The Death of an Icon: Eulogy for the Mines Rover

Image courtesy of the Mines Rover Website.

By McKenna Larson

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Every member of the Mines community awaited your arrival anxiously and we were stunned by your beauty and grace as soon as we saw you, Mines Rover. We may never know why the administration decided to end your humble reign but today we grieve as a community. 

Though we all feel somber and even heart broken, I want all readers to remember this is a celebration of life. The Rover gave so much and asked so little in return, except for grant money, and today we honor it. Aside from reading this eulogy, I encourage everyone to honor the memory of our fallen soldier in their own private way. Take a moment to write a song, create artwork, slowly walk the path the Rover once drove, bury a loving effigy of the Rover as a funeral. If you are feeling overwhelmed by this loss, I would encourage seeking out student James Talbott for memorial art. Do anything that expresses your deepest emotions at this time, you are not alone in your grief. 

The self-driving, not at all expensive, Rover brought joy to this campus that we thought was long gone. Such a historic event may never be equaled in our lifetimes. The ease of use, the clear driving schedule, the safety of both riders and pedestrians, were unimaginable before the Rover was in place. We were literally and figuratively stagnant as a community. Stifled by coursework and the thought of walking, students were shells of their former selves until self-driving technology returned the spark to our souls. 

Before this program the hills on and around campus were a personal Mt. Everest for us all. Similarly, the grid lay out of Golden streets were impossible to navigate without the heart of a cartographer. These struggles died the day our hero rolled its way onto campus. For that, we will be forever grateful. 

Of course, not everything was perfect, there were stumbles and hardships—this is part of living. The Rover was hurt by fender-benders and in turn almost hurt others by not braking well for those walking by, but who can fault such a powerful feat of engineering for making human mistakes. I think I speak for all students when I say, we would have looked past so much worse before we even thought of giving up the Rover. 

The last thing anyone wanted was the sacrifice of our most loved mode of transportation. Sadly, school officials had other ideas. We may never know why this happened to you, sweet Rover. Perhaps you were too beloved and other aspects of campus grew jealous, or you were so well made that we were not worthy of you. The important thing to remember is that is no fault of yours, Mines Rover. You were too perfect for us. 

The deaths of this program will haunt campus for years to come as the sweet siren song of the Rover warning beeps drift away on the wind. How do we properly memorialize such a being as a campus? A bronze statue? A candle-light vigil? That would at least be a start. My hope is that the Rover’s short life will inspire further innovative spending by the school that truly serves the needs of students. 

From everyone on campus, with pouring tears we say “goodnight, sweet prince.” 

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