43. Using Houses as Department Buildings

Bolles House

Freshmen, complain all you want about the monstrous hill you have to climb every day to class but just admit it: our campus is tiny. Everything is basically within a fifteen minute walk. Though this keeps our pre-arthritic knees happy and healthy, there are some trade-offs. Our small campus means that our department buildings are closer to each other; but this also means that some of our meetings with our academics occur in neighborhood houses converted into university space.

It’s a little odd that some of Tufts’ department buildings blend a little too easily into the Medford/Somerville neighborhood. But aren’t these houses actually kind of cozy? There’s something oddly comforting about arriving at the Alumni House to inquire about Ex College classes and realizing you have to walk up a driveway and sidle past what looks like your grandmother’s front doorway. The same goes for meeting a mentor at the Fine Arts house or any other university-related building like the Counseling & Mental Health center or the LGBT house. These academic buildings might have odd remnants of domesticity within (bathtubs in the bathrooms, etc), but homesick Jumbos craving the quaintness of American suburbia can get their dose just walking around Mr. Larry’s Neighborhood. Home sweet home.

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