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The Great Outdoors…at RMU

The other day I stepped out of the office for a little fresh air, when I saw a wild turkey. It came around the side of the building and scampered along the sidewalk for a bit before cutting across the grass and disappearing into the woods. Being that it was just about lunchtime, visions of stuffing and cranberry sauce danced in my head.

Although it was a little strange to see a turkey running around in the middle of the day, seeing a wild animal here on RMU’s Moon Township campus was no big surprise. After all, there’s 230 rolling acres up here, and much of it is surrounded by forest.

I’ve had a few offices in my day, each one of them with a different view. At one of my first jobs, my office was in the boiler room, where, besides breathing in metal dust and enjoying a constant 90 degree temperature, I had a wonderful view of…well, the boiler. At other jobs, the only view I had was the wall of my cubicle. I actually used to draw a fake window on my computer, print it out, and then hang it on the wall to try and trick myself. Sad but true.

My current office here at RMU offers, by far, the best view I’ve ever had. My window in Lafayette Center (a real window, by the way) looks out into the woods and gives me the feeling that I’m a hundred miles from civilization. It’s like I’m writing from the comfort of a secluded cabin (an air-conditioned cabin with genuine pine smell provided by a plug-in air freshener). Last fall as I was sitting here working when a group of 10 or 12 deer came bounding from the direction of campus and went right past my window before vanishing deep into the woods. Now that’s something you don’t see in your average corporate office.

I’ve seen all kinds of animals up here, from deer and turkey, to hawks and foxes, to groundhogs and “grinnies” (Pittsburghese for chipmunks). Heck, it’s like we’ve got our very own wildlife preserve, just without any of those pesky man-eating predators, which can really put a damper on your outdoor experience.

I find a lot of people are surprised when they first visit RMU and see what a scenic, expansive campus we have. What’s great about it is that in just 15 or 20 minutes you can be right in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, if you’re in the mood for a more urban atmosphere. Then again, if you’re looking to find a secluded place to throw down a blanket, do some reading, or maybe even take a quick snooze, there’s plenty of room here to spread out and relax. Our students really have the best of both worlds.

As for me, now that I’m working at RMU, I no longer have to stare out fake windows or endure sweltering temperatures while I’m working…which is nice.

— Valentine J. Brkich

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. Valentine grinnies are abundant. I tend to see them more than usual around campus.

    May 16, 2009

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