Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Home for the Homeless

Needless to say, I was entertained this afternoon. It is ironic that my last post discussed the homeless, because unknowingly, today my post is about supporting the homeless!

It's Shack-a-Thon time! I knew today would be a great day to be a spectator, and it sure didn't disappoint!

The sound barrier was definitely broken, there was hammering and screaming coming from every direction. However, it was the things that were said that kept me laughing.

Shack-a-Thon raises money for Habitat for Humanity, and Habitat raises money to build houses for the homeless. Perhaps I am being pompous, but I thought that this was common knowledge for many OU students. Apparently not all who raise money know what it is for.

I sat next to one shack for an extended period of time for one reason, and one reason only, the girl assigned to collect the money.

At this particular shack there was a group of guys, and just one girl, but boy did she make her presense known. As people passed her, it was her job to try and get them to donate money. I heard such things as:

"Help feed the poor people!" -----The money doesn't go towards feeding poor people. I thought maybe she was just trying to be sly and see if she could get people to scrap a few pennies... but then she continued.

"It's for the poor... and they need stuff."

This, and other rediculous remarks (that will be left unsaid because of repetitiousness) is when it became apparent that she had no clue what she was raising money for.

She would turn around and flirt with the boys around her occassionally. She made jokes about selling her body for the money, then eventually started advertising it.

Turning and looking at a group of boys passing on the sidewalk, "I'll give you a kiss if you want one!" Then she shoved the jar towards them.

Then she would turn to a girl, "I'll give you a kiss too!"

Then a boy from her group giggled, she turned around and screamed "Shut up!" and returned to her propositions.

I'm not sure what this is supposed to say about the philanthropic deeds at OU, or those who participate in events like these, but I was disappointed with what I saw.

Other groups were very inventive in getting people to donate. My favorite was the group of students at the end. There was a saxaphone player and they were all singing and dancing. They seemed so happy to be there. I saw several people walk up and donate to them.

I heard several cheers from other groups promoting the organization. However, I couldn't get that one girl out of my head.

I know I am being a little bit harsh and mellow dramatic, but really? This is an event to give to people in need. This isn't just a Greek competition.

What message are you trying to send to the world? I was embarrassed, I knew that someone would look at her and hear what she sad and say. "You know, just another sorority girl. Acting slutty, without a clue of what she is really doing."

Which is not true! I decided to walk away from the sceen I was witnessing. What I found is over a dozen other organizations not acting like idiots.

The message I am trying to send is this. People can see you at the Oval, they do listen. That is why I started this blog. Because I wanted to see what people would do knowing they were being watched.

I was amazed to find that some people would want to flaunt ignorance. Also, that they would want to do that while attached to several organizations.


*The girl riding a scooter, that is just legit!

*The shack that put a bathroom, including a toilet, in their little hut!

*The people who were legitimately excited about doing something good.

*The people that donated money.

*The people who avoided the area all together and went out of their way to walk around the area where all the shacks were, I know how you feel.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hello Ovalians!!!!

The fabulous sun must have embedded its endorphins into the sooner nation this week. Within seconds I was amused with what I saw.

As I turned the corner around Dale I saw a swarm of people, all laughing and having fun with each other. A boy carrying a lacrosse stick, teasing the girl in front of him at the crosswalk. Suddenly two boys dodge the group of people on their skateboards, just whizzing by.

Then, only about five paces into the Oval, a girl begins to approach on my left. She was just nonchalantly walking with a Dasani bottle balanced perfectly on her head. A boy and girl follow not far behind her whispering and staring with amazement and confusion. I, myself, couldn't help but take bets in my mind as to when it would fall. I had to turn around and watch as she passed me without a hint of embarrassment on her face.

Then as I turned forward to see what was next I saw a group of people filming a video. The camera man, obviously a student, trying to prepare himself for the shot. A girl hiding herself from the sun with the large white reflector, that kept catching the wind. Two guys were to be the stars of this video, as it seemed, they both looked nervous and apprehensive as the scene was being prepared for.

I wanted to continue watching this, especially after last week's photo antics. However I got distracted by a pair of legs just beyond the gardens. I saw this pair of legs pop up and down, and it wasn't until I got closer that I noticed the person attached to them. It was a young man, that appears to be homeless, with his shirt off.

