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'Telephone:' 'The Office' Version.
University carillonneur, Tin-Shi Tam, may have the most unique job on campus. Each weekday around 11:30 a.m, Tam -- a petite woman with a bubbly personality -- effortlessly ascends the campanile's 79 stairs. She navigates the confined spiral staircase with ease, ducking where necessary to successfully maneuver the narrow passages.
After about five minutes, she reaches her destination -- a 12-by-12-foot room beneath the bell chamber that houses the carillon console.
Tam takes a moment to catch her breath before switching on the high-tech gadgets necessary for the live web casts of her noon carillon concerts. She takes her place at the keyboard and, 10 minutes before noon, begins to make the bells of Iowa State sing.
The four faces of the campanile's clock and a camera mounted on the ceiling are the audience Tam sees. She hears no applause. She receives no standing ovations. But after 15 years, anonymity is still a bonus.
Another tradition at Iowa State, is the superstition regarding the zodiac. The zodiac in the Memorial Union looks unworn due to the long-standing tradition of walking around the zodiac. The original artist planned for it to be walked on, but superstitious students know that walking on the zodiac will ensure the flunking of their next exam, so they cautiously walk around it. If a student does walk on the zodiac and wishes to transform his soon to be fate, he or she must throw a coin into the Fountain of the Four Seasons directly outside the Union.
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