

orvokki said...

How nice !! The photo and the text.

Seraphina´s Phantasie said...

Marvelous photos with a lot of color and swing. Great !
Best regards, Synnöve

llandudnopictures said...

Professor James sounds like a wise man, gorgeous colours and brickwork!

Jack said...

Your first photo is lovely. Simple yet lovely. I wish I had a good story about a wise professor and exams. How about my very first college exam, in a political science course. I got Locke and Rousseau mixed up and reversed their theories. The professor called me in and asked if I belonged there. Yes, it was a rocky start to college in many ways, but all is well that ends well.

Tanya Breese said...

ha, that is funny...i'll have to tell my daughter and see if it works as well for her ;) love that first shot!

Sharon Anck said...

Great photo, and great story today. None of my professors were that generous.

RedPat said...

Love the pics and the story!

LOLfromPasa said...

Amusing story, Lulu. Hard to imagine how sound can travel like that. I hope you tried it :).

Norma Beishir said...

Hmm...the Arch Whisperer?

Kaya said...

We all have sometimes doubts about ourselves. Wonderful story, Lulu. And I love the pictures! They are beautiful and creative!

LONDONLULU said...

Thank you! I enjoyed your class/exam tales very much!

Randy said...

Nice entry.

Catherine Goron said...

Lovely arch + such interesting tales... really love how Gertrude Stein's excuse turned out. Wish I could have used that one in my philosophy class ;)

Catherine Goron said...

Lovely arch + such interesting tales... really love how Gertrude Stein's excuse turned out. Wish I could have used that one in my philosophy class ;)

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Moral of the story.. 'dare to be different'. What a fab story Lulu, Gertrude Stein has long been a favourite. Whispering arches,just when I thought arches couldn't get any better :) We have a whispering wall in Kings Park, such fun!

José Mendonça said...

Both are great compositions. I especially like the one on top, very colourful.

TheChieftess said...

Nice!!! I like how you framed both shots!

apricot said...

Fascinating arches!!
I love those colors!:)

EG CameraGirl said...

Love the story about Gertrude Stein! Honesty pays. ;))