Top 5 Ledges on Campus for Perching On (Applicable to Students, Birds, and Gargoyles)

One: the stone ledge in front of the Science Center

Formerly known as The Elmore Classroom and informally and much more popularly known as the ledge in front of the Science Center which blocks your view of the opposite side of the field, so if you are trying to wave at a friend you must pray for a sudden bout of tallness. Standing at a modest height of roughly four feet six inches, it is perfect for perusing the crowds as they disperse from class. Its width, also, is commendable, allowing for one to balance laptops, textbooks, and backpacks without fear of falling. You get a good view of the sunset, a solid Eduroam connection from the Science Center, and you get to feel tall. 9/10

Two: The railing in front of the Martin Biological Laboratory

Flanking both sides of the staircase leading up to the Martin Biological Laboratory, two large slabs of stone sit as a testament to the wonders of geometry. Where the railing goes up, so does the respective ledge, with grooves for the feet to rest and the soul to anchor itself on a windy day. Finally, where the staircase flattens out to a raised platform, the ledge broadens and creates a space upon which one can sit, do work, and watch the world pass you by. While students rarely head into Martin at present as it’s due for renovation soon, the occasional person who does will be pleasantly surprised to see you. Unfortunately this particular spot has a raised groove down the center, which makes long-term seating a challenge. 8/10

Three: the patio in the corner between Lang Music and the Lang Performing Arts Center

This ledge overlooks part of the Crum Woods, Swarthmore’s famous wormhole into the great outdoors, and therefore makes for great early morning to afternoon seating. At night, you may begin to hear strange cawing from the dark, and thus be less inclined to settle. The grain is somewhat rough and can be unpleasant for bare skin, so we do recommend wearing long bottoms when sitting in this particular spot. Additionally, I once witnessed a pair of students having an intense conversation about astrophysics while trying to eat a candy apple I acquired from Kohlberg between classes, so do note that the audiovisual accompaniment varies from day to day. 7.5/10

Four: The Clocktower

The classic, the most classic of classic, so classic there exists nothing more classic than this liege of classics, the school clocktower comes with four hefty stone ledges for perching on, extending at a perpendicular angle from the base on two sides. One side offers a humble view of Sharples, our favorite dining hall, more shade, and a windier experience. The other offers a view of Parrish beach, sprawling, green, and glorious, and lots of sunlight. Good for people-watching of a more subtle flavor, as students often forget to glance in your direction on the arduous climb up the hill. On the way down, they are too hungry to remember you exist. 7.49/10

Five: [free space] any space of your choosing

A ledge need only be elevated from the ground by more than two and a half inches and offer you a place to rest to be considered a ledge. As such, this list is not only non-comprehensive, but also vastly incomprehensible and an extension of the author’s personal inclinations towards tall, imposing stone structures. Swarthmore’s campus is full of such structures. It is, also, very beautiful. In the fall we find as many ways as we can to stay outdoors, and then winter comes, and we camp inside in blankets and fifteen pairs of gloves until spring comes roaring down Mcgill walk. If ever you have the chance to visit, I invite you to pick a spot, any spot at all, have a seat, and simply watch, as the school unfolds around you in spectacular technicolor motion. 10/10

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