Monthly Archives: January 2017

Going for a Walk

By Laken Radvansky
Why don’t I go on walks more? As soon as I stepped out onto the porch I was immediately greeted by a kiss. The sun looked happy to see me and I too, was happy to see it; happy to feel it. I hadn’t enjoyed it lately. The air tasted sweet and unfamiliar. The leaves felt rough and reminded me of the past few days. My shoes clicked on along the sidewalk as I moved- a sound I hadn’t heard in a while.
I hadn’t taken a deeper look at the outside world like this in a while. The cool breeze wrapped around my neck as my fingers turned white. Walking, one foot in front of the other, it felt like time was passing slowly. For once, I didn’t feel rushed. I was enjoying myself. Is this what not having any stress feels like? For once, my mind was clear. I could only think about the next few steps in front of me. Birds were singing in the trees, reminding me that there’s more to this life than deadlines and studying. Neighbors walked by with cheerful smiles and “How are you’s?”
As soon as they passed, silence overtook my thoughts. Not just any silence, a peaceful silence. The sidewalk seemed to go on for miles but I didn’t mind it. I was loving every minute of being out without a care in the world. Dogs barking in the distance, squirrels frantically digging, and children laughing filled the air. The air began to thicken as I walked along the path and my breathing began to speed up. My joints were tightening and the desire to go home was increasing steadily but I didn’t want to give in. It is not often that I can take a walk because most of the time, I am too busy to enjoy the little things. So I decided to take it slow. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears as my breathing calmed.
The sun came out from behind a cloud and greeted me with one last kiss on the cheek as if to say goodbye for the evening. With this, it quietly disappeared and the night took over. The birds were no longer singing and the squirrels were no longer digging. The calm had taken over and everything went to sleep. I didn’t sleep though. The air was chilly at this point and the streetlights flickered but I didn’t care. For a moment, I was invisible to the world. No one could tell me to do an assignment or ask me a question that needed an answer that I probably don’t have. I was relaxed. I was happy. I was living.

Radvansky is a public relations senior

Taking it all in at Russell House

By Morgan Hubbard

January 21, 2017 was a very interesting day with a lot of details. On this particular Saturday, it was a really wet and rainy day. Around one o’clock pm I made my way to the Russell House just to get away from home. I rarely go into Russell on a Saturday so the experience was interesting. As I observe my surroundings from the car to inside of Russell, everybody that I passed and walked by was wearing rain boots and rain jackets.

As I proceed to walk around just observing what is in front of me, I hear students debating what they want to eat. Two students were stuck between Chick-Fil-A and Russell House breakfast. As I walk to the breakfast line I see bacon, eggs, both cheese and regular grits, biscuits, and pancakes. Looking at the food I could taste every bit of it just by looking at it. I want to get a piece of everything on the menu. Continuing to walk around I hear small talk between the cashiers and customers. The cashiers are so nice asking the students how their day is going and making sure they got everything they needed. It was such a nice atmosphere to be around.

As I walk upstairs holding on to the rail, it felt really sticky. I look down to see that my hand is covered in syrup. I am upset at the fact my hand is covered in syrup but the smell of the maple was just mouthwatering.

I immediately go to the nearest bathroom and wash my hands. To my surprise the bathroom was clean and smelled like Febreze. I turned the knob and let the hot water steam for a few seconds before putting my hand under the dispenser to feel the fluffy white foam soap fall in my hand. After, I finish washing my hands, they feel so much better. I walk downstairs and order some pancakes, bacon and eggs and sit there and eat my food until it was all gone.

Hubbard is a public relations junior

A Typical Walk With Buddy

By Aalayah Faulcon

Today I took my Budster aka Buddy for a walk a little longer than usual. He usually likes to take the stairs, but this time I insisted on taking the elevator to my left. I could hear the television on the sports channel in the common area playing while awaiting the elevator. Suddenly we hear a ding, letting us know the elevator doors were about to open. The elevator smells like dogs. Or maybe it was pee stains from one that was creating the aroma while we await the one flight trip down the elevator.

We make a sharp right after the elevator dings and the doors open. The Budster speeds to the front door since he has to go potty. Walking out the front door of the apartment I smell a fresh whiff of poop. The smell even seems like it gets in my mouth.