As for the homeless man. I know this is weird to say, but I was happy to see him here. I have seen him around for about a week, just wondering campus. It makes me a little happy that someone could find a home, maybe not a house, but a home here. He didn't seem sad, he was just going on with his day. Chatting with people.

People seemed to crave the outdoors today. I saw several professors who had decided to move their classrooms outdoors. I sat by one class as the teacher paced back and forth passionately declaring what a "work of art" is.

I saw two or three student photographers today. Each running around, like in a race, to capture the moment. A brick in the wall, a flower in the garden, lounging students.

I fell back in love with OU today. I don't know if it the autumn colors on the trees, the 70 degree weather, or everyone's smiling faces. Campus fulfilled my expectations of what life as a college student should be. I don't think I was alone either.

I couldn't even find a bench to sit at, everyone was taken with students. People admiring what they saw.

I watched the professors scattered across the grassy areas, each seeming more excited than the next. Today they truly cared, and you could see it in their faces. What's more, you could see it on the faces of the students. They believed what they were hearing, and soaked in each word. You could see that they were captivated.

I saw a girl dipping her toes in the fountain, unaware of the people watching. We shed our confidence problem today. The wonderful thing about this is that you could see how much happier each person was. They dared people to notice them, to listen in.

Shout Outs!
*To the guys who check out girls and completely turn around to watch them walk by. I think it is funny, and really appreciate it.
-Girls, you need to start noticing this. You never do. You all just keep walking and talking to your friends without even realizing.

*The people who decided to dedicate their afternoon to observation and stole all of the benches. I will forgive you for stealing my seat, only because I was happy to see you.

*To the stray pair of shoes that sat beside me. I don't know whose they were, but yay for taking your shoes off!

*******Actually, to all of OU today! Thank you for being awesome!*******

--I know I'm lame, and way too happy to write a blog. However, I DARE you to spend ten minutes out there and not feel completely sublime.

Friday, October 23, 2009


It was a lovely day on the Oval today! The sun was out, the leaves were rustling, and the cameras were flashing.

Today was picture day. All upperclassman know what I'm talking about. It is the day OU hosts every semester to turn the campus and its students into cheesy layouts for the Prospective Student Services website.

You know what I mean...

It looks so natural...

It was humorous to watch this happen. They had all the students they had selected to be in the photos standing in a group near the gardens and they would pluck three or four at a time to go take photos.

The students standing in the group were awkward to say the least. There were about 12 of them and none of them would make eye contact with each other. One girl gazed out into the distance (Dale Hall probably never looked so interesting to her). Some of them stared at the ground. Most of them were texting and playing on their cell phones. None of this a was a surprise after the Sept. 8th post.

What was humorous about this scene was what happened when they pulled the small groups of students out of the group to take pictures.

Suddenly they were close enough to put their arms around each other, have fake laughs, and have mock conversations with one another.

As we all know, this is what all OU students act and look like on a daily basis.

You know, just chilling out on the wall of the Passion Pit, hanging with my friends. All of us wearing our school colors... it's no big deal.

The other beauty of the extravaganza was watching how other students reacted to this photography session/traffic block in the Oval.

Students were turning completely around to see what happens. Bikes became swervy and uncontrollable trying to contain their curiosity.

A few students walked by without looking at all, putting the hoods up on their jackets, worried that they may be caught on camera.

One of the male models for this photo shoot told me that a bike almost hit a camera man. That it almost looked like the biker was charging him, this makes me wonder, if this student was acting out of aggression.

Maybe he saw these pictures when considering being a Sooner and thought to himself Wow college looks like fun! Everyone just hangs out together on campus all the time! It is so diverse there! People wear school colors everyday! OU is the only place for me!

Then he arrived here and realized that those beautiful flowers are only planted during prime high school tourism times in the semester. That a good 80% of the time those gardens sit unplanted with brown dirt.

It's OK, I still love OU. As, I'm sure, this gentleman does too. However, to this I raise a question.

While considering OU and seeing these pictures, although you knew they were a little fake and cheesy, didn't you think (just a little bit) that college may actually be like what you saw?

Shout Outs!

* The guy who decided to walk with his bike when he found a friend and wanted to talk. That was just too sweet.

