Oct 17, 2019

Faces & Places at Fresno State


Juan Villa / The Collegian

In the heat of the late morning, construction workers diligently worked on the seemingly never-ending task at hand –– the addition to the Henry Madden Library.

The men were spread throughout the construction site; all working on different tasks, all of them wearing protective hard hats. There were no sounds of talking, just loud grinding metal sounds from welding amongst the roars of the heavy equipment.

One man was working in the sun at the top of the building, dangling on a swaying lift. He was welding in great detail with sparks flying everywhere, when all of a sudden he burned his hand, shaking it in agony for a moment and then slipping on his gloves.

Dust filled the air when a bulldozer stumbled through the site. People walking by waved the air in front of their faces in an effort to avoid breathing in the dust.

Some of the students and other bystanders would stop and take a moment to observe what will someday be a great place to study. Others did not even look up as they cringed at the sound of the grinding metal.

A golf cart with three men wearing suits pulled up to the construction zone. These men were observing the progress being made by the hard-working men at the construction site.

One of the men wearing a suit was pointing while he seemed to explain the project at hand to the other two men. They seemed very interested in the large construction site as they moved closer to get a better assessment of it.

Little by little, with each detail taken into consideration, one thing is clear –– the huge Henry Madden Library addition is coming along.

— Wendy Hughart, The Collegian

Peace Garden

Juan Villa / The Collegian

The Peace Garden was usually very quiet and calm –– up until the sounds of hammers, chainsaws and welding entered.

In clear view, men wearing blue jeans, white t-shirts and jumpsuits and bright colored vests were scattered along the four-story soon-to-be library. main alive just as autumn arrives.

For a split moment, feet are picking up pace to get to their destination, no longer calm and at ease –– with time restraints in mind,

As students pass by, the workers race back and forth carrying tools, dumping cement into a pile and driving forklifts as businessmen in black suits and colored ties observe the construction. They make hand gestures in the air describing future plans for the library.

The golf cart waits behind the businessmen for departure. Traveling on the sidewalk through groups of students, they disappear into the sun. Yet another sits on a brown wooden bench in the garden facing the worksite as if it were a waterfall coming down from a mountain.

The loud and intense pounding of metal against metal does not bother the man. With his arms opened wide on the top of the bench and his legs wiggling, he relaxes with a cool breeze in the air and no interruptions. After 15 minutes, the rushing crowds of students slow down and the only one left in the garden is the man sitting on the bench, and of course, the workers.

— Alana Flores, The Collegian


Juan Villa / The Collegian

A brightly colored border welcomes all who enter the classroom.

Lush green plants are positioned throughout the room, which has been separated into four make-shift play areas.

In the center of the room, the smiling teacher holds a guitar that has seen better days; she calls out to her students for song requests.

Four-year-old Nathan looks as if he has prepared his whole life for this performance as he strums his miniature guitar and sings along when he knows the words.

As the black clock on the wall reads 10:30 a.m., the teacher announces, “Five more minutes until clean-up.”

Kendra, a tiny girl, ignores her and continues to search through the clear plastic box labeled Mr. Potato Head, looking for the perfect part to add to the Mr. Potato Head family she has created. Then she rips the once carefully placed pieces out of the plastic heads, piling all of the brightly colored pieces back into the box.

While all of the students busily put the classroom back together, Nathan sits and continues to strum his guitar. When the hustle and bustle around him gets to be too much, he goes to the other side of the room and sits playing his tiny guitar with a miniscule guitar pick.

The teacher begins to shake a bright pink tambourine, signaling to students that it’s time to go outside. They line up single file behind her and head outside.

— Heather Halsey, The Collegian


Juan Villa / The Collegian

The cool breeze rushes by and the sun leaves a faint heat on the skin. The cement bench is cool.

The sound of the fountain gives off a soothing sound to everyone sitting around it enjoying the water rushing. A skateboarder skates by as his wheels rush along the ground.

They pop every time he goes over a crack in the cement.

The skateboarder passes by a man jamming out to his iPod and organizing his binder. Every few minutes he anxiously takes a look at the world around him. He seems worried about who is looking at him rather than the task at hand.

To her left sits a bearded man reading the latest “Harry Potter” book. He looks around every now and again, but stays lost in his book for the most part. His face looks concerned, as if he is worried one of the characters might be in some harm.

The one thing that these people have in common is that they are all enthralled with the people that are just passing through.

The sound of little feet comes flying by. A little girl runs up to the edge of the fountain with the biggest smile in the world on her face. Her eyes light up as she gazes upon the water shooting up out of the fountain.

As she watches the fountain, it suddenly turns off and the smile drops from her face. “Mommy, Mommy,” she cries, concerned about why the fountain has suddenly abandoned her. As the mom approaches the fountain, the fountain suddenly turns back on and the smile that escaped the little girl’s face returns as quickly as it had left.

Though countless people walked by, many had missed what the little girl saw –– the simple pleasure of listening to a fountain. Most were too concerned about their cell phone conversations or other activities to even really notice the fountain. The sun shining down on the water is lost to them.

In this world of rules and appointments, it is nice from time to time to sit and enjoy something simple. There is nowhere to be –– just a chance to take a deep breath and watch water fall. For the moment, nothing matters and you feel like that little girl smiling as she watched the water fall from the fountain.

— Kysle Thornton, The Collegian

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