As I write this, I sit on a cool stone seat, near a burbling fountain hidden in the heart of campus. It is a secluded place, set away from the hustle and bustle of campus life. The gentle autumn winds swirl the faint fragrance of nearby rose bushes to my nose. As I look around I see the castles of campus surrounding me. Students walk to and from classes. Some stop and talk to one another, while others hurry along their way. Much is going on, but nobody notices me watching and observing.

These hidden nooks and corners are all over campus. You could come to OU, graduate, and never once notice them, but they are here. They remind me of the hidden meadows and enchanted forests of the fairy tales that my father would read to me as a young child; something straight out of Tolkien, or Lewis, or Mallory. In a way they bring back my childhood. Perhaps this is why I love them. Or maybe I just like to get away from everything from time to time. They leave you alone with your thoughts.

Whatever these hidden places are, they are here, and add to the majesty of the University. As Washington Irving once said, “He is the true enchanter, whose spell operates, not upon the senses, but upon the imagination and the heart.” The spell that enchants the University of Oklahoma is a strong one. I could not imagine a better place to be, to learn, or to grow.

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