Outside the door I see dogs searching for a place to potty. I call Buddy to continue on the walk without engaging with the other dogs. The birds are flying from tree to tree and as I walk farther down the sidewalk, the poop smell diminishes. Now that I can smell fresh air, I drink from the water bottle I have in my hand to finish the last bit that’s left. I save a small portion to put in the cap to give to Buddy. I often do that because I know how special he feels when I share my things with him.

As we are walking we run into the rocky part of the sidewalk and I can hear the rocks crunching against my shoes and the sidewalk. My Budster usually hates this part because he has to step on the rocks. To be honest I don’t like it very much either, so we turn around. I burst out in a sprint so Buddy can chase me.

He does not catch up to me as fast as he thought, so he began to bark. I stop and he jumps on my legs and I give him a rub on his head. We jogged together back into the apartment doors. This time we take another entrance to avoid the sickening aroma of the poop yard. I can hear other tenants approaching and as we pass each other we speak. Before entering in the apartment Buddy and I play hide and go seek. While he sprints to our apartment door, I hide behind a wall and call his name. I can hear his paws sprinting on the hallway carpet to find me in my usual hiding spot. He looks at me with a smile and runs back to the apartment door.

Faulcon is a public relations senior

Walking through Washington

By Ashlyn Bowers

Arriving in D.C., I see the hustle and bustle of people through the walk ways. Patriotic colors fill Reagan National Airport. Black SUVs are passing down the highway. I see the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol. I see eagerness along with bitterness among the crowds regarding our nation’s future.

I feel the inauguration ticket and take in the surreal moment I will get to witness. My fingers feel the smoothness of the cardstock paper as they trail across the official inauguration invitation. Awaiting the amazing moment, I hold the ticket firmly in hand, literally grasping history in the making.

The sweet flavor of champagne takes over my taste buds. The celebratory carbonation is dispersed among the guests of the All American Inaugural Ball. Devouring extravagant hors d’oeuvres in the ballroom and then the all American can of Pringles in the hotel room makes for a tasty evening.

The squeals of excitement and the shouts of animosity fill the air. I hear America’s new leader’s voice carry throughout the multitude of people. Clapping begins to overflow through the crowd as our country begins to take its next historical step.

I feel the intensity of the historic moment. The body heat between strangers who unite to celebrate our country increases through the crowd. The sensation of warmth among the iciness is felt through the temperature and temperaments. Hand in hand, applauding supporters embrace one another as America begins a new chapter.

Bowers is a mass communications major 

The Stroll of the Observer

By: NeKeindra Thomas

The weather was as cool as the spring’s breeze on a nice winter day. I was looking forward to the breeze as I decided to take a walk on USC’s campus. I saw several students on their way to class, dressed just as bipolar as the weather was. Now I could understand how wearing a sweatshirt and shorts could be so comfortable. The traffic was steady but more students seemed to be congesting the streets. Some students were in a hurry, as others lagged as if they had just woken up. I saw that a few were dressed for success while others didn’t have a care in the world.  It was around noon so campus was as busy as it could be. I could hear the horns of cars and the loud music of a college student driving past. The girl walking beside me was having a discussion with someone about the night before. I could not make out the details on her conversation but you could tell it was heated.

I wished I could taste more than the protein bar with me that I brought as a snack. My stomach’s growling stood as a reminder that lunch time was approaching. My throat became dry and made me regret not bringing a water bottle with me. Besides that simple fact, I felt very well that day. The sun was shining; birds were chirping and the temperature was comfortable. The weather has a way of enhancing certain moods for people, including me. As I continued with my walk, I approached my car and opened the door. I was done with classes for the day and was headed to grab lunch. I was thinking, Chipotle. I could not wait to get my hands on a delicious, meaty burrito.

Thomas is a public relations senior

 

Sunday River Walking

By Sally Strickland

“Maddox! Maddox! There is someone behind you, son!” Rock Hill’s suburbs have been growing for years but the sidewalks are still catching up. Where else can the kids safely take their new bicycles, delivered down the chimney only a month ago, away from unpredictable traffic? The paved path is full of children, each one on some form of wheels from strollers to bikes to scooters. Some, like Maddox, have the pedals down but the steering is more challenging. They end up like a road block only covering a little over three feet of the 6-foot-wide trail. The midafternoon is beginning to wear on some parents’ voices. Some may think they should not have started the driving tests so soon.   

