Title: Trinity College in Connecticut
Date Occurred: Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Date Written: July 28, 2019
Written by: Joel T. Kant
Copyright (c) June 28, 2019
When Carol told me that she was interested in Trinity College, I assumed it would be a religious school. I figured trinity meant the conventional Christian trinity of God, Father, and Holy Spirit. While that is where the name for Trinity College comes from, back in 1968, it stopped being in the Association of Episcopal Colleges. In 1969, it became co-ed. (Source accessed 6/28/2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_College_(Connecticut) )
During the campus tour, we were shown a beautiful chapel. The tour guide said that the chapel was designed to look similar to National Chapel in D.C. She said that in this same chapel, there are Episcopal services, Roman Catholic masses, Jewish services, and even Muslim services. I noticed there were not many pews in the chapel, so it could not hold too large of a crowd. Although small with the number of pews, the chapel is very pretty. (Fig. 1)
Figure One: The Chapel
Because of the fairly small size of the chapel, the large pipe organ occupied a disproportionately large amount of space. (Fig. 2) Our tour guide claimed that any religion or no religion was fine for modern students at Trinity College.
Figure Two: The Pipe Organ
While yesterday had been a sunny day for our tours of Bowdoin College and Colby College, we had rain at Trinity College. (Fig. 3) Fortunately, we had brought rain gear.
Figure Three: Holly in the Rain
Some of the dorm buildings looked more like they belonged in nineteenth century England (even if really built in the early twentieth century) rather than belonging in the twenty-first century America. (Fig. 4) These buildings looked pretty, but also very expensive with lots of stonework and tiled roofs.
Figure Four: Scenic Dorm Buildings
Like many university tours at other places, we were told about a tradition at Trinity College involving bad luck when stepping on a plaque on the ground. (Fig. 5) Our tour guide mentioned that during the winter when covered in snow, she had stepped on it many times by accident. She's been doing fine academically despite this. She acted like she was dutifully reciting her assigned script. In the photograph, you can see wet footprints that somebody had tread on the plaque in the ground, but I don't know who nor what his or her fate with luck ended up being. I prefer the tradition at University of Wisconsin-Madison of touching the nose of a seated Abe Lincoln statue at the top of Bascom Hill or the Harvard University tradition of touching the left foot of the Statue of the Three Lies since those touches are supposed to bring good luck, not bad.
Figure Five: Fuller Arch Plaque
The Fuller Arch itself that the plaque refers to can be seen by looking upward. It looks like something from a cathedral built in the Middle Ages (Fig. 6)
Figure Six: Fuller Arch
We were shown a new building on campus, and it looked new with a modern styling. What is in the new building is unusual in that contains both the Levi Neuroscience Wing and other wings for art galleries. Putting both art and science in the same building so the students in those majors and courses interact is something I had never seen before.
At Trinity, seniors live in their own housing. (Fig. 7) It does not have the ancient look of the housing we saw for Freshman. It does not look like these buildings would fit in a Harry Potter world for Hogwarts like those other dorms and the older other buildings would have. Yet, our guide looked forward to living there in her senior year because they have air-conditioning and ample, well-equipped kitchens. She really desired the air-conditioning.
Figure Seven: Senior Dorm Buildings
In a large grassy field, there are two cannons that we were told are pointed at Wesleyan College in Middletown, Connecticut. (Fig. 8) That can only be symbolic pointing, as the range of cannons like these could not be far at all. A plaque at the base of one of the canons reads, "THIS GUN FORMED PART OF THE MAIN BATTERY OF ADMIRAL FARRAGUT'S FLAGSHIP HARTFORD DURING THE CIVIL WAR."
Figure Eight: Two Cannons
Back at our first college of this trip, which was Bowdoin College, the tour guide there told us how there is no gate nor walls around the college to emphasize the openness with the town of Brunswick, Maine. In contrast, Trinity College has castle-like walls and gates that looked like a guard belonged there. There was no guard at all at the gate as we drove in, but it looked like one could go there if desired. From what we had seen driving to Trinity College, Holly was not impressed with Hartford, Connecticut that surrounds Trinity College.
Our tour guide said that she seldom leaves campus, stressing how all material needs could be met within the campus itself.
Holly whispered to me that while it seems fairly safe on campus, she wondered if our tour guide seldom leaves campus because Hartford did not seem nearly as safe.
The information session we went to at Trinity College was very different from the ones we went to at previous colleges. This was because we were put in the back row in a room with an information session already in progress. The bulk of the audience were "rising ninth graders" that were part of a summer camp. That is, students who would be starting high school in a couple months.
A "rising twelfth grader" like Carol and another girl by us looked dramatically older than them! It is amazing for children that age what a difference three years makes.
Something that was stressed is that there is no admission fee for those who were the first generation of their family to go to college. That certainly does not apply to Carol with both her parents having a Ph.D., but it looked possibly true for some in the audience.
The presenter mentioned that 22% of students participate in Greek life.
One of the young students raised a hand and then asked, "What's Greek Life?"
An explanation was given about that meaning fraternities and sororities.
Holly remarked to me, "If somebody would be the first generation to go to college, that's a very good question. How would one know?"
While Bowdoin College had its polar bear and Colby College had its weeping lion, we were informed the mascot of Trinity College is the bantam, which is a weird rooster.
At Trinity, Carol had her inquisition interview after we had done our roaming around and information session. While Holly got out her laptop and used the campus internet for work purposes to pass the time, I wandered around the room. I noticed in the waiting area at Trinity College that various framed documents showed great accomplishments of Trinity students, alumni, and faculty. A photograph and a Trinity banner dealt with the faulty member Anne Parmenter on the summit of Mount Everest on May 25, 2006. She displayed the banner on the summit, then apparently brought it back down with her. If so, I am glad more clutter was not left on the summit. (Fig. 9) In the year that I am writing this of 2019, disturbing news stories came out of people dying on Everest simply due to long, slow lines getting up to the summit. Yet at the same time, there have been encouraging stories of Sherpas bringing garbage back down from even the summit of the mountain itself as it has gotten very cluttered, which means it would be a good thing if in this frame is the actual banner so Sherpas would not need to bring it down.
Figure Nine: Trinity Banner on Mount Everest Picture
As we got in our car to leave, I realized no carbon neutral claim was given during our entire visit here. I do care about saving energy although we were in Holly's Honda Accord for this trip rather than my Chevy Volt. Forty miles of electric range of the Volt would not have helped much on this long trip, although it works great for typical commuting distances around Cleveland. There were electric car plug-ins at Colby College that I noticed the previous day, but most colleges had none. If there were no cooking done whatsoever on campus, if none of the buildings were heated and certainly none were air-conditioned, carbon would still be produced if any students or staff simply breathe air! I hope they do breathe so are not dead, but that means in comes the oxygen and out goes the carbon dioxide! It would still need tree-planting magic formulas just to counteract humans breathing! Thus, Trinity College of Connecticut not claiming carbon neutrality was more a positive for this place than a negative to me!
Back to Joel Kant Home Page: Joel Kant Home Page.