I took a road trip to Annapolis a few weeks ago during the New Year’s weekend (which was made possible by the fact that New Year’s Day fell on a Friday this year). My first stop was to historic Saint John’s College, which is the college that’s famous for having an undergraduate program that’s so unique that one can only enter the school as a freshman because it doesn’t accept too many college credits from elsewhere.

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The campus was closed for winter break so it was completely empty. Despite that, I found that the campus had a few lovely photogenic features.

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The campus even had a cannon that was actually used in the War of 1812.

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There’s one feature of the campus that is actually mentioned on the Roadside America website. The item in the next photographs is known as a Ptolemy Stone.

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The Ptolemy Stone is one of the earliest navigational devices that was invented by an ancient Greek astronomer and geographer named Claudius Ptolemy. According to the Wikipedia, the Ptolemy Stone is actually used in freshmen and sophomore math classes at the college in order to calculate the apparent movement of the sun along the ecliptic. You can see numbers inscribed in the metal wheel with the x-shaped handle.

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The handle itself is moveable so one can measure the movement of the sun.

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That night after I returned home I did a sketch based on one of my photos of the Ptolemy Stone, which I have already written about at length in a previous entry.

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The campus itself is small (especially compared to my own alma mater, the University of Maryland at College Park) and it consists mainly of Georgian style architecture, which isn’t that different from the buildings at the University of Maryland’s College Park campus.

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One of its buildings is named after Francis Scott Key, one of the college’s most distinguished alumni whose greatest claim to fame is writing a poem during the War of 1812 that would later become the lyrics to the U.S. national anthem “The Star Spangled Banner”. I took this picture through one of the locked glass doors which has a wall dedicated to Key.

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After my visit to the school I saw that there weren’t much opened in downtown Annapolis during the New Year weekend. (Many of the businesses in the area are family-owned and the ones that aren’t bars and restaurants decided to simply close for the holidays.) As I was driving back, I saw something that interested me.

Last May I devoted a blog post to the chicken statues that grace West Street in Annapolis. I saw a chicken statue that I had never seen before. I suspect that this is a statue that is only displayed in the winter because of its theme. Basically this statue answers the question of what would you get if you crossed a chicken with a snowman.

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Many of the light poles in downtown Annapolis were tastefully decorated with a pine garland and a holiday-themed sign.

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This last photo shows a beautiful sunset that graced the sky over West Street.

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