Road Less Traveled

Road Less Traveled

Aug 5
Debra Korte, Teaching Assistant Professor, Agricultural Education

In elementary school, my English teacher made me read, “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost. Admittedly, I did not enjoy the assignment at the time, but now I consider the message of this poem to be quite impactful. In his writing, Frost reflects on choices he has made throughout his life and how sometimes taking the road less traveled can result in life-changing experiences and perhaps unexpected paths in life. Today, I chose to walk the path less traveled on campus and was reminded of the magnitude of this prestigious university.

After spending some time at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), I chose to take a different path to return to my office in Bevier Hall. Although I have walked past the Krannert Art Museum more times than I can possibly remember, I chose to take a few minutes to walk through the museum today. What an amazing display of artwork! This seemingly-small building has two floors completely devoted to a variety of art exhibits, and is the second largest general fine art museum in Illinois.

My next stop was at the courtyard area within the Architecture Building. After walking through the archway, it felt as though I had been transformed into a peaceful and serene area in the middle of campus surrounded by nature.

After leaving the courtyard, I noticed a small house near the ACES bell tower. Formerly known as the Experiment Station Farm House, the Mumford House is a national historical landmark that lays claim to the oldest building on the UIUC campus.

With all I had already experienced, I decided to walk a bit farther through Illini Grove to the Arboretum. Again, this was a place I had never visited but had driven by several times. In one word – AMAZING. If you have never visited the Arboretum and the Miles C. Hartley Selections Garden, take the time to enjoy this experience.

I often hear prospective students express concern about the large size of our university. My response – the College of ACES provides a family atmosphere, where the physical size of the university becomes irrelevant. After taking “the road less traveled” during my walk today, I may include additional information for my response to this concern. Yes, the University of Illinois is large – large enough to provide a world-class education, groundbreaking research, Olympic-level fitness and training facilities (where you can also get a massage in the same visit), historical landmarks (Mumford House, The Morrow Plots, and the Round Dairy Barns just to name a few), a fine arts museum, internationally recognized libraries, and a 57-acre, magnificent arboretum.

As you get ready for the beginning of the semester – whether you are a new student to campus, returning student, or faculty – take a different path outside your usual routine. When applied to life decisions or simply your walk to the bus stop after class, take the road less traveled; it’s a decision you will not regret!

A path through the University of Illinois Arboretum