Field Notes: Two Scenes

Here are the two scenes we are required to write for Core II.

Scene 1: As I sit down to begin taking field notes, I allow myself to become acquainted with the Pit at the Student Center. Being a commuter, I’ve never stepped foot in the area before. It’s a strange assortment of things; a schizophrenic space unable to determine its function. The presence of the Jazzman’s Cafe & Bakery is evidence of this. Wonderful and rapturous jazz music trickles out from all the speakers, transporting every listener to a different world. While I close my eyes, I find myself on the streets of New Orleans, or a bistro in Paris. The music wraps the pit in a calm and serenity that the rest of the Student Center lacks.

I was sad when the cafe’ closed for the night. It took all the warmth with it, leaving me freezing in the sterile air of the Pit. The glorious music was replaced by the groaning of the vents.

From that point on, I scanned the rest of my surroundings. The first thing I notice is that the ratio of green couches to blue chairs is uneven, 8:12. Each blue chair is adorned with a pattern of colorful circles: grey, green, blue pinstripe, green pinstripe, and yellow pinstripe. Staring at them too long makes my eyes cross.

My attention is then drawn to the carpet. It continues the neutral color scheme of the Pit, with a green, grey, and black design that is simultaneously orderly and chaotic. Crumpled bits of paper are thrown haphazardly on the ground, forgotten. Two bits of paper–different sizes, litter a leather bound table. I am undecided about this piece of furniture’s purpose. Some students unload their books on it while others use it as an ottoman for their feet. Whatever it is, students utilize it regularly. At the foot of the table/ottoman, there is another piece of paper. It is a bit thinner and uneven than its counterparts. A Minute Maid apple juice bottle is abandoned near the hunter green couch. A set of misplaced risers are positioned behind me. Close to that is a set of carpeted stairs in the shape of an isosceles triangle, getting smaller on their way up.

Changing my position in the Pit, I focus on the ceiling. In every corner, there are large squares that give way to geometric shaped windows. An assortment of lights hang from the mustard yellow ceiling, breaking the dull tone below. They are arranged in a cluster of green, white, and orange. Emblems from the school’s clubs hang below them, lining the strip of white wall that surrounds the Pit. Two stick out to me: the Cinema Workshop and the Asian Cultural Association.

After these observations, I’m not sure what to make of the Pit. The geometric design suggests math and science; a place of innovation and knowledge. However, the trash and Jazzman’s Cafe hint at the relaxed mentality of the students. In fact, after going over the evidence, I believe the student center is whatever you make it.

Scene 2: Students filter in and out of the Pit at sporadic intervals. At times, there are a whole slew of hungry students, passing through the Pit on their way to the Marketplace. Other times, the place is deserted. As I sit on one of the hunter green couches, I take note of the music coming from the Coca-Cola machine near the Marketplace. There is something so enchanting and whimsical about it. It breathes character into this Pit of academia.

My eyes are drawn to a girl with long brown hair who takes a seat on the top of the stairs near the Marketplace, talking on her cellphone. She is absorbed in the conversation, occasionally chewing and tugging at her hair. There is no urgency to the call; no hurried words or abrupt phrases. She talks at a leisureliness pace.

A few minutes later, a black boy joins her on the steps. Their fingers interlock and he shares a close, unspoken bond with the girl while she carries on her phone conversation. I am fascinated by this silent exchange, for it is hard for me to determine whether or not these two students are in a relationship. The position of the hands emulates how my boyfriend and I show affection. Yet, there is not other sign of recognition. They don’t kiss, they don’t talk. In fact, the boy starts a conversation with a friend who passes by. Maybe he and the girl are just that: friends. Maybe I’m not supposed to know.

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One thought on “Field Notes: Two Scenes

  1. Brittany – Scene one was a great description of the student center Pit. You really picked out some unique qualities of the place I never would’ve picked up on just as an average student taking a break from classes in the Pit – like the ratio of couches to chairs and the sense of an outside world from the Cafe (that closes way too early- 630, 7pm? Really?). I liked how you picked up on the interaction between the male and female in the second scene. I did that as well with an are they-or-are-they-not couple at the Food Court. Always fascinating. We always end up with more questions than we do answers at times. Great work, btw! – Christina

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