Monday, September 28, 2009

Michael's Mass Observation

10:00 AM

The door to my apartment is still broken. It can’t stop from opening on its own when shut, and a maintenance request seems to not have been the answer. I lock my door and make my way down the dimly lit corridor of my apartment. There are lighting fixtures on the wall, but not a single one has ever been turned on, so my walk in the dark is no surprise. I make my way down the stairs, avoiding the dirt layered railing. I count 12 beer cans and 4 can taps on my way to the front entrance of my building. This time tomorrow these cans will be gone to only be replaced by cans from tonight’s parties. Last night’s choice was Budweiser; I wonder what tonight’s could be?

10:05 AM

The 30 yard wide plot of grass in front of my building appears to have no life in it. There is a slight shade of green, but with all the dirt and dead patches, no one will ever notice. This, however, doesn’t seem to bother the Border Collie that is playing on it while on its morning walk. “Connie Let’s go back inside”, the owner yells from her first floor balcony, and like a soldier, the dog listens and retreats. Making my way through the parking lot I noticed that the car of choice seems to be a Honda Civic; I count 10. A Ford Prism is missing a window, but with glass clearly spread out on the floor, could this have been an accident or theft? Neither would surprise me. Ever curb in my complex appears to be a fire tow away zone, even in very obvious unnecessary areas. Are these spots really hazardous? The owner of a red Ford Focus must not think so, as they are parked in a clearly “hazardous” zone. The only bike on the bike rack seems to have been stripped of its handle bar, tires, and seat. The bike frames discoloration suggest it has been here a while. I come across more beer, this time empty bottles. A foul stench is surrounding the garbage bin to my right. The bin has been outfitted with the ID TDS-4211340. The number is located on the side facing a wall, so it’s safe to assume that the number could have meant something Proxy-Connection: keep-alive
Cache-Control: max-age=0

some point, but is now a mere decoration. A girl, about 5’6’’, leaves her apartment building, and passes me wearing a Longhorn shirt. In a somewhat single file fashion, we both make our way to the bus stop. Hesitating at first, she decides to run after noticing the bus arriving and fixing to depart. I run as well and we both enter the bus from the north entrance.

10:15 AM

There are five girls sitting in the front, and five guys sitting in the back. Almost automatically I am compelled to take a seat in the back as to continue following the established flow within the bus. After taking my seat, I notice that everyone on this bus appears to be paying no attention to anything going on around them, as though stepping on the bus has made them oblivious to the world. As the bus begins to depart, the bus driver attempts a conversation with a girl in a black shirt near the front, but stops after getting no reaction from her. This same girl then turns to her friend on her left and begins a conversation with her with a little more enthusiasm. The bus makes a stop and the guy directly in front of me with blonde hair motions to get off the bus, but after realizing where he was again, sits back down. There are many posters on the walls of the bus, which I have never noticed or read. It seems as though placing a poster on a bus like this is like decorating a wall. The poster becomes ornamentation rather than a beacon of information. One of the girls in the front opens her backpack and takes out her iPod, and like dominoes, so do the 3 girls around her. In the ten minute drive to campus, not a single person has looked up. We make a left onto San Jacinto. First sign of movement: Boy in an orange t-shirt glances at a passing Toyota Tacoma. Today the bus decides to skip its first stop on San Jacinto. A look of confusion hits the blonde haired boy, who looked like he was planning on exiting the bus. Driving through campus, there is a crowd of students exiting the stadium to my right in a very sluggish manner, while a group of eager high school students on my left take a tour of the campus. The bus makes its final stop on 23rd street. I follow the blonde haired boy, who waits patiently on the steps inside the bus, while the girls, oblivious to his act of kindness, exit the bus.

10:26 AM

There is a man drinking a cup of coffee near the Daily Texan newspaper dispenser. Top Story: UT Begins $5 Million Dollar Budget Upheaval. He grabs one and walks off, almost being sideswiped by a departing UT shuttle bus. The man at the O’s Café stand smiles at a customer as she makes her purchase of coffee and bagel. The land sculpting/maintenance workers are hard at work, tending to the shrubs and trees to my left. One appears to be tired; there are sweat marks on his tan shirt. I pass the barely legible “Art Building” sign and make my way up the twenty seven steps to the Art Building. Construction within the building is still going strong, with the noise level at an all time high. One worker signals the other, who has a very angered look on his face, to go with him to the back. Both retreat as I make my way down the corridor, stopping as a group of students exit their class. Turning the corner I caught a conversation between two girls. Conversation: How to make a good cup of coffee. Two scoops of sugar seems to be the key ingredient in any good cup according to the girl who talked using her hands while she was making her point. After walking up a small flight of stairs and taking two lefts, I arrived at my class.

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