*To the guy on the bike with the awesome afro. Your hair is just cool!

*To the little boys that came to campus with their family.

-Particularly to the little boy that fell in the fountain!!!!!!!!!!!!! TOO PRECIOUS!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


This is my favorite time of the year!

Nothing seems more collegiate than falling leaves, football games, and the yellow, orange, and gold flowers in the South Oval!

Everyone should go and take a look when it isn't rainging, it is gorgeous!

That's it, not a real post, but just a sidenote.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Sincerest Apologies

I would like to begin this post with an apology. I have been getting numerous complaints about the length of time between my last post and now. I am sorry, midterms are killer. I will be better from now on.

Moving on to the real business. The oval.

The South Oval was bustling today, and I was quite impressed! Overall, everyone was pretty aware today! I didn't see too many people plugged in or shaded over! The atmosphere was pretty low key, but observant.

Who knows why I seemed so visible today, perhaps it could be because I was perched like a bird along the wall of the Passion Pit, or maybe because everyone was just excited to make friends today. Either way, I got dozens of waves from friends, welcoming smiles from acquaintances, and awkward stares (as to say "Why the hell are you staring at me") from strangers. It was a good day!

Also, I got a glimpse of some of the things I have been waiting to see all semester long. The funny stuff, so here it is:

-General Humor: As I was sitting on the corner of the passion pit, happy in my own world of observation, I received a visitor... Kind of. About 15 feet away from me and on the opposite corner, a boy climbs up onto the wall and begins to walk it like a tight rope. I didn't think much about this, he was too close to openly stare. I try desperately to use my peripheral vision to capture every moment. Then he got to the entrance of the pit, where there is an opening in the wall about 2 or 3 feet. I watch him openly now, while he obviously contemplates leaping the entrance. He thinks about it, he bounces on his toes to test his longevity, he takes his leap! However, he is a little short, but lands on his feet. Then he sees me watching, does a run/walk over to a tree and hides behind it until I look the other direction. Yeah, it was pretty awesome.

-Bikers: First of all, I noticed today that the majority of the biker population on the Oval is made up of guys. I don't know why this is. Maybe girls don't want to worry if they wear a skirt one day, or they feel it isn't feminine, who knows. The point of it is, more boys prefer to ride bikes than girls.

One of my hypothesis about this was that boys choose to ride bikes because it is further proof of their masculinity. Proof: Bikers are crazy about ramming people. Proof: bikers get crazy aggressive when someone slips a toe into the bike lane. (I think sometimes they aim for the people who enter the lane, even if it isn't actually in their way). Proof: Bikers usually like to show off, they ride around you through the grass, they hop curbs, they steer with their knees, etc.

*I was completely convinced of this until my theory found its glitch. The Mini Biker. It was a boy on a bike much Much MUCH smaller than he was. Just chillin' and riding along. I was surprised how few people noticed this. He reminded me of a clown. I obviously stared with amazement, my jaw dropped, trying to retain my laughter. How had anyone else missed this?! It was BEAUTIFUL! This man was obviously not trying to prove his manliness with aggression, it looked like he had stolen his little sisters bike. It would only have been better if it had a little basket and streamers. Or if it had Dora the Explorer stickers along the sides.

*As if the prior example wasn't enough to disprove my hypothesis, there was yet another scenario that made me giggle. I don't know what this is called, tandem maybe? There was a boy driving the bike and another boy riding on the handle bars. Like you see in the old movies, where the guy chauffeurs his girlfriend around on the handle bars of his bicycle while she swings her legs and squeals. It was EXACTLY like this... minus the squealing. There was none of that. However, the guy on the handle bars did seem pretty happy to be there. It was great.

*This doesn't really go with my hypothesis, but it is just a funny scene. A boy was trying to pass the bike lane, and the second his toe pushed that little white line a biker came out from no where ready to ram (like any true biker would). Then the walker throws himself backward onto an innocent bystander, who catches him. All three of the parties live, but the walker and the innocent bystander become friends. They walk on laughing and talking about what had just happened. What a happy ending.

Shout Outs!

-To all of my friends who spotted me today and said hello!

-To all the tangent bikers out there!

-To the grown men who steal their little sisters bicycles!

-To the random stranger that I smiled at and got scared and walked by without eye contact!

