Thursday Doors–CCSU

White Hall
Home of the largest computer lab on campus. My kind of building.

Central Connecticut State University used to be Central Connecticut State College. Long before that, it was a State Teachers College and before that, it was a Normal School. Whaaaaaat? Yeah, I had to look that up. Of course I went to Wikipedia and when I did, I found my favorite warning sign ever.

Normal School
I love seeing this warning :)

Any long-time reader of this blog knows that I love excessive detail! Judging from the looks I get when I’m explaining things, I guess most people don’t enjoy details in excess. Well, you non-detail lovers are in luck today. I have pictures of doors from CCSU, but I don’t have many details about these doors.

In case you are wondering, a “Normal” school was established to train teachers. The idea, according to the excessively detailed article, was to “establish teaching standards or norms” and thus the name. It had nothing to do with a requirement for the students to be normal people.

Yes, that was my first guess.

Anyway, these days, CCSU is anything but normal. By that, I mean that CCSU students are majoring in all kinds of subject areas and with all kinds of career aspirations beyond teaching. Don’t get me wrong, teaching is a fine career aspiration. The fact that there are so many different careers that college students can aspire to is one of the reasons we often find ourselves with a shortage of teachers, especially in subjects like math and science.

The doors at the top are the doors I like the best, but the doors below are the reason I was on campus. Those are the doors to Robert C. Vance Academic Center, not to be confused with Robert Vance Hall. It’s easy to confuse the names, because both buildings are named after the same Robert C. Vance.

RCVAC
Robert C Vance Academic Center

How does one guy get two buildings named after him on the same college campus? Money, you say? Well, yeah, money. But in this case, it’s a little more than just money. According to my favorite source, in 1967 the Trustees for State Colleges were going to name a new industrial education building after Robert Vance. Somewhere along the line, the industrial education building plans got put on hold or combined with some other building and there wasn’t a place to put Robert’s name. In what seems like a consolation prize, they named a dormitory after him (Vance Hall). Years later, after more money changed hands, they named a premier academic building after him (Robert C. Vance Academic Center).

These are both important to me.

The industrial education building that never was, would have been the kind of place where some of my shop teachers were educated. Shop, particularly wood shop was my favorite class in junior high and high school. My second post on this blog was about shop class. Take a look if you like, I’m still proud of that one.

Robert C. Vance Academic Center is where the Management Information Systems (MIS) classes are held. For the last five spring semesters, I have been part of a group of business geeks who mentor students in one of these classes. In addition, on a now-and-then basis, I appear as a guest lecturer to bring a bit of real-world experience to the classroom. At least that’s what I’m supposed to do.

Earlier this week, I presented the real world of Information Technology Strategy to a graduate school class in Technology Strategy. I’ll save my feelings and observations on that experience for another day. Suffice it to say, I was very happy to walk through those doors.

This post is part of Norm Frampton’s interesting and exciting Thursday Doors series. You can join us any/every week. Get a door and sign-up. Don’t forget to sign-up (I forgot last week).

56 thoughts on “Thursday Doors–CCSU

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  1. There is nothing like churches, university buildings or historical structures unless it is the “cathedral” found in nature’s tall trees. I love the red brick. Cream or wite “crisp” details in these buildings. I especially enjoy learning the history shared by you. Thursday’s Doors rock, thanks to Norm, you Dan and ithers! :)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Robin. I love this series and you’re right about the treasure trove of doors on campuses and church yards. I do like the fact that, at least on this campus, they have tried to give the new buildings an distinct architectural flair. So many new buildings are just basic, bland rectangles.

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    1. That’s true. I like it though. I get a certain feeling when I walk through those doors. I think they help set the mood – “get ready to learn” or something like that. It’s too early for philosophy, I need coffee. thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely campus with a typical New England red brick look.
    Nice pics there, Mr. Fancy-pants-guest-lecturer :-D
    All kidding aside, I’m looking forward to hearing more about that experience. I find schools generally don’t expose students to enough real-world situations. Anything that connects classroom theory to workplace reality is a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Norm. Trust me, nothing fancy going on in that classroom but the students really do appreciate just hearing about the way it really works. I’ve talked about this before, but it’s a really good way to give something back. Connecticut tends to favor the University of CT in terms of budgets, so it’s good to see a new and nice looking building being built on one of the State College campuses.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. When I was reading about White Hall, they said they had spent over a million dollars replacing over 200 windows. Still, I’d rather see my taxes going to that than tearing it down and building something boring.

