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What Grinds my Gears: Outdoors Edition

The Weather: In case you haven’t noticed yet, the weather outside is changing. It’s gone past the point of being oncoming autumn weather. Now it’s just straight up unpredictable. The weather is ruining my morning before I even go outside. After my alarm clock wakes me up with The Newsboys, I have to answer some pretty difficult questions just because of the weather, like: Do I need to have a sweater on? Should I wear my heavier or lighter sweater? Should I have a t-shirt on underneath this sweater? Should I have a long-sleeved shirt on underneath this sweater? Will the sun make the day too warm for sweaters? Should I just wear the long-sleeved shirt and be done with this sweater? Will I become too sweaty in this long-sleeved shirt? Do I sweat more when I wear just a long-sleeved shirt or when I wear a sweater with a t-shirt underneath? Or even everyone’s favorite, is it going to rain today?

The Woods: Well, now that I’m out of bed with multiple shirts on and one sweater tied around my waist, I make my way towards Walton for some good morning breakfast. It seems like it would be easy, but once I come across my first bridge I realize I’m departing from the comfort of civilization and going “into the woods.” Immediately I’m surrounded by all kinds of bizarre creatures in this untamed part of campus. There’s chipmunks skittering around like mice, gnats swarming in my face, frogs just waiting to get stepped on by those unaware, and daddy longlegs everywhere. Just take my word for it; those things are pure evil. Just when I can’t take any more of all of this nature, it appears before my eyes, like an escape sign from Heaven: the bridge out. After I make it away from all of that wild grossness I realize my backpack is a bit lighter than it usually is. I wonder if…oh, shoot, I left my binder back in my dorm room…“so into the woods you go again.”

The Turtles: On my second go through the woods I decide to take a look at the pond. It’s a nice pond full of fish, pond scum, and turtles. These guys are the coolest things on campus. They’re wild, untamed gifts of nature that show up every day at the bridge just to say hello to us. I enjoy watching them swim around and poke their heads above the water. They’re such fascinating creatures. Actually I don’t see anything wrong these guys. No, my real problem is with…

The Turtle Instigators: These are the people I have serious issues with. These are the people who walk up to the bridge, look at the turtles and think to themselves, “Gee, what beautiful creatures. I think I’ll poke one with a stick.” Why? What is the reason behind your need to poke this turtle? Is it because you want to see what the turtle will do? If you’re so desperate to know then here, I’ll tell what he’s going to do: NOTHING! You think poking his shell will make him start to flop around and do tricks just for you? At best he’s going to swim away from you. Of course there are those who kick the whole turtle-torture thing up to a whole new level. They will hurl mints at them, chuck leaves in their faces and drop an apple into the pond just to see what will happen. Do you want to know what will happen? The turtles will fight over the apple. Of course the turtles will fight each other over the apple, but come on – what did you expect to happen? If 20-foot tall aliens threw a bunch of iPhone 6s into a classroom odds are we would all be fighting to the bitter end to get our hands on one of those bad boys. What’s the point in watching turtles fight for food if you already know how it’s going to end? That’s not being an observer of nature; that’s just thinking of these living creatures as your personal entertainment. Come on, people. Can we please have some respect?

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