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Trails To The House In The Wooded Mountains Of Early Morning Fog Series: String In The Sun Light

2011 | Late August | College Campus | Freshman Orientation


I had high hopes.


Innovation comes with high expectation.


I saw the progression in the Arts Center.


I saw the regression in the woods.


It was Freshman Orientation, so I didn’t believe anything out of the ordinary would happen.


However, I’m no stranger to surprises.


Orientation Leader: “Over here is our completely LEED Certified building. The only one on campus that is completely L-E-E-D certified… Over here is our high ropes course, If you all will follow me into our Campus Woods, then we will head on over to the low ropes course to continue orientation!”


I liked the college so far.


The Campus was beautiful, but nothing is better than a tranquil walk in the woods.


The women were beautiful, however one woman in particular caught my eye as we locked eyes from down the hall…


But I digress. I’ll get back to the story.


We walk past the campus cemetery.


I ignored that part of orientation to protect my own conscious mind.


I have heard enough glory stories of dead old white men.


I think I caught the jist of what y’all are trying to communicate about them…


To regress, that cemetery was the last stop before we reached the wooded threshold of the campus woods.


Unbeknownst to me, in those woods, I would encounter my first obstacle on the road to the Reject The Status Quo Exhibition.


If the orientation leader didn’t stop at a particular point on the trail, then I might have never even seen it.


It could have camouflaged itself right into the rest of the woods.


But she stopped


Then I looked up, as I frequently do when I am not moving forward.


That’s when I saw it.


A string noose hanging from a branch which hung directly over the path.


The same path every student in orientation will walk through.


I felt confused.


I felt irate.


I felt betrayed.


I felt deceived.


This wasn’t on the brochure.


I didn’t see this during my self-led tour.


I was blindsided.


Even so, I’m not a quitter.


I already signed my name on the line.


I’m going to see this higher education through to the end.


In the end, I won't pretend.

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