Sitting by the Lake

by Sam

For one of my journalism classes today, we had to do an ‘observation exercise’ (aka, sit somewhere on campus, look at things, and write down what we saw). Of course, I used this as an excuse to sit by the lake in the center of campus and relax for a bit:

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Lake Osceola

Down the steep, grassy slope, along the edge of Lake Osceola, there is a singular, worn wooden bench resting in its own world beneath the cover of the trees. Simultaneously alone and in the middle of it all, it’s an intriguing spot- far away, but not too far. The crisp smell of freshly fried food drifts in the breeze from behind; the happy chatter of lunchtime at the Rat, of students strolling by a distant reminder of a campus setting.

Here, the sky is a deep grey- not murky or ominous, but rather, calm and cozy. For a second, it seems almost as if a bluish hue radiates from the thick blanket of cloud that engulfs this world, but further analysis reveals it to be a mere trick of the light. Even the lake radiates this cool grey; the green, consequently, only stands out more. Green grass, green palms, green and grey, everywhere- except for a dash of red across the way. A young man stands on the edge, staring at something unknown in the distance, his bright red shirt contrasting with the scenery around him like a Christmas scene minus the snow. Is he looking at the ducks, the two ducks swimming leisurely along the edge? Or maybe he’s trying to witness the source of the random splash, the only indicator of the fish leaping, breaking the surface.

A huge gust tears the pages from my hand, my notebook blowing frantically in the wind, as the palms violently sway. The chatter continues, undisturbed. Its source is part of a different world, a world separate from this seclusion, save for a single bright orange price tag littering the muddy ground at my feet. A plane zooms overhead, and then it is time to go, to return up the slope, back to the real world.

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