Yesterday, it was cold.
Not, like, cold cold. But it wasn’t hot. And I didn’t like it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for hoodies. But theres something distinct about the life that warmth breathes into Hopkins. I mean it’s always beautiful and lively, but each season brings its own spin on that beauty to campus. And I think I prefer this one.
The Beach is flooded with people sprawled against the sun or propped against a tree with a book and a bag. The patio of Brody cafe is more crowded than the cafe itself, and the smell of coffee seeps into the space between Brody and the library. There are barbeques, there are sunglasses, there are sharp shadows.
“It’s coming too fast,” announced a sighing FFC lady as I spread my cinnamon bagel this morning. “It’s supposed to be a really bad winter.” I spent a lot of the morning low key sulking as I tried to come to terms with the end of summer before I convinced myself that there was still plenty of time before that. And it helped to look back over the last few weeks and appreciate how much my friends and I, and the entire campus at that, had taken advantage of the waning summer at Hopkins.
ON Memorial Day, my friends and I decided to drop everything on a Friday and head to Camden Yards for an Orioles game. The weather perfect, the tickets were cheap, and our schedules were (much to
Saturday’s dismay) free. We got seats way up top – as students do – but it doesn’t matter where you sit to become a part of a live baseball game. By the seventh-inning stretch, we pulled a sneaky and headed down to the posh, ground-level seats by the left foul post. The trick is to walk with purpose. It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made; in the top of the eighth, the losing Orioles hit two grand slams and another home run. The crowd went absolutely nuts, and I’d say I’ve felt more a part of Baltimore than in that moment as we gave our voices up to the stadium.
MY History of Anthropology course is amazing. It’s a small upper level course for my History of Medicine major, and there are four other students in the class. It’s the kind of class I’ve always dreamed of. We read primary sources, listen to some background on the era, and then talk around a table. It’s perfect and extremely interesting. Last week, our professor decided that enough was enough and that we weren’t respecting the warmth enough. We scooped together our books, turned off the projector, and walked to the President’s Garden behind Gilman. We scavenged for dry chairs, put them in a ring, and had an hour-long discussion on 19th century evolutionary anthropology under the speckled lights of trees.
LAST Sunday was supposed to be cloudy, and I was insanely bummed. We were on a bus headed for Gunpowder Falls State Park for a kayaking trip with other members of the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, and it was cold outside. We got to the park and ate sandwiches in front of the lake, shivering. But as soon as we got up to put our life jackets on, the sun
popped out and the water turned gold. We kayaked through a narrow cove, spotted a baby turtle, and headed for open waters to go wherever we wanted. The water was so warm. At one point, I unfastened the seat and laid down on my kayak in the middle of the river. It was the break I needed after a week of tests and essays, and it getting to know some incredible new people was (mostly) worth the stupid biting flies.
Maybe the FFC lady is right, and maybe the winter will hit hard. But it’s fulfilling to know that Hopkins is grabbing onto the last few pounds of warmth and shorts-weather before they’re gone for good. I mean for a couple months.