Five Senses of Benson Food Court

Happy Valentine’s Day, Deac families! Hope your day is full of love and joy. If you want to sprinkle a little extra Valentine’s love on your student, send them a Deacon Greeting here.

One quick program note before we get to today’s feast: yesterday an email went out to campus inviting them to an open house about the Plan for Academic Excellence. It, like all campuswide emails, is archived at Family News.

Since Valentine’s Day is all about love, and I consistently get the most love from the Daily Deacdom when I do a Five Senses post, thought I would serve one up to you today. This is from Benson Center Food Court, midday today.

I see…

A shockingly empty Food Court at 11:45. Maybe only 1/3 of the tables were full. Several of the tables were only one person, and just a handful of tables with 2-4 people at them.

A girl with greenish hair. Rock on with your bad self!

One girl skipping for a few steps. Have to confess I don’t see that too often.

Lots of Chick Fil A bags at tables. Clearly that is the entree of choice for a lot of our students.

Three female students each carrying a single long-stemmed red rose.

A surprising number of students in no jacket (to be fair, it was FINALLY sunny). Also see a lot of sweatshirts, hoodies, and running pants/spandex. It looks like an Extra Casual Friday.

A smiling male student walking by. He has a great, friendly smile.

A girl in a decidedly Valentine’s Day coat. Supercute.

A student on crutches making their way through the Food Court to the door. They managed to get the door open on their own (I confess I was hoping several students nearby would leap to get it for them, but the student managed quite well).

Lots of students (both male and female) in ball caps.

One young lady who is totally loaded down: Moe’s bag in one hand, drink in the other, small container of salsa carried in her teeth. #respect

A male student greeting another male student with a handshake. I like it.

A female student [standing up] who starts jumping up and down excitedly next to a male student [seated]. She grabs his shoulders.

The solo table occupiers are all looking at their phones or laptops.

A female student hugging a friend hello as she greets her.

Two more ladies have Valentine’s clothes – one a sweater, one a jacket.

Two students poke their head in Shorty’s as if looking to see if friends are there. They quickly retreat back to the Food Court.

What I assume is a father and daughter on a tour of campus. They walk in the Food Court and seem to try and catch their bearings and get the lay of the land.

One of my favorite librarians walk through the middle of the Food Court aisle.

A guy with 2 dozen Krispy Kremes he is carrying. Why he doesn’t have friends trailing him is a mystery.

Two young women in BELL BOTTOMS. When did they come back into style?!?!?

A student I met a year or two ago at a New Student Reception. She doesn’t see me or remember me, but I marvel at how much more mature she looks, and how well she appears to be doing. She is not my kid, but I am proud of her like she was.

I hear…

Three sneezes in a row. Same person.

A squeaky door to the patio opening and closing.

Yeah, yeah, yeah” in a sarcastic voice.

A metallic click-BANG as the latch hits as the door closes.

High pitched beeping as items are scanned at the cash register in the sundry shop (aka 336 Market).

“I already put my stuff there…” as a student tries to tell their lunch partner which table they claimed.

Students speaking what I presume to be Mandarin.

A thwack! sound as a girl drops her bookbag to the floor from a high table.

“Where you at?” [presumably asking a friend which table is theirs].

A second group of students speaking what I assume is Mandarin.

The rolling wheels of a big grey trash bin moving across the floor.

HEY!” as a student tries to get a friend’s attention.

Two young men saying thank you to the cashiers in the sundry shop as they leave.

A very polite young man asking if he can take a chair from a table to move it to another.

YES! That IS…” student saying to another student as they walk by. I never get to hear what it was.

The presumptive tour family dad talk – sounds like he has a cold: craggy voice, cough, congested.


“At least I remembered to…” Before I could hear what the student remembered, they were out of earshot. And frankly I was really curious to know.

A girl triumphantly coming out of the sundry shop and declaring “Mission accomplished!” and brandishing a bag of something. She doesn’t open it, so I don’t know what gem she just bought.

Giggling. It sounds like female voices.

More laughter.

A student drop a hard-side water bottle. It makes a loud, banging CLANK for a split second when it hits.

Presumptive tour young woman saying to her dad “Everyone is really friendly” and describing a class she must have sat in “the Professor was really nice...”

More laughter.

I smell…

Fried food. The smell of hot grease. Probably Chick Fil A.

Air that is cold. Cold air has a particular smell (at least to me). Sort of crisp in the nose.

A faint whiff of cigarette smoke. No one is smoking indoors, of course. Probably on a passerby’s clothes.

I feel…

The soft and cushiony bucket chair I am sitting in.

My arms at an odd angle because the swivel desk/writing part of the chair is listing down and to the left, so my writing is off balance.

Cold air as the door opens.

I taste…

Ok, this is cheating, because it technically wasn’t during my Five Senses observation, but I went to Shorty’s right after and had the Mr. Wake Forest burger, which is awesome.


That’s your Five Senses of the Benson Food Court. Have a great Valentine’s Weekend!


— by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)

Categories: the daily deac