-To all the people who openly resent smokers on campus... you guys are just funny.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Constitution Day

Happy Constitution Day!

It is Constitution Day, which has been one of the highlights of my time in the Oval today. The Honors Students something or other was passing out personal U.S. Constitutions, which I thought was pretty awesome! I know mine will come in handy.

However, I don't know if it is the weather or the onset of midterms that makes everyone look like they have just been reading the Constitution. (Excluding Political Science/History majors of course) It seems as though everyone on campus has a case of the Thursday blues.

The pace of campus is rather slow. Where normally I see people walk by as speedy as possible, today people seem to be in no particular hurry. Everyone walking at their own leisurely place, and dark circles under their eyes.

I think most people couldn't even make it out of bed to come to class today, because the campus seems barren. All of those that can make it to the oval seem exhausted and ready for a break.

The weather has been cause for a few amusing incidents though! I enjoy watching the people in flip flops glide by me on their heels every other step, hoping for traction, and praying no one sees how silly they look. They all look like figure skaters on concrete.

I must say that I appreciate today's fashion sense, though. Normally, rainy days are handled by most in a fashionable way... Girls sport their rain boots, their sorority jacket that swishes when they walk, and their Nike shorts. Boys are a little more versatile, they get to choose between their Sperries or their Tom's shoes, sporting either jeans or cargo shorts, and a T-shirt/Polo, and a baseball cap. However, today no seems to care. The rain boots are on, as are the Sperries, but they are paired with messy pony tails and sweat pants.

It is oddly refreshing to see people physically resemble how they are feeling. They walk tired, act tired, look tired, and dress tired. It is understandable why everyone isn't a socialite today.

It's like if you were walking in the Oval and someone went to say hi to you and you brushed them off, giving them a look that says "Refer to the outfit." and they would know and think to themselves, "Oh, she can't talk today... she is wearing sweat pants."

The image is a disclaimer of sorts for your attitude, I can appreciate that.

Shout Outs:

To the guys legitimately sporting the Landry Jones creeper stash: Power To You! I Love it!!! I laughed multiple times when spotting someone walking by me with a little caterpillar on their lip!

To the gardner who has been gently carving the bushes for the last two hours! Thanks for keeping OU beautiful.

Last but Not Least! The people who made it out of bed to go to class today! Yay! You made it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Shaded Confidence

I am happy to report there has been some progress across sooner land since the last time I observed the Oval!

Today I saw smiling faces, and observant eyes... Well, kind of. I have decided to attribute the confidence boost across the campus to the magical appearance of the sun today. If I were reporting on fashion, I would say the array of sunglasses were more than impressive.

With shades on, more than half of the travelers let their eyes wonder the campus and look at their peers with friendly faces. I guess we all have our security blankets, and apparently sooners think much like celebrities: if they can't see my eyes they will never know it is me.

Even though I think the shades move is a little shady, I will take it! Congratulations OU, I'm so proud of you!

Moving onto further business... I have made three other significant observations about what I saw today.

1. I saw dozens of people talking today, laughing with their friends, saying hello, etc. The interesting part about this is that, only pairs of two could walk and talk at the same time!

If there were two people talking, they were more than happy to leisurely walk along side their friend, continuing their discussion.

However, groups of three or more had to stop to talk in semicircles. I saw one group of boys to attempt a threesome walking group... Let's just say it wasn't very successful, they were tripping and running into people... It was madness! However, I must encourage them for their efforts.

I don't know if this is a coordination problem, or just common social etiquette... Why is this? What makes people instinctively do this I wonder?

2. The double bag phenomenon... Girls this goes out to you! Almost every girl I saw today had a backpack over her shoulders, a purse across her arm, and everything that should be stowed away in those storage containers in her hands!

Now I understand girls, I have done the very same thing a time or two...but watching it today made me wonder why?

Do we really need our keys and phone ready in our hand outside Bizzell Library (where there isn't parking for at least a quarter mile in any direction)? Why can't we consolidate all of our belongings into one huge bag instead of carrying two HUGE bags and putting half of the things in them?

Something to think about...

