Exploring the Labyrinth

My how times change. Never in various forays within the steam tunnels of Reed did I foresee them becoming venues for freshman orientation. Nor did I envision the smiling faces of coeds, all in a row, leaving their names as did craftsmen behind the walls of the Sistine Chapel. But carefully did you reveal some and leave much unsaid. You mention Eliot Hall, the Old Dorm Block, and Physical Plant, but nary a word of the other significant buildings to which, through steam tunnels, may be gained entry. You mention “sentries and locks,” but omit other access available to the quiet and unobtrusive. A reference to “surreal artwork” doth not justice do to some of the sculpture left in situ. Finally, the phrase “difficult to navigate” doth not adequately describe the three-inch-high stalagmites dripped from the mesh ceiling, which make interesting the long hands-and-knees traverse to a particularly guarded location.

A question then. Is the orientation through high and wide tunnels naught but an interesting sidelight for freshmen, or a ruse, a gambit, to distract the adventurous mind from what else may lie beneath the lawns? ’Twas a time when a small and select group, styling itself “Trophies Anonymous,” explored the nether regions of the campus. Quiet, discreet fun was had by all.

—Jonathan Hough ’59

Boulder, Colorado