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  • Joanne Tong

Tourism vs. Reality

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

Tourism vs. Reality

Tourism vs. Reality. Pen and ink. Originally published in the Daily Pennsylvanian on March 29, 2007.

I loved spending time drawing in the studios of Charles Addams Hall. It was a great place to be “in the zone,” clear your mind, and just create — that is, until I spotted a rat running around the room as I drew one night. (This was three months before Pixar released Ratatouille… so no jokes about rats as misunderstood artists came to mind.)

I did most of my art homework in the common areas of our college house after that, and vowed that when it was time to give to the Penn Fund, I would funnel my contribution to the School of Design. I might have been enrolled at the business school, but Wharton had enough alumni donors to keep Huntsman Hall’s smart boards and escalators running 24/7.

It was that funding that made Huntsman a permanent fixture on our college’s campus tour. Every time I saw the tour groups, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the tour also featured some of the… less modern buildings on campus. While all Penn students were free to use Huntsman’s study rooms and facilities, the truth was that non-business majors would spend most of their time in classroom buildings that looked prrrretty different from this one…

Cameo of the week: My friend Talal, whose “Neato” catchphrase pervaded every meeting we had that semester (most of them at Huntsman, fittingly)…


Tip for incoming students: Huntsman functioned like a well-equipped office building, which was great when I needed pristine team meeting space and easy access to food and coffee for the occasional snow day or all-nighter… Still, my favorite campus building and study spot had to be the Fisher Fine Arts Library. With its fireplace, leather couches, and beautiful red brick architecture, it was a haven for someone who wanted to work in a cozier environment. I never saw any rodents there, for the record.


This is a scan of the original drawing prior to publication. More about my stint at the DP here.

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