3. Skate Boarding:

- First comes a question, that I do not have an answer to, neither does any other person in the Oval from what I noticed. Should people on skate boards use the bike lane? Most skaters rolled right on top of the line, unsure of where to be, weaving back and forth, in and out of designated areas. This is something I feel should be indicated, I don't know why... but people seemed confused when a skater just brushed by them with an inch of their life.

-There is most definitely a "cool" way of riding on your skate board and a "not cool" way. The "cool" way of skating would be to roll by, no sense of urgency, however with speed. However, the "not cool" way would most definitely be to push of the ground at almost a running speed with a look of terror on your face. These transportation devices, are not ones of extreme speed, perhaps you should consider a bike. People were frightened by your face and your lack of coordination. Sorry, just keep practicing... at home, as to keep from killing anyone.

Shout Outs!

My favorite camo shorts wearing guy (you weren't wearing camo again today, but it's OK) was back and friendly looking as ever! Keep it up, Buddy!

The fratty group of three trying to walk and talk at the same time. Bravo!!!!! Your efforts were relentless and entertaining!

To the girls pretending to be pack mules! We have all been there, it's OK, but give your little arms some rest!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Confidence Boost

Hellooooo OU!

Can you hear me?! Hello?

I didn't think so...

As I walked towards the South Oval this afternoon, in excitement of what I may find, anticipating nervous trips, hidden nose-pickers, accidental waves, etc. I was disappointed to find nothing of the sort.

What I did find was OU has an obvious confidence problem and unlike myself, is TOO aware that they are insight of hundreds of their peers.

I could honestly estimate that about 15 (ish) percent of those in the Oval today were plugged in to an iPod, a phone, and sometimes BOTH! I couldn't even begin to understand what I was seeing! You want to connect with other people? This is your chance, you are surrounded by hundreds of people and you choose to ignore all of them to talk to someone you can't even see.

Those who weren't sucked into the sea of iPhones, were looking at their feet, nervously twitching and tugging at their belongings, rushing towards their destination without hoping to look preoccupied.

The optimist eye inside of me hoped that perhaps all the people I saw were just freshmen scared to be in a new place, but I stood corrected when I saw a line up of professors crossing my path. There they were, veterans of this place, scurrying to avoid their students and colleagues. Most pretending to run their lectures through in their head as they walk or look for their next building. But, let's be honest profs! You have been here for years, you know where your building is and you have said this lecture enough times you could repeat it in your sleep. I expected more from you!

What is with the obvious avoidance of eye contact? What are all of you so scared of? That someone may say hi, or smile? What is the worst that can happen by being noticeably happy? Someone will think you are weird because they are to wimpy to feel anything themselves?

To all of this I say: GROW A PAIR OKLAHOMA! Be a human being! Take some time to be the unapologetic version of you!

If you are upset...fine plug in, avoid the world... as I'm sure that will make you feel so much better. However, remember your attitude is infectious.

From this observation I have decided that my mission for this week (or for life) is to travel my destination with hopes of making a new friend. Even from afar, to move with a smile on my face and my shoulders back.

With that being said, I must give a few Shout-Outs!

-To the guy in the camo shorts and black T-Shirt: While, you were plugged in, I noticed you! You looked ready to say hello at any moment, you made eye contact with each person you passed and had an easy smile across your face. I'm sorry that those people you looked at were to scared to notice you, but I did and I appreciate you!

-To the girl texting while riding your bike and giggling at the same time... that just takes skill.

-To my friends: I saw several of you and you didn't even notice me because I wasn't directly in-front of your face! Take a look around every once and awhile!

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Mission

My entire life I have been the girl unafraid to do many things in public: sing along to my iPod, break out into dance, make over-the-top gestures, I think you get the picture.

I often find myself wondering "Did anybody see that?" The same question that pops into every one's head every time they slip, fall, or have spinach between their teeth.

The answer to this question is of course, YES! You are in public, of course someone saw it, only most people are to polite to laugh at you to your face! So, for a change I am going to be the person to secretly (or not so secretly) laugh, I have been waiting for this moment all my life.

I am going to take just a small portion of time out of my day, about 3 days a week to do just this. I am going to sit in the South Oval, watch and report!

The mission is to see exactly what people are willing to do, knowing that the world is watching.

I am not only doing this for entertainment purposes, but also to make discoveries. Perhaps after spending time observing other people's actions I will learn something about people in general... We will see!