by Carol Bechtel, Becketwood Member
One of the many reasons I moved to Becketwood was the attractive hallways, each with its special art, unique. I liked the way the halls shot off in multiple directions offering a different view with every turn. Only now that I am in my third year of fulltime residence am I realizing the real reason for loving the halls of Becketwood.
As a confirmed introvert, I might be expected to exist quietly behind my closed unit door. On the contrary, each day I have many reasons to exit through that door and into the halls. Sometimes it is just to take the elevator down to the basement to rendezvous with my car and a trip off campus. Frequently it is a walk down the stairs and out an Exit door, across the North parking lot and off into the neighborhood for a long walk. More often it is an elevator ride down and a walk back up the stairs plus a meander somewhere in the building for the purpose of accomplishing some personal or cooperative business. Whatever the reason, I seem to spend a lot of time in the halls, and my time spent there makes me a happy person.
Yes, I still enjoy the art—even after many winter mornings when there is dangerous ice and/or cold outdoors so that I walk every foot of every hallway. Three cheers for the Art Committee’s changing hallscapes and all the members whose creativity is expressed in their alcoves. But the absolute best part is that every hall walk results in meeting at least one Becketwood neighbor, often several. We exchange greetings, we comment on the weather, we keep up with what is going on, we become almost friends. The more often we see each other, the more all of Becketwood becomes my home, not just the apartment I live in. We build community.
And lately I have noticed another advantage to the halls of Becketwood. They save me making phone calls! Schmoozing was something I have never been good at; networking I thought was for other people. But what I am finding—as I become more involved with the workings of the co-op, care more about our community, and have more ideas about what might be done—is that often I just happen to run into someone with whom I want to have a conversation on one topic or another. It’s so easy to grab that person and sit right down and do it, or at least set a time to do it later! I return to my unit with a pleased little “mission accomplished” feeling. Pretty efficient, if you ask me—to say nothing of enjoyable, meaningful, and useful.
Visitors sometimes find Becketwood’s building plan daunting and its hallways confusing. For me the halls are one of my home’s most beloved features.