Ode to snakes in basement

Zoë Donovan, Columnist

As the days continue to freeze students on their way to class to the bone, they find shortcuts to class, cutting through adjacent buildings to get out of the cold and the wind.

For me, almost daily I find myself walking the short distance from Weller Hall, where I currently reside, to Buzzard Hall, and back again. It’s not a far walk but with Illinois winds and temperatures below 30, no walk outside is pleasant.

Late last semester, on one of the colder days, I too joined the legions of students retreating from the cold, crossing the brick tiles as quickly as I could between the library and Alumni clock tower, and pulling open the glass doors of the Biological Sciences Building.

Down the stairs and into the basement I ventured that day, ears stinging as they readjusted to the temperature and my glasses fogging up.

Had I been a bit quicker, or a bit less perceptive I would have missed the tanks lining one wall, or the wooden box with chicken wire walls.

A snake, long and thin and curled up around itself and a hollow log, was sitting in one of the tanks, and in the chicken wire box there was a turtle, not doing much just clawing at something, a little tick-tack with her claws.

Being that I was on my way to class, I didn’t have much time to marvel over the small discovery I had made. As a transfer student, I never took the general education biology classes here and all of the classes at Eastern I needed were in regards to my major and minors, there had never been a need for me to come into this building.

It was a nice surprise, to share the warm basement with the reptiles. I was later told by some herpetology club members that the snake I had been enamored with during the Fall Student activity Fair, was the same one that caught my attention that day, Odin.

On bad days, I make an effort to walk through the building after class, to take a minute to share the space with beings that don’t really care, who are also just trying to stay warm.

So be this a warning to those who are afraid of reptiles, and just a nice surprise to those who find their company to be pleasant, there are snakes in the basement of the biological sciences building.

Zoë Donovan is a junior journalism major. They can be reached at 581–2812 or at [email protected].