Five nerdy univer­sity perks to geek out about

There are amaz­ing hid­den trea­sures tucked away on your cam­pus, wait­ing to be ex­plored.

The Coast - - ON CAMPUS - BY MOR­GAN MULLIN

Be­ing

a stu­dent has its perks—from new­found free­doms and friend­ships to self­dis­cov­ery and maybe even learn­ing to do your own laun­dry. Some­thing not to over­look in that list, though? Em­brac­ing your in­ner geek.

In my first week of classes as an un­der­grad, a pro­fes­sor made an im­pas­sioned speech to my class­mates and I that we ought to trea­sure this time, be­cause we’ll likely never again get the chance to pur­sue learn­ing in such an im­mer­sive way. (Spoiler alert: She was right.)

While hit­ting the books (and, um, ac­tu­ally go­ing to class) helps make the most of the learn­ing side of school, so does mak­ing a point to bask in all things aca­demic.

With that idea in mind, let’s take a peek at some of the most ob­scure, learn­ing-for­learn­ing’s sake trea­sures at a few of Hal­i­fax’s uni­ver­si­ties. Most are free and ac­ces­si­ble to stu­dents, so get­ting your geek on will be easy to do. The li­brary at King’s is al­ready a thing of beauty, with fluted col­umns and ce­ramic busts giv­ing a se­ri­ous, an­cient scholar vibe to the space. Take a break from your re­quired read­ings and check out the spe­cial col­lec­tions: Some 20,000 rare works that range from me­dieval manuscripts to vol­umes from the 15th, 16th and 17th cen­turies. Tucked away in room 120 of the Sir James Dunn Build­ing is any wannabe as­tro­naut’s dream: A vin­tage plan­e­tar­ium map­ping out the night sky be­fore your eyes. Step into the pitch-black space as the so­phis­ti­cated riff on a pin­hole pro­jec­tor casts a de­tailed de­pic­tion of the so­lar sys­tem onto the walls and ceil­ing! Ap­prox­i­mately twice a month, the 1950s-era piece is the sub­ject of a $5 public lec­ture that’ll let you see the magic in ac­tion. Check out as­tron­o­myno­vas­co­tia.ca or our list­ings for de­tails. The Daw­son Print Shop is sure to make any font fiend sali­vate. The space has lit­er­ally thou­sands of lit­tle metal and wood let­ters, used in a set-by-hand let­ter­press (the pre­de­ces­sor to mod­ern print­ing). Crowded cab­i­nets hold ev­ery­thing from Hel­vetica to Times New Ro­man al­pha­bets, beg­ging to be plucked from their places—part of Canada’s largest col­lec­tion of type. Put them to use by tak­ing a book-bind­ing or let­ter­print class.

PETER KLAGES

Hal­i­fax Plan­e­tar­ium watches the stars.

KATHER­INE TAY­LOR

UNIVER­SITY OF KING’S COL­LEGE’S SPE­CIAL COL­LEC­TIONS NOVA SCO­TIA COL­LEGE OF ART AND DE­SIGN’S DAW­SON PRINT SHOP

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