80 Degrees in October: A Flashback

On October 10 I decided to do my homework outside. Just the previous weekend my parents had come to visit, and my mom asked, “Do you ever do your work outside?” I thought for a second and said “Ummm, no mom it’s too cold now.” Although she was satisfied with that answer, I was not. I had been at Geneseo for over a month and not once had I ventured outside to complete my work. A couple of days after she left I decided to do just that. On October 10th, the weather was warm and welcoming. I found myself at a picnic table by a residence hall close by. I had brought my headphones with the intention of listening to music while I worked; when I have my headphones in I am able to tune out everything else around me and focus. I soon noticed, though, that my music was unnecessary because I had all of the “music” I needed around me. I noticed dogs barking, birds chirping, and squirrels rustling through the nature that surrounded me. At first, I was skeptical about how far I would be able to progress in my work in this environment, but after a short while I was making more progress than I was ever able to do in a silent study room or library. The outdoors was able to bring me a sense of peace and relaxation as I completed my work. I would take short breaks to observe my surroundings and feel the breeze on this beautiful day. Instead of getting distracted after my short breaks I would go right back to my work. This was a great experience and I was promise myself to do work outdoors more often and use the warm weather to my advantage.

The First Fall (x2)

Winter happens to be my least favorite time of the year. It is a long, cold season that can return at any given moment. Because I am so lucky, I was able to experience this amazing time of year twice, one being more dramatic than the other. I live exceptionally close to home (about an hour away) and so I tend to go home almost every weekend. While I was home over the previous weekend (the weekend of November 10th), I was given the pleasure to wake up to a thick, almost full-foot layer of snow outside of my house on Saturday morning. For me, it is not like the movies: sun creeping though the blinds, waking up, a big yawn with theatrical arm stretching, and then, as if never having seen snow before, looking outside and gasping with surprise and delight. No. I dread having to get up in the morning during the winter. I hate that it is light out in the morning, I hate that it is cold everywhere, and I hate that it is so wet.

After dealing with this marvelous blizzard all weekend, when I arrived back on campus Sunday night, I was super surprised to see only leaves on the ground and in the parking lot. After a couple days being back on campus, thinking I was in the clear, I was ever so fortunate to experience snowflakes falling from the sky yet again on Tuesday morning on my way to class without a coat. Although the snow did not stick this time, that does not mean we will be so lucky next time. After ordering some Converse snow boots and bringing my winter coat back with me, I’m only physically ready for the scarring moment when everything is soaked and covered in a thick blanket of white death. Until then, I’m feeling just fine with my high top canvas Converse and black jean jacket getting me though the days.          — Hannah

Lost in Thought

View from the back of Sturges Hall, SUNY Geneseo

Often, I find myself losing track of time; lost in the immersion of my own mind. Time passes by quickly in reality but in my mind, every second is like an eternity. The landscape around me roars with chatter and swift moving feet. Shoes can distinctly be heard against the ground; sneakers, boots, and heels disrupt my train of thought. I sit down upon the ledge at the back of Sturges, beautiful vines line the wall all the way to the roof. The vines appear to be racing one another, each attempting to reach the top first. My mind is overcome with thoughts, questions I do not yet have answers to and answers to questions I have yet to ask myself. The ledge transports me into a different state of mind. I look out on the vast valley below; my train of thought is insatiable, I am unable to set my focus on one specific thing. The moving people below act as a canvas for me to draw upon. My eyes transfix upon an individual and my mind imagines who they are and what their story is. This idea of people watching and keen observation is an oddity, yet intrigues me. My elevation above them allows me to look from a heightened perspective, my POV changes as they ascend the concrete steps. Each person marked by a different walk and speed. Accompanied by my music I sing out as loud as I can in my mind. I think of what the music means to me in that specific moment, I reflect on how it makes me feel. My spot on the ledge accompanied by my thoughts and music I am never alone. I can never run out of reflective material, I could daydream forever. As the winter chill approaches my spot begins to lose color and the vines begin to decay. Until Spring…          — Ethan

A Wishful Early Bird

I’ve never been a morning person. Never. My parents had to drag me out of bed when I was younger so I could make it to school before the 7:40am bell rang. But I’ve always wanted to be a morning person. Specifically, I’ve always wanted to be one of those people to get up at 5:00am and work out so, that’s exactly what I did this summer. I would set my alarm for 5:06am (I am very weird about what time I set my alarms at) and I would run to my gym, which was about a mile away, then continue my workout inside. I’m not much of a runner so one mile was good enough for me. On my short run, I would get to clear my mind and just enjoy the nature that little Fredonia had to offer. I would pass squirrels running around the plush green grass and look up to see birds perched on the telephone lines. I fell in love with that run and I miss it everyday I’m here. I guess I’d label myself as a “wishful early bird,” I enjoy getting up early and wish I did it more often but I will gleefully sleep in any chance I get. That being said, I did get up early this morning, the earliest I’ve gotten up since mid-August, to register for classes and went for a walk afterwards. That walk reminded me of my runs; I saw the same sights as back home and it really calmed me down. It’s exactly what I needed after a morning full of stress. I don’t know if the walk will be as calming everyday but it’s worth a shot.          — Rachel

On Lingering

In the last month I have found myself staring—unembarrassed—at the extraordinary evolution of Autumn here on Geneseo campus. Autumn, for me, evokes feelings like those in one of my favorite readings from my nature writing class: Robin W. Kimmerer’s “Witness to the Rain” in her book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Kimmerer’s desire to linger in an environment that sings beauty and growth and inspiration is something I’m working towards. As a full-time student, lingering is a choice I have to make very deliberately and with discernment; however, as an enthusiast of all things Autumn, I find it easier to linger. Walking out the main door of  my building, I am welcomed into a vibrant world of oranges, greens, reds, yellows, and purples. The vines on a building I pass have changed colors to resemble flames crawling along the outer wall. Cold wind and rain can’t stop this sickness-ridden college student from stopping in my tracks and smiling! I remember when I toured campus this past spring and how convinced I was that it was ugly. I visited in my least favorite season and it influenced my outlook; yet, now that I see this campus through a filter that I’m partial to, I can truly begin to recognize the beauty that was there all along. Perspectives are parts of my life, and probably most students’ lives, that tend to change in the season of college. A building that I wouldn’t typically observe, becomes the canvas for a blazing fire; and, a set of stairs that are quite unwelcoming in the morning, become a photograph of colors splashed across grey concrete.

Autumn at Geneseo, for me, has thus far been a time of refreshment.

          — Starr