Fall on Campus

Fall has rolled in the same way that the wind tumbles and sprints starting at the field house and reaching a low rumble in the President’s woods. One of the best parts of fall, other than any and everything pumpkin flavored appearing in stores, are the smells. Cinnamon is a constant scent floating out of the kitchens on campus, and becomes something second nature to sprinkle on in not only a to-go oatmeal, but also on top of an already hot drink. The air is something that we encounter every day and therefore is easily overlooked, but the Northwest air is to me a stark contrast to where I grew up in Southern California. I was grown in an arid climate amongst rolling hills covered in the odd low brush. So once fall comes around it is similar to the rest of the year just a little cooler. The trees go from green to brown, and then usually barren. The trees around Tacoma still fascinate me their being a full process of color range that is throughout the tree. Little can rival the trees and their warm happy welcome of change is the air. Taking in a breath of air in Tacoma is another level of relaxing that I can only begin to approach when on a calm beach at night. Each inhalation revitalizes and cools me down to the smallest level in my lungs, the little balloons that are my alveoli, allow for an exchange of not only oxygen, but almost the life force of our community. I understand as a scientist that there is no quantifiable way of measuring what I consider to be our community’s life force, and I began to try understanding it the second time I visited. I first was met with the kindness and openness of the people here when I visited the summer of my junior year. I truly fell in love with the campus when I visited again in the fall and had a chance to become part of the Logger family. I may be biased in my love for all that happens once the leaves fall. From an early age I associated fall with going to my sister’s soccer games, my birthday, as well as my family making and eating good food together. My kinship with autumn may be in its defiant nature; I am the youngest of three girls which meant that I wanted to do what my sister’s where doing regardless of if I was the right age or size for the activity. At the age of four I was at a loss of why the people who were merely six years older than myself thought they could beat me at soccer. This only led to me trying to scrimmage with them, to my oldest sister’s horror and my delight I would crash her practices. On the sidelines I would squirm, dribbling, practicing, attempting to emulate what I saw, and waiting for my chance to be able to be on a team as well. I have been in team sports ever since first grade, when I was signed up for a recreational soccer team. Just as quickly as I began I had to stop, because I was injured part way through the season. So began my subconscious understanding of fall as change and family. Fall is often defined by the changes we can see in the leaves beautiful golden, red, and orange hues, or those we can feel as the temperature drops outside. However you recognize fall you cannot deny the wonder that occurs.