Humor: RIP: the Dustbowl - and All That It Meant to Students
Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Maybe this column is a little late, but I needed time for all the sudden and overwhelming change to sink in.
It’s overdone, but yes, we all know that we all miss the dustbowl. RIP Dustbowl. Where’s our green space? Why is there a massive construction site blocking my view of College Road and McElroy? Blah blah blah, we know. The dustbowl is the ex-location of the Student Activities Fair, and on a random sunny day, the hotspot for shirtless bros throwing around a football and bikini-clad girls lounging around tanning. There were even plugs in the ground so that in case we wanted to ruin the nature experience and whip out our computer to Facebook stalk, we as a student body were accommodated and able to do that.
Personally, I think the uproar was truly heard on campus mourning the green space when people realized they had to walk around the scenic Stokes construction sight to get to McElroy (everyone’s favorite dining hall now that Hillside has been eliminated from many of our dining options) as opposed to walking right through the black concrete path smack dab in the middle of the green, green grass, but maybe that’s just me. This corner in particular has proven to be an area of major backup thanks to the students stumbling over each other on their way to Eagle’s Nest in an attempt to beat the half-hour long Tuscan Chicken line.
In response to these cries of disappointment and rage from the student body, the higher-ups at our lovely institution were kind enough to smack some grass back on campus. The once eerily cosmic, flat, plain, ugly (the list of mundane adjectives goes on) O’Neill Plaza now sports some lush grass. The Dustbowl’s ugly cousin. While this is all fair and good and certainly enhances our experience walking from the library, slaving over work, to class—where we get more work to slave over—I can’t help but find myself seeing the negative in the positive.
Does anyone else feel strange or stupid walking down one aisle with approximately 300 other people rushing to class, where there was once—while it was extremely ugly—a lot of open space?
Maybe I overly identify with animals, but when I walk down that aisle lugging myself to class with a 20-pound bag on my back, walking next to my peers with a similar burden, I feel like cattle being herded from one cage to another. I get that here at Boston College, the Lord is our shepherd, but during those moments when I’m rushing to get to class on time after waiting in line to print something at the library, the theological analogy becomes too literal. Is this some diabolical landscape designer’s way of controlling us? The institution’s way of tightening its reigns of jurisdiction over the student body popular? Herding us like sheep in the direction they want us to go? Could this be more than JUST a peaceful grass offering?
While something we all used to hate about O’Neill Plaza was just how open and empty it was, I guess that design was probably intentional, and was something that the new grass-inclusion-makes-students-happy design ignored. O’Neill Plaza is one of the busiest areas on campus during those annoying 10 minute breaks between classes and probably the last area on campus that should feature a tight aisle with restricted movement.
Why can’t we just walk on the grass? The posts obviously restrict us from doing so, but we could walk on the grass in the dustbowl to our hearts’ content. And throw around a football and tan as we pleased. I can’t wait for the day when that fateful first person decides to whip off his or her shirt, lay down a towel and just bask in the sun right in the crucial centrally located area.
Maybe next Monday I’ll scapegoat myself as a martyr for a cause and take one step for the student body and exercise my free will to walk through the grass to class instead of on the oppressive pathway. It’s interesting how people just automatically abide by pathway guidelines that arise randomly. We’re a group of students used to listening to the rules. But I’ve had enough of the oppression. We already can’t access certain tabs in Agora past midnight.
Totally kidding BC, we love you and are appreciative of the plentiful grass. There are generations of BC students to come who will not even know what they missed out on. But still, RIP Dustbowl. Never forget.