Confessions of an early riser
While the hullabaloo surrounding the introduction of an 8:40 a.m. class start time is perfectly justified given the sleep schedules of most undergraduates, the situation has been awkward for those of us on campus who routinely awake well before then. We nod and put on a suitably pained face when our friends bring it up. We offer our sympathies, perhaps, and move on, never wanting to seem out of touch or uncool to the slumbering masses.
I am hardly an exemplar of the wakey-wakey tendency at Columbia, and I don’t mean to speak on the true early risers’ behalf. Varsity athletes with early morning practices, committed joggers with calves so defined they could cut you, and all sorts of other “morning people” have basked in the rays of the early sunlight much more than I have. But if 7:30 in the morning to a college student is 4:30 to a normal adult (which I believe has been proven by, like, science or whatever), then I think I would have to qualify as an early riser.
Walking across campus at 7:30 is a pretty solitary activity. You aren’t likely to run into anyone, and ideally you’re not in a crazy hurry to get wherever you’re going. If you’re more productive than I am, you might be thinking through your day and setting out a plan for everything you need to do, but I’m usually still too groggy for that. Even so, the early morning is one of the best times to notice the beauty of campus.
Looking north off the Amsterdam bridge reveals an almost empty city, waiting for the sunlight to creep down to the sidewalks and inaugurate the day.
The Thinker must get cold on these 40-degree mornings, but he appears to enjoy the foliage around him.
The plaza outside Butler is completely abandoned, though the building undoubtedly contains dozens of students in the last throes of an all-nighter. More importantly, CHECK OUT THAT SKY. It looks like Butler was photoshopped onto a piece of turquoise construction paper (it wasn’t, honest).
We’ve all complained about the heating, and the shaft, and the tarps on the lawns over the past four years, but in my nostalgic conversations with fellow seniors, the theme of the beauty of our shared space has come up again and again. There are 48 days until I, and the rest of the class of 2012, have to vacate our housing. If you need to spend one last moment appreciating the visual quality of our campus, set your alarm for 7:25 a.m.
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