Four Senses of the Benson Center Lobby

It has rained on and off for several days. So much so that Poteat Field, usually a place for intramural or pick-up soccer games or football games, has huge puddles on it.  My sense of the feeling on campus is everyone is sick of this weather, sick of being cooped up, and perhaps a bit grumpy about it all.  Or maybe that’s just me.

I had a quick 15 minutes in Benson today so thought you might enjoy an abbreviated Four Senses post (I didn’t eat anything).

I see…


The lower level (second floor) if I peek over the railing from the Rotunda to the lower level.  I see tops of heads as they walk by.  Everyone has a big, full head of hair, and a wide variety of hues.

Lots of casual outfits – hoodies, yoga pants, t-shirts and jeans – and waterproof boots.  When I was here students wore LL Bean “duck boots” – now it is more Hunter boots or hiking boots.

Most of the 3rd floor lobby seating areas are claimed.  Maybe 2/3 of them are students studying, but some are there to eat their lunch.  I spy a male-female student lunch pairing. The girl has a bagel that looks fantastic (yes, I was hungry while taking my notes!)

Flags of the world are still hanging in the Benson Rotunda.  They are bright and colorful.

Lots of laptops being consulted. I try to sneak a peek at the screens in range and it isn’t Facebook or social media sites, they look like they are doing work.

I hear…

The most delightful piano music being played.  There is a piano on the 4th floor near the Rotunda and when it is played the music wafts down to the 3rd floor.  Whoever was playing was really good.  I’m no musician by any stretch, but this sounded a little melancholy, maybe in a minor key. Perhaps the weather influenced the pianist’s choices.

The sound of a large, wheeled cart scraping along the floor.  Then a moment or two later, I heard the sound of the doors to our garbage bins being opened, so the big cart must have been collecting trash.

Keys jingling.

Plastic wrap and its telltale crinkling noise as food is being unwrapped at a table near me.

Shoes squeaking. It’s the sound of wet, rubber soles squeaking along the floor.  As people enter Benson, you can occasionally hear a *scuff scuff* of someone trying to wipe their shoes on the mat.  But generally more squeaking.

Muffled conversations.  There is a lot of chatting going on, so it is hard to pick out distinct words. The closest I can make out is a male voice saying “Hey! What’s up!” as if he had just seen a friend, and female voices at another table laughing.

Someone near me is clicking a ballpoint pen. Over and over. Click. Click. Click. Click.  I doubt he/she is even aware of it, but I am hyperaware of it.

I smell…

French fries? Or maybe just the smell of fried food.  Chick Fil A is below me after all.

Wet and damp. There are wet raincoats and umbrellas, and it all has a telltale wet smell.

I feel…

Very little in the way of breeze or air moving.  I am far enough away from the front doors that I don’t feel the air as the doors open or shut.

Dampness.  The humidity is hanging in the air.

There’s your Four Senses from this wet and dreary day.  My friends in CA, send us the sun!  Please!

Categories: campus life


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