Wednesday Five Senses

The local school district was closed today on threat of freezing rain and roads, but as I drove to work there was just one moment of sliding and nothing more.  Wake’s classes remained on schedule.

It’s been a long while since we did a “Five Senses” post – so here goes.  Five Senses of Farrell Hall Living Room…

I see…

– Lots of students bundled up in coats.  It is cold and needle-fine mist.

– Tons of scarves and boots.  A lot of our female students keep their scarves on even once they take off their jacket.

– A yellow sign indicating wet floor (from people trudging in from outdoors where the ground is wet).

– 8-10 students are in the line for Einstein’s Bagels when I arrive.

– About 2/3 of the tables and chair groupings in the Living Room are filled.

– Those who are not actively having a conversation with someone are all using their phones to text or surf, or they are on a laptop.

– A young man who I’d wager is on the football team.  He looks like a lineman and he is eating and studying at once.

– A solitary girl in a short sleeved shirt.  She’s an outlier dress-wise; everyone else is fairly well bundled, though I do see a few young men who have just a heavy sweater on and no jacket.

– Lots of puffer jackets, clearly the style of the day.

– A clear delineation in the dress code of the graduate business students (business dress) vs. everyone else (full range of student wear).

– One girl has a laptop whose cover is totally filled with stickers.  You can’t see an inch of space on it.  I can make out a sorority sticker, the name of a band, but my eyes aren’t good enough to see what else is there.  Later, another girl with a similarly decorated laptop arrives.

– Two sets of improbably high heels, given the precarious nature of the wet sidewalks.

– A steady stream of people in the Einstein’s line.  They stay busy, those workers behind the counter.

– Administrators and faculty at a few tables meeting with students.  It’s cool that they are doing it out here in the open vs. in offices.  Makes the faculty and administrators much more approachable and accessible in my opinion.

– Two young men and a young woman enter from the outside doors near the Farrell firepit.  Both young men hold the doors open for her.  I smile.  Chivalry lives.

– No-frills hairdos on most of the women.  It’s rainy and humid and most of our young ladies are in ponytails or have their hair down or partially pulled back.  Not a good weather day for a complicated look.


I hear…

– A student behind me in line says my name.  He’d been abroad in the fall and I hadn’t seen him since.  I think the world of this young man and we give each other a hug and exchange pleasantries.

– Snippets of a conversation at a nearby table: “Did you retake it? That’s unfortunate.”  Clearly about a class someone failed or did pretty badly in at least.

– Clomp of a female administrator’s high heels.

– The screechy scraping of wooden chair legs across the floor.

– Crinkling of paper bags as students remove their bagels from them and begin eating.

– Though it is a big room with a very high ceiling, conversations seem very quiet.

– Occasional coughing.

– The crinkling of the paper wrapping that bagels come in (before they go in the to-go bag).

– People greeting each other or saying goodbye.  Things like “have a good day!” or “take care, man.”

– Einstein’s workers calling out names of orders that are up.  Brian.  Paul.

– The squeak of rubber-soled shoes against the floor, probably because they are wet.

– It get much louder in the Living Room as we approach the time of class changing.  There is a sudden influx of students coming to class, or coming here to get some food before class.  It is noticeably louder.  Not quite a dull roar, but close.


I smell…

– Cinnamon, presumably from cinnamon-raisin bagels.  It smells warm too.

– Toast from the bagel-toasting ovens.

– Crisp, cold air.

– A sudden, strong smell of coffee.  They must have brewed a new batch.


I feel…

– The softness of the cushion on the chair I occupy.  You sink in to these chairs.  It feels comforting.

– The hard, smooth table top.

– The occasional crumb underneath my fingers.


I taste…

– Hazelnut coffee.  I get the last of the pot and it is not as warm as I would have liked, but it’s warm enough to take the chill off.


That’s your Five Senses of Farrell Living Room.


— by Betsy Chapman

Categories: campus life


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