It gets a little quieter a few minutes farther along where people have decided to bring along their tamer and hairier children. The dogs look as different as the people. One resembles an adolescent bear. Another, small enough to fit in the bear cub’s mouth. Some will stretch the leash for a scratch to the opposite side of the trail, like a black and white Pomeranian. His effort was too inviting to not receive a head rub at the permission of the parents. His fur is thick and paws wet on the bent knee he jumps up to claim when he thinks the attention might stop. After he leaves to find another taker, the crowd thins even more.

The trail is left bare in some areas without chatter and the Catawba River running alongside the walkway becomes louder without any other volume to contest. It is full of the previous day’s rain and carries the marshy scent of fresh water and wet mud. In parts of the trail closer to the riverside, the smell becomes stronger and it is clear that fish live under the surface.     

Like the people, the clouds break apart occasionally to let the heat from the sun remind everyone that winter forgot to come in December. It feels more like the end of March pulling in April showers if not for the bare trees. Sparse runners or bikers pass by later fully equipped with red and sweaty faces. A few smiling couples a little well dressed for the occasion stroll holding hands. They leave behind perfumed aromas that hint the Riverwalk is a date outside of restaurants. Luckily for them, the bugs think it is winter too.

The journey back is lonelier with a dry taste from thirst. The pavement feels harder slapping against the soles of shoes and feet are ready to see the exit that began as the entrance. Up ahead, some training wheels are still saving little knees headed out for the school week.

Strickland is a broadcast journalism senior

Stop and Smell the Roses

By Bobbie Brinkley

While walking to and from Spanish class, I see the beauty of nature as I take my morning stroll through Gibbes Green, my favorite part of campus. Even though it is winter, there is something elegant about this. The grass is light green with hints of brown. I notice the bricks and the imperfections that they hold, I see the color that has deteriorated to brown over the years. I realize that in a few short months the flowers will blossom, the trees will regrow their leaves and the grass will regain its vibrant green color.

I hear the landscaping workers and the sounds of their machines. Students laughing with each other, talking about a homework assignment they have to do tonight or their plans this upcoming weekend. Sometimes I hear a few of my favorite songs to kick start my day — if I remember my headphones. I often hear a train, a sound we all share.

I still taste the coffee or the poppy seeds from the everything bagel I had for breakfast. I touch my phone in my right hand, it never seems to leave. I feel the softness inside the pockets of my jacket where my hands rest. While everyone is staring at their phones most of the time, I sometimes force myself to put mine away. I tend to hear my deepest thoughts, and questions I ask myself that I do not share with anyone. How many steps can I fit in before I come across the next side walk line? How many clouds do I see in the sky — is it going to rain? It’s amazing what you can notice when you give yourself a minute to fully digest everything around you.

Brinkley is a broadcast journalism major

A Saturday Well-Spent

By Molly Chrisman

A shiver ran up my spine as the cold, wet bench made contact with the back of my jeans. “Well, it’s probably about time I wash these, anyway,” I thought.

Usually finding a shady bench on the Horseshoe is nearly impossible in the mid-afternoon, but on a rainy day like Saturday, the usually vibrant lawn felt like a ghost town. Most students were snuggled up in their beds with Netflix and Gatorade to cure their hangovers, but in an attempt to save a rainy day from being wasted, I decided to check out a dog from the local shelter for a few hours of fun.

Boomer was a mixed breed whose coat resembled that of a calico cat. As I sat on the bench, I admired the sections of brown, gold, white, and black that were swirled magnificently across his back like a Van Gogh painting. His eyes were brown, and in the shelter they looked like the definition of sad puppy dog eyes, but out there on the Horseshoe, they sparkled, despite the gloomy day.

Boomer pulled at his leash to keep running as I tried to catch my breath on that bench. The sound of his panting, combined with the drip drip drip of rain falling from trees onto the bricks, created a sort of rhythmic beat. We were the only ones around, but sounds from cars and distant voices echoed.

I got up from the bench and continued to walk with Boomer, and I was reminded of why I don’t like to go out on rainy days. The rain made it smell like worms and mud, so I made a conscious effort to breathe through my mouth. The smell of rainy days is reason enough to stay inside and watch Netflix all day.

