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As I write, rain is pouring down outside. The weather has reached 60 degrees, the first sure sign that winter is coming to an end. I expect that the cold will return, but the seasons are surely turning. All of this water will soon swell into blossom on trees across campus and the arc of the Sun across the sky will slowly expand and render the days mild and warm once more.

More good news: the new Graduate Student Lounge in Duncan Student Center is now a frequent haunt of the reclusive and perpetually-working graduate student. It has become something of a natural habitat for this strange species, thanks mainly to large windows, comfy chairs, and an abundance of one of its primary sources of energy: coffee (to say nothing of peanut butter sandwiches). Time has certainly confirmed my opinion that the Lounge is the best space in Duncan – there is just something about the sunlit ambience, the colors of the furnishings, and the smell of coffee brewing that makes it possible to rest, even while studying.

The space is far from perfect, of course. At lunchtime and after five o’clock, fitness classes begin in the gym directly above. All of the electric outlets are now functional, though the lockers remain half-assembled. And yes, the occasional stray (or unscrupulous) undergraduate does make off with a peanut butter sandwich.

All in all, however, the Lounge is a pleasant place. Importantly, it is our place – not a home, perhaps, but a space nevertheless to which we belong.

Welcome.

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