Fall Break: New Writers React
We’re back! Fall break has come and gone and we’ve got mixed feelings bout it. Another milestone in the Kenyon year has passed, and we asked our new writers to reflect on break in all of it’s glory.
“I have five writing assignments due within the first two days of classes back and guess how much of that workload I completed? None of it. I completed none of it and I hate myself. I slept from the hours of midnight to ten, woke up to drink coffee and then fell asleep for a midday nap that lasted roughly an average of three hours which was amazing way to live. I was racking up close to fifteen hours of sleep a day. I was like a newborn baby except with an acute awareness of the Sisyphean existence and human mortality. It was all I could’ve hoped for and more from Fall Break.
Except now it’s nine o’clock on a Sunday and I have zero work completed for tomorrow and zero motivation to do any of it because it’s all a lost cause goddammit. It’s all a lost cause. Welcome to I’ve realized all the problems in my life are my own damn faultsville. Population: me.” –Elise Tran
“I was standing in a group of sweaty, young-professional men with matching jerseys and the sweet scent of entitlement one only gains after recently graduating and buying their first pair of Oakleys and a bar cart from Ikea. It was the second day of Austin City Limits Music Festival, and we’re all waiting around for Tove Lo (who?). I had developed the Krud quite quickly after leaving campus and I was hopped up on cough medicine, Zyrtec, and I guess other things. Minutes before, I convinced myself that the grass was actually dog hair and that the festival was actually happening on the back of a giant dog, so needless to say it was a long day already. There were rumbles around the young men that Tove Lo “might show her freakin’ boobs,” and just when it seemed to be only a rumor, Tove Lo flashed the crowd. The menagerie of backwards caps around me went crazy, screaming the word “boobies” like their browsers had clean search histories. This rare moment of enchantment in its purest form was enough to bring me back on campus after Fall Break, rejuvenated and ready for Cuffing Season.” –Kylie Lohrenz
“Picture it: it’s about 6:30 in the evening, and you are the driver of a car full of college students, driving home to Illinois from your Small Liberal Arts School™ in rural Ohio. You’ve hit Indiana (great!) and you’re hungry (less great) and the only place in sight is a Bob Evans (debatably great depending on who you ask and how you feel about shitting a lot the next day). So you go in and find a table, which is somewhat remarkable, given how crowded the place is. You sit down, and after a few moments, he approaches: Bryce, the Saddest Waiter. A man whose eyes scream for help and who’s voice lacks all emotion, who slightly messes up everyone’s orders, but who you feel too bad for to comment on it. A man who sees you look distastefully at the extra toppings on your burger, and who forlornly reaches for the plate, going to get it fixed. “No, don’t worry,” you say quickly. “I can scrape it off.” I cannot even begin to describe the tone of pure, almost euphoric relief in his voice when he says, “Thank you,” as if you’ve spared his only son from the executor’s axe. This is Bryce in his truest form; a twenty-something waiter at a Bob Evans in the middle of Nowhere, Indiana. Your heart goes out to Bryce, and you finish the meal and drive away, disappointed not in the food, but in the fact that you can’t rescue Bryce from this chain restaurant purgatory he is forever trapped in.” –Nate Winer
“Cincinnati is the 65th largest city in the United States but number 1 in my heart at this very moment. My home state of Texas is a far trek and thus, one of my friends was kind enough to house me for this short break. Let me tell you: I have never hugged anybody more sincerely than I did when I saw my friend’s mom on Wednesday. When I saw her familiar mom look and suburban appeal, I almost teared up at the sheer feeling of maternal love. With that said, I’m from Austin, but I’m also from Texas which means that I alternate between being southern and being from somewhere cool. Upon seeing a Nordstrom in Cincinnati, a pang of southern joy came into my heart. As I did the thing where you drape a big pile of clothes over your forearm then awkwardly wait for a lady to open a fitting room for you, I just felt like I could possibly be back at home, buying an outfit to go to a tailgate or a crawfish boil or something that I would do at home that was equally white, upper middle class and southern.
But, this weekend also made me feel Certifiably Midwestern™ as I tried beer cheese for the first time ever. After eating many a shitty Peirce meal, there could be nothing quite as satisfying as dipping a piece of margarine covered soft pretzel into a small vat of melted and yeast-y cheese. I followed it up with a glass of milk with ice, a luxury that I would never dare to drink in Peirce because it would be very embarrassing to be eighteen years old and drinking milk outside of the privacy of my own home. Clinking glasses of milk over Halloween cookies and beer cheese with new friends, Ohio felt like home.” –Reilly Wieland
“I don’t mean to be nasty but you know how when you’re sick, everything tastes a little different. I have Strep, and the flavor undertone of my life right now is SpaghettiOs. Everything tastes like SpaghettiOs. I ate a banana and it tasted like I marinated that banana in SpaghettiO sauce. I got SpaghettiO saliva and I’m putting SpaghettiO creamer in my coffee. I went to Southside Diner and I had a milkshake and it was a cookies and SpaghettiO cream milkshake. And you know how Fall Break can be like you’re floating on a rubber raft in a pool that’s not that big. Only now the pool is a silicone bowl in your lunchbox and the lid popped off so now your lunchbox is full of SpaghettiOs and it got all over your Nutter Butters and it’s oozing out the zippers and Spiderman is crying SpaghettiOs. That’s what I was up to over Fall Break.” –Tyler Raso