Boomer dragged me with great force for a 60-pound dog, and we started to pick up our pace and run around the brick track. With my luck, I would have tripped on one of the bricks, face planted into a puddle, and lost the dog I promised to return by 5 p.m., but luckily that didn’t happen. I kept close watch on the uneven red bricks and on Boomer to keep a steady footing.

Dogs have a special way of taking gloomy days and making them memorable. Boomer was crazy (and got drool all over my car), but the sparkle in his eye and his apparent joy to be out of the shelter for the day made me feel like my Saturday wasn’t wasted lying in bed binge-watching another show, however, that is exactly what I did when I got home from returning Boomer to the shelter that evening.

Molly Chrisman is a public relations senior

Walking in a Cali Rain

By Maiya Dickerson

I decided to take a walk on Saturday, and just my luck it was raining all day. I went up to Charlotte, N.C. where I spent the day with my best friend and goddaughter. Instead of going outside, I walked around with baby Cali in my arms hoping to put her to sleep. I picked her up from the ground and went over to open the blinds from the window. Opening the blinds I saw the rain hitting the ground really fast. Cali was fascinated. She began to point and I did too as I watched her in wonder of what was going on outside. She’s only 10 months old, and in my best baby impersonation I tried explaining to her what was happening to the best of my ability.

I hear the rain hit the windows along with college football on the television and a baby mumbling. Baby noises that I’m unable to make any words out of. I taste the aftermath of Cool Ranch Doritos that I’d just eaten due to a very empty stomach. I knew that I shouldn’t be eating them because I’m watching my weight, but they were the only thing that satisfied me at the moment. Cali and I are still pacing back and forth and she’s reaching for the blinds as her wondering hands try to get a touch for what the blinds feel like.

I see her begin to yawn and touch her head to bring her closer to my chest. Still pacing. Her eyes get dreary, I touch and rub her back to relax her and get her to go to sleep. Not even 3 minutes later, she’s sound asleep and lying comfortably against my chest. I continue to walk with her as my best friend goes to step inside to take a shower for the day. I feel Cali becoming very comfortable and make the decision to lie her down making sure not to spoil her in my arms. After laying her down, I finally take a seat next to her and decide to rest myself after pacing for nearly 10 minutes. The rain begins to lighten up as I lie next to my goddaughter. My walk is officially over.

Dickerson is a senior broadcast journalism major

 

Resist the Rain

By Sallye Sullivan

Swing the door open, one step onto the grey pavement and then another, boots clanking against each other and then against the saturated ground. The place where I hit them against one another has rubbed grey circles on the inside of the leg right above the anklebones. Grey skies too. Not circles though, rather in sheets drifting across the sky. They move quickly like they’re trying to out-run each other, perhaps in fear of what is following behind: big billows of condensation sitting on the throne.

There’s a sheen that blankets the earth on days like today. It’s evident in the puddles that form in the sand and on the newly poured pavement. Nothing can really reject the rain. It can only resist, letting the water permeate as much as it can possibly hold.

Mid-stride I gain consciousness of my body. A chill visits my top two vertebrae and then lingers on my nose, like a cold spot in the lake where you swim in the springtime that you can’t seem to get away from.

An unencumbered sneeze punctuates my walk and relaxes my shoulders and it is then that I feel some sense of enjoyment, realizing that not many people know about these rainy walks. The streets are empty. I can understand why. Cars zoom up the street and then directly to my right as I hear their tires make contact with the saturated ground, resisting but not being able to resist a little slip and a little slide.

Water has coated this part of earth like a thin sheet and has blocked all smells. I smell water. The only permeation of the sheet comes from “the classic,” a cheeseburger from the joint one block up: a limitless haven of bar food options and creepy men who should steer away from college campuses.

I look down and I see water seeping into my raincoat. It’s then that I remember what I have learned during rain and rain again. My rain jacket is not water-repellant; it’s only resistant. Everything, though, is resistant to rain. Nothing can truly be repellent, save, the sun. No time to get into earth science now. We resist this groggy, grainy weather, but we can never repel it. So what might it look like to exist within it? Take a walk. Sneeze. Head indoors but knock your rain boots first.

Sullivan is a public relations senior