Crunchy leaves to crushing solo cups: Fall then and now

As we approach the final month of the year, I realized that I dislike months ending in “-ber.” When did this happen? What is the common denominator here?

Fall. Autumn. Whatever.

Join me as I take a good, hard, overly-critical look at some aspects of Fall and see how the beautiful process of maturing has ruined and/or devalued them.

FALLen Leaves:

Then: As a kid, you may remember watching your parents exhibit god-like levels of self-control as you would throw your youthful body into the piles of raked leaves aka the fruits of their labor. Grabbing armfuls of leaves and throwing them into the air/at your siblings was truly joyous. Stepping on a leaf and hearing it crunch beneath your mighty child-sized light-up Kmart sneakers was incredible. You are powerful! Walking is no longer monotonous now that there’s a goal (crushing) and a soundtrack (crunching).

Quick! Someone call AFV!

Now: Ah, yes let me propel my aging body, with all it’s odd aches and markings (all diseased, as per WebMD) into this pile of dead-tree scraps and possibly upward-pointed sticks. Wet leaves, various creepy crawlies, DIRT–who wouldn’t want to catapult themselves into nature’s dumpster??? I was wearing a V-neck the other day and a leaf flew down my shirt. Making eye contact with a passerby as you proudly reveal the leaf you removed from your nonexistent cleavage is just so freakin’ seasonal. Now whenever I wear my knockoff Birkenstocks (#confusingweather) leaves stick to my socks (don’t judge me). Deliberately treading on crunchy leaves? Eh, if you step on a littered Solo cup it makes the same noise.

I feel so young and alive!

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Make a day of: Prospect Terrace Park, then and now

Ask any random Brown student what his or her favorite spots in Providence are, and chances are high that Prospect Terrace Park will be among them. Located at the intersection of Bowen and Congdon, this little park affords pretty views over downtown Providence (especially at night) and is a wonderful place for a moment of quiet and contemplation. In visiting Prospect Park, however, you’ll also notice the imposing statue of Providence founder Roger Williams—a testament to the park’s surprisingly rich history, spanning the works of H.P Lovecraft to the 1998 film There’s Something About Mary. Here we compare the familiar goings-on of the modern Prospect Terrace Park to the exciting events that have occurred through its past, all the way back to 1636…

Then: Arriving in Rhode Island after his expulsion from Boston at the hands of the Puritans, Roger Williams founded the religiously tolerant city of Providence on land granted to him by the Wampanoags. His accomplishment is immortalized in the park’s statue, which features Williams on the bow of a canoe, arms outstretched, overlooking Providence. It was constructed in the 1930s.

Now: Arriving at Brown after summers during which doing absolutely no reading was acceptable, new first-years can be spotted frantically skimming their copies of Sons of Providence in the warm September air of orientation week, hoping to find a fact or two to throw in during discussion section. Unfortunately, studying in the park, in the company of Williams, isn’t going to help when literally no one in your section read past page 40. Literally not one person. Continue Reading