A couple days ago, I decided to break the time-honored tradition of napping until 9pm and actually spent my afternoon outside. I walked to The Claw and sat. Just sat and observed. And I sat on that stone bench for almost three hours, as sunlight, water mist, and teenage pheromones bathed my skin. Here are a few observations I made during that time:
10. There are a lot of BMX riders on campus
Does Stanford attract more thrill-seeking cyclists during the summer, or are they more visible because there are fewer people on campus? I saw a least 4 different BMXers pass through my perch outside the bookstore. Gnarly.
9. People run
This is nothing new; Stanford students can jog year-round, thanks to almost-perpetual sunshine and ample trails. But I’m not just talking about the running club (which I was inadvertently part of, as they apparently meet near where I was sitting), but random people. In jeans. One was running to the post office, ostensibly to mail a package before it closed. Another because–I’m not sure. It looked like he suddenly realized he could get places in less time by simply moving his legs faster. If time is money, and running saves time, then these people were
coupons still ridiculous-looking.
It might be the lanyards or the unmistakable air of entitlement, but something about the numerous giggles of teenagers meandering through White Plaza screams “I’m only here for the summer!” Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic that high schoolers get to experience our campus, make friends, and get a glimpse of college life (I was a counselor for one such program last summer). I’m just saying, we aren’t fooled; we know who you are.
7. My fly was open
That’s it. Moving on.
This one excites me immensely: as part of the freshman dorm that started the trend of buying helmets for its residents, it’s nice to see more people taking control of their own safety. In the 10-minute period during which I was particularly attentive toward this observation, I saw 21 people bike past me; 11 of them were wearing helmets. That’s over 50% of people on bikes. I’d like to think that this trend would continue into the school year; as one of the leaders in education and medicine, not to mention the winners of the first-ever Platinum Award for Bike Friendliness, we as a community should, in theory, be more aware of and proactive about this this issue. More resources here: http://transportation.stanford.edu/alt_transportation/BikeSafetyEd.shtml
5. Estimating the heights of trees is harder than physics books would have you believe
I’m taking physics at Santa Clara this summer, and we have a final this Thursday. I figured I would do some brain calisthenics and try to estimate the height of a tree near Dinkelspiel with very minimal information (read: none whatsoever). After a few minutes of trying to figure out a way to do so short of tying numerous tape measures together, I gave up and went back to making sure that my fly hadn’t opened again.
4. I can barely sit 10 minutes without looking at my phone
Okay, okay, I admit it, I might be addicted to my smartphone. I tried sitting and appreciating the beauty that was the view of the Post Office, but kept wanting to attend to those phantom buzzes. Technology was ruining my ability to concentrate, and I wasn’t even doing anything; how much more would it have distracted me if I had to write a paper or study for a final? I highly recommend leaving your phone at home and enjoying life off the grid, even if only for a couple hours.
3. Convertible cargo manpris exist
Want to wear cargo shorts, but not expose too much leg? But also want to reserve the right to turn them back into shorts in the flash of a well-placed zipper circa late 1999? Contact that guy walking through White Plaza. I couldn’t take a picture fast enough, so instead, please enjoy some celebrities wearing manpris.
While I didn’t count how many people were wearing long sleeves, it was way more than one would expect on a day that posted a high of 73 degrees. Not a scorcher by any means, but hot enough to make Leslie Knope want to air those pits.
1. Stanford is a beautiful place
No words/Instagram filters necessary.