Who would have thought that Thinking Beyond the Possible could be so hard? These past few weeks as I traverse to the main quad, I’ve seen a lot of random signs. As a fan of Wile E. Coyote, Genius, I love a good sign. But these…are not so interesting.
What do these things have in common: donuts, paintbrushes, a key, and the wheel? Do they all fit together to create the most awesome Transformer ever? From just looking at these signs, you’d think Case Western Reserve University was taking credit for their creation. And they, as per the norm at CWRU, are ugly as sin.
Look deeper and actually go to their URL and you’ll find a painful graphic and an incomprehensible homepage that seems to be giving high school life-advice – for instance, the random cell phone that says, “Teens who text frequently are more likely to engage in risky behavior.”
Listen, CWRU. I text all of the time. I text my mother, my fiancé, my dogs, and a handful of people I actually like, and somehow I also manage to have a job, write a column, go to class on time, and not engage in the vague “risky behavior.”
What does that mean, exactly? Going to the bridge by 116th St. at night? Eating at Denny’s? Trying to take one of the CWRU squirrels home as a beloved pet? At a glance (or two, or three), this website is more insulting than useful. The signs themselves are, as noted previously, confusing. I’m sure it’s part of some scheme to get students’ attention, but this is not the way to do it.
I think it’s great that CWRU is trying to show the cool things they do using cardboard donuts and a wheel, but why didn’t they include the really cool stuff that was announced…say, about Alzheimer’s research? I didn’t see anything related to that. Or the new Museum of Contemporary Art? Although maybe the people in charge of spinning everything positively got tired of all the ugly buildings. I’m looking at you, PBL.
The rest of the site (so you don’t have to go look) is partially a breakdown of student statistics (very exciting) and the fiscal deficit from 2008-2011. Thrilling. Way to get students interested in current events.
Usually the random signs I see around campus are obvious. Campus groups, new things happening on the quads, angry protestors leaving harassing messages – each is its own strange category. Donuts on sticks, while delicious, don’t tell me anything of interest, except that I didn’t have lunch.