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  3. This comment may be construed as critical, but it’s not meant to be. The buildings in this post look exactly like those on my college campus, in upstate NY. Both remind me of southern-bent architecture (not very well versed in architecture so this observation could be wrong.) So, here’s where the potentially perceived critical part comes in: why do all college buildings look the same? There are so many wonderful architectural styles out there so why be repetitive? Cost? Maybe. I just wish there were a few more modern looking buildings, you know that look like UFOs with odd angles and circular walls of glass. OK, back to caffeine.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny that you bring that up Elizabeth. One of the people I follow posted a picture of an old high school in a Midwest town, and it’s identical to the high school my daughter attended. I was wondering if there was a place where you could just buy plans and save money on the design process. I didn’t include a picture of it, but the Student Union on this campus has a unique flare to it. Maybe they can only afford so many. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Enjoyed your doors, Dan. I was a teacher, both at a Lutheran high school and then home schooling our daughters. My personal training career was teaching also and I still teach on the days I work at the tea shop. Teaching is much different now than when I taught, unfortunately often not in a positive way. Congrats on your talk, BTW.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janet. One thing that filling these guest spots does, it to reinforce how hard teacher work. We often think that it’s an easy way out kind of career, but that’s not the case at all. I’m giving away the plot-line of the follow-up post, but I can’t help it. Thanks for the comment and thanks for teaching!

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  5. Excessive detail warnings are put there for a reason. Much like handrails on cliff side staircases. People like me need to heed these warnings because we have an obsessive eye for detail…. such as the deck railing above the door in your photo. Note: there is no door to access the deck. Did the architect intend for entry to be gained by crawling out the window?…. The question will keep me up for nights. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you caught that. I see those railings a lot around here and I always ask the same question: “are we supposed to go out the window?” Sorry about your upcoming lack of sleep, but some things can’t be helped.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. I sometimes send emails at work with two parts. The short and sweet answer is at the top and then I add the full story for anyone who’s interested. Usually, I just like writing it.

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  6. On excessive information – I read a really good book called The Girl With All The Gifts,( I have a post in draft form regarding it) and it had excessive information involving the science behind the zombies. I read every word, I promise you I did, I just did not understand any of the excessive information. I hope the “normal” scientific minds enjoyed it.
    I don’t have any problems with your posts though, so keep up with the information!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I keep it under control by setting a word count limit that I try hard not to exceed. The number of words varies, but it’s never over 1,000 (unless you include, as WordPress does, the descriptions of photos).

      I have struggled throughout my career with giving people more information than was necessary for the task at hand, so this is something I want to be better at. I want to find the perfect balance, but I’ll almost always error on the side of more. I look forward to the post on that book.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We return, I see, to the world of academia — where, one would hope, “an excessive of intricate detail” is not only tolerated, but encouraged. Nice doors, Dan. I imagine one could devote an entire blog to exploring the architectural details of America’s oldest colleges. I’m a University of Maryland grad, and we had some impressive buildings there at College Park. Anyway, good post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. University campuses have some nice old buildings and some are building some nice new ones Paul. I prefer the older buildings but at least the new ones on this campus have a little flare.Thanks for the comment Paul.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My boss tells me I’m a unique kind of geek Don but he says it’s because I don’t look at my shoes when I talk to him :) I like to make things, and I appreciate things that people made. Computer programming is an odd kind of making, but I think it still counts. I really admire creative people and I like when I can call attention to some of their work. These buildings are nice expressions of someone’s dream. thanks for the comment Don.

