Column: A photo essay of UMN campus over 24 hours reveals quiet, unnoticed moments

The yearly photo compilation is pleasantly surprising.

A cow waits to be milked in the Daily Cattle teaching and Research building on the St. Paul campus.

Courtney Deutz

A cow waits to be milked in the Daily Cattle teaching and Research building on the St. Paul campus.

Kate McCarthy

It’s the time of year for several wrap up and “best of” compilations, including one right here at the Daily with the annual ‘Day in the Life’ 24-hour photo essay of University of Minnesota campus life.

The journalistic fixture slipped by me last year. This time around, however, I came across the piece and was completely captivated. In fact, it made me feel strangely peaceful about the whole “year-end wrapping up” phenomena.

I scrolled through each carefully-curated photo on my cracked phone screen, not the ideal set up. But with every passing picture, I felt a little more calmed.

Usually photo essays don’t capture me, but there was something about this one that kept me pressing forward. There was a certain melancholy in each of these photos, each one a tiny, contained world. I thought to myself the piece made campus look so interesting. I then realized campus has always been interesting; it’s just as vibrant and busy as the photos make it out to be in one single day. We might not always realize that.

Wrapped up so tightly in my everyday life, I’m not aware of Muslim prayer on the lawn, or karate class in Cooke Hall or even that dutiful cow on the St. Paul campus waiting to be milked at 3:40 a.m.

And this soothed me. My life is so small, not necessarily insignificant, but one of so many other little strands tossed out into the world every day. As the school year comes to a close, I’ll try to keep this sentiment and this photo piece in mind.