Five Senses of Noon Class Change

Happy Hump Day, Deac families. We’re at the midpoint of the week, so let’s coast gently down to the weekend, shall we?

TPath I took around campus to write today's Daily Deac blogoday is a beautiful fall day, and we haven’t featured a Five Senses post lately, so I thought I’d give something new a try: instead of perching myself at one particular spot, I’d try to make a loop around campus and jot notes down as I went (lesson learned: writing while trying to walk does not make for neat penmanship). To give you some perspective on where I was, here is a campus map outlining my route – the red arrow is the starting place and I left around 11:40 a.m. so I’d see the 11:50-noon class change.

I see…

Flowerbeds. Because fall is coming, they have switched out the old flowers and added in pansies that are yellow and purple.

Brown leaves in the ground along the curbs by the Quad the residence halls. Red and yellow leaves on the maples outside Reynolda Hall.

Students in shorts and long sleeve shirts, others in short sleeves and long pants.

Thin, wispy clouds above me. The clouds look a bit strange – there is the occasional grey cloud, but those are surrounded by white ones.

Two students on bikes during the course of my journey. The mom in me can’t help but notice that neither are wearing helmets.

A woman who may be a student or a young staff member (hard to tell) walking and talking into her cellphone, which is on speaker.

People walking on the Mag Quad walkways: heads down, eyes on their screens. Most have backpacks.

A wide variety of clothing. The guys’ clothing is pretty similar – shorts/jeans/khakis and t-shirts or the occasional button down. For women, it’s a blend of skirts and tops (hemlines are short again), and jeans seem to come in two main styles: cut offs that look a bit flared (almost bell-bottomy) at the ends, or ankle length and form fitting. I see two girls in half-shirts (did not realize those were a thing again).

Call to Conversation signs dotting the green spaces of campus.

A tent for Student Union outside the entrance to the Pit.

Five distinct lines of traffic cutting from Reynolda down to Bostwick and Johnson. Standing on the Mag Patio looking across the Mag Quad, it almost reminds me of the old video game Frogger, where there were multiple lanes of traffic.

Two guys shaking hands as they finish their conversation and go different directions (to class, presumably).

No one is sitting at the Shorty’s outdoor tables that face Tribble Hall. This seems very strange, as it is peak lunch hour.

There are, however, a lot of students at the tables in the courtyard between Benson and Tribble. Students with laptops out and books open. Some singles, some have two students together.

No one is swinging on the swings on Davis Field. It would be a great day for it. I’m surprised.

Only one student at the rocking chairs by the Farrell Hall fire pit. I expected to see more. Most of the outdoor tables on the Farrell porch are empty. The picnic tables out in the woods between Farrell and the parking lot only have one student there. It would be a great place to study – shaded and quiet.

Available parking spaces in the big student parking lot behind Wait Chapel.

I hear…

The Rustle, rustle, rustle of the wind blowing the leaves; I hear it as when I walk past big trees. The sound is papery and crisp. It sounds like fall.

The shrill ping ping of a student who just parked and hit the button on her key fob to lock her car. She is wearing a nice pair of Ray Bans.

A couple of people sneeze as I walk through the crowded sidewalk as classes change and foot traffic gets busy.

Snippets of conversation. I catch the F-bomb being dropped somewhere in the crowd. I hear laughter too.

Two girls discussing a contentious interaction with a friend.

Mandarin (I don’t speak it, but I am guessing that’s what it is).

The students who are staffing the Student Union talk to passersby, encouraging them to get involved. The students working have happy, cheerful voices.

A delivery guy who is whistling as he unloads things in the Benson Center loading dock.

“He’s so SWEET!” – two girls are walking and discussing a guy they both know.

A student talking to another student, protesting the “ridiculous” expectations in one of their classes.

A loud, squeaky cart that a construction worker rolls out of Taylor Hall (which is being renovated).

A student talking to one of the custodial workers in the front hall of Farrell. Bless this staff member, I have seen her before and she is the happiest, most cheerful older lady, just radiates warmth. She always speaks to folks. I can tell by the look on the student’s face that she is happy to talk to her.

I smell…

Grease or fried food when I get to the Mag Patio of Reynolda and hang out there to wait to watch classes change (and snap some pics).  I am not sure if what I smell is coming out of the Pit (probably so, because I am directly above it) or wafting over from the Benson Center.

The slightly sweet, castoff fumes from a student in front of me who is vaping as he walks down the sidewalk.

Bacon and bagels as I walk through the Farrell Hall Living Room and pass Einstein’s Bagels. There are several students in line waiting for their lunch.

I feel…

A cool breeze as I walk. It feels so nice to be walking across campus and have a soft, light breeze in your face.

The warmth of the sun in those moments where I’m in a place with no shade. There really is a discernible difference in temperature between full-sun and in-the-shade.

A couple of accidental bumps and budges from students during the peak of the class change, when everyone is on the sidewalks at once.

I taste…

OK, so I lied. It’s Four Senses today. I can’t walk, write, observe, and eat/drink at once, y’all 🙂

Here are some pics and a little bit of video from my journey. Hope you enjoy!


Fall leaves

— by Betsy Chapman ’92, MA ’94Mag Quad - before classes change

trees outsideStudent Union tent outside the Pit entrance

Categories: campus lifethe daily deac


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