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  8. I love old campus buildings like these :) Great stuff. I mean, the windows and trim alone are enviable. I enjoy the historical architecture where you live.
    I actually knew what a Normal School was, Dan. Can ya guess my alma mater (Ball State) had previously been Eastern Indiana Normal School? Tis true. We get teachers out of all schools of course, but when you’re a kid here and you wanna be a teacher, almost everyone says go to Ball State. So I did :)
    I’m not doing doors this week, instead, I’m off to read about shop class.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eastern Indiana Normal School – that’s pretty cool. Thank you so much for reading about Shop Class. That’s one of the posts from my early days that I really do like. I mentioned to someone else earlier in the list, they’ve been replacing those windows. They did 172 in one project and I think it was 57 in another. That’s a lot of windows. I’m so glad they didn’t yank them out and stick an aluminum frame deal in there. Thanks for the comment. I appreciate the support.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I like that building very much Deborah. I could have needed your camera skills to really get nice pictures of the doors. I’m trying to arrange a photo shoot with my daughter so I can get some ideas on how to get better pictures when the doors are set back, shaded by columns or when the only time I can get there is when the sun is pointed at the glass. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I especially like the door filtered through the dappled shade. I’ve overused the term ‘dappled’ for the last 6 weeks as autumn sun has peeked through trees on Michigan’s backroads and now brings my biking path in and out of sun/shade in somewhat blinding conditions. I love the word dappled for shade or horses.

    I will be curious to hear more about your mentoring and lectures – I am always interested to hear how the makeup of students – comportment, interest, level of preparation does or doesn’t change through the years.

    I’ve never seen that ‘excess detail’ blurb on Wikipedia. Clearly I’m not diving deep enough!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sammy. I’m struggling with the post on the lecture because I don’t want to seem all the different things I imagine people thinking I am trying to seem. I want to write it because I think there are opportunities like this at a lot of schools and I want to encourage people to seek them out. I’m not sure I’ve ever used dappled in a blog. I’m sure I never use it in business writing. I need to explore that word a bit.

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      1. I understand but if you write from a perspective of what you experienced, it might take you out of that frame of mind. Modesty is a desireable trait but your readers know self-promotion isn’t your style. You have something valuable to share which could easily spark someone else to offer beneficial mentoring. Educators can always use industry perspectives in the classroom.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Teagan. Sorry about the confusion. I like the doors at the top and I love that window. Notice that it appears to be an operable window, which is even more impressive as far as I’m concerned. Thanks for the comment – i hope yours was a good day.

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  10. Well, I for one love excessive detail and often provide much more information than is really necessary. Sometimes I worry that I’m a bit like Ducky on NCIS, who launches into “Did you know…” or “…that reminds me of…” and “Do you know why…” in practically every conversation he has. I’m really bad about that when it comes to art because it’s not enough for me to know I like/dislike something. I want to understand and explain WHY. So I think you’re in good company and I say pile on the details — so long as they’re accurate, of course.

    While today’s doors are very nice, I think Davidson Hall stole the post for me. Very impressive indeed, especially those beautiful windows.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you notice, Davidson and White Hall were photographed in the spring. The RCVAC pictures were taken this week. My original plan was to do individual posts around Davidson and White, but I couldn’t find enough (accurate) information about either. Of course I could just post the picture of the door, but that is so not my style :)

      So, I decided to combine everything into one post and that forced me to choose. It was a hard choice. Thanks for stopping by Wendy.I always appreciate your comments and the detail you share in your posts.

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  11. What a cool post, Dan. A school with several name changes, building and halls named differently after the same person….the details abound in this one.
    That was funny about the name changes–for I don’t know how long, we had a 2-year Junior College. Then it became a 4-year accredited school and became a State College, not to be confused with the University that has always been a 4-year school. Anyway–I really like the doors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. The intention when it went from State College to University was to save money by bringing it into the University system. I don’t think that has happened (there are three of these schools, Eastern, Central and Western). You really need a score card to figure this out. I’ll leave all that for the administrators, but I like the doors.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I had been able to find more information about the building. There are a few that are generally like it on campus, but it seems to be unique in its shape. I’m glad you liked it, and it’s always nice to have you stop by over here. Thanks.

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  12. I like old university/college buildings. They have character that can’t be found in the newer structures. They say, “This is where you will learn.” The newer buildings — they look the same as office buildings. No inspiration for the student.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good observation Glynis, and particularly fitting for the Vance Center on this campus. Most of the students are already working. They are either slowly getting their undergraduate degree or working on an advanced degree. That the building looks like a workplace might mean that they don’t make the transition in their frame of mind. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Great post Dan, something wonderfully big, established and reassuring about those buildings, I love the doors and enjoy your detail! Congrats on the teaching, as Norm said there isn’t enough connection between education and the real world these days and I think that applies globally, so it’s a great initiative to be part of.

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