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reed magazine logoWinter 2009

Teetering on the Edge

The student union has attracted many bizarre and otherworldly phenomena over the years, but seldom has it witnessed anything quite like the see-saw couch. This marvel of engineering—part plaything, part furniture—materialized in the SU last fall and has quickly become a campus landmark.


The base of the enigmatic structure consists of brawny six-by-six timbers strapped together with Simpson brackets. This sturdy arrangement secures a hefty length of steel bar which serves as a fulcrum for a long pivoting arm, topped with a pair of battered couches that appear to date from the mid-70s. The see-saw is anchored by a skein of high-test bungees to prevent crash-landings and reassuringly buttressed by rubber tires for redundant shock absorption.

Diligent inquiries by your correspondent revealed that the artifact was constructed overnight in situ by a mysterious band of students known as the “Defenders of the Universe.” “We really didn’t have much of a design,” confesses sophomore Ian Falconer ’11, one of the project’s masterminds. “We just kind of winged it.” The see-saw can accommodate as many as a dozen students at a time, and has been employed for purposes as various as studying, dancing, napping, chess, and sheer amusement, as demonstrated here by freshmen Lyca Blume ’12 and Amandine Malkovich ’12. Sadly, a few days after this picture was taken, the see-saw was banished from the SU, officially to make room for a theatre production. Fortunately, it survived the move and now graces the commons breezeway, where it continues to delight anyone brave enough to hop aboard.

Troll Habitat


Last fall, after the customary incantations, inspectors for the City of Portland declared the new canyon footbridge (a.k.a. the “Bouncy Bridge”) fit for pedestrian traffic. But apparently some mischievous spirit slipped into the paperwork and made a few adjustments. When the official certificate from the city landed on the desk of facilities director Towny Angell, the span was described as “Pedestrian Bridge and Troll Habitat.” The source of this bureaucratic legerdemain remains a mystery. However, our intrepid campus photographer managed to capture this image, which suggests that the trolls themselves may have had a hand in the affair.

A Bright Room Called Day


In the foreground, Rosalie Lowe ’12 applies makeup for her role as the communist artist Annabella Gotchling in A Bright Room Called Day, by prizewinning playwright Tony Kushner, directed by Kathleen Worley and staged in the Reed Theatre in November.

reed magazine logoWinter 2009