Sunday, September 15, 2013

Jotthe Kannappan: History, it's all around us

Several times on Friday, Laura Jones, the campus archaeologist, mentioned several times that she has walked past something in Jasper Ridge a thousand times without ever realizing the historical significance of those areas. These areas are what eventually became sites for archaeological digs, through which the ghost town Searsville was uncovered.

What astounds me, is that outside of a few signs, which I'm sure were put in by the staff, passerby could hike through Jasper Ridge having never discovered the history of the place. They could never appreciate the peculiar history of the lake that once was, and town that once was.

More than anything, humans have become a passive audience to almost anything that surrounds us, especially regarding things we see every day. The situation with Jasper Ridge makes me wonder exactly how much the average Stanford student knows about Stanford.

After spending 4 years here, I can imagine that a good majority of students don't know more than the romantic tale of Leland Sr. and Jane building a university in honor of their son. Most people don't know how the Stanfords went about doing this, the university's dark ages, or really anything beyond what was immediately relevant to them in their 4 years here, such as the location of buildings.

The sad part is, there is SO MUCH HISTORY all around us. It's just sitting there, waiting for someone to notice it. I even think that almost any Stanford student would be fascinated about the wild history of our university, especially how it sets us apart from out Eastern counterparts. They just need to discover it. The point is, PAY ATTENTION. Like our group with the ghost town at Searsville, you might wind up finding something that absolutely enthralls you.

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