The following post is from our friend Sara Bass, Penn State student and gifted photographer. We are very thankful she took the time to share this piece with us about appreciating the subtle beauty around her.
Please follow her on twitter: @poison_ivy3 she's lovely.
It’s 2:53 on game day. I’m eating a lunch of chicken nuggets, leftover salmon, and frozen Texas toast. I have a mild hangover. I am a Penn State student. I guess I’m embodying the stereotype now, but I couldn’t care either way. I love this school, and I love this town. I love being at a point in my life where I am free, with very few responsibilities (Aside from doing well in my classes, of course) and a giant group of people who are in the same place.
A year ago, I never would have gone to a party, or gotten drunk off of PBR and sour apple shots. Yet, here I was, on a Friday night, attending a drag party where you couldn’t tell who was really male or female. I feel too sober to even think back on it. Or to even look at the pictures of one of my guy friends in a tight red bandage dress, or the tramp stamp we drew on another guy’s back. The party was at our local co-op, aptly named “The Houseasaurus”. The residents themselves outdid us all, although, that’s their normal day to day look. The stench of body odor and weed filled the building, as an assortment of music was performed in the basement. We stayed through the last band, taking elbows to the head while guests moshed and skanked around us. There is no party quite like a Houseasaurus party. I stayed the night at my friend’s apartment since it was close to the party, and there was no way I was trekking back to my place at 4:00 AM. The walk is one and a half miles up-hill both ways-- it reminds me of stories in my childhood of growing up in Pittsburgh. And then morning hit. Due to the game that starts in a half hour, public transportation is a mess. So I walked. And I saw.
And I saw another side of State College completely. I saw the side that hasn’t been trampled by college students and slum lord real estate companies. I saw beauty in each step I took.
Yet, as I grew closer to my apartment, I saw the dark side of State College again. Construction.
I can’t even describe my hatred for construction. I see it and I turn into one of those cartoon characters on TV, with smoke billowing out of my ears. There is nothing more obnoxious than waking up to the sound of heavy equipment moving dirt and digging up the rock bed. And then, when you finally crawl out of bed to catch the bus, finding that your bus stop is closed with no notice.
The apartments going in would make any person’s skin crawl. A 600+ person complex, of prefabricated cottages with designer kitchens, and every amenity you could dream of. They advertise a resort like atmosphere for college students which is topped off by the dog park, and pet spa. As I watch the construction from my bedroom window, I stare at the ancient fixtures and appliances in my apartment. I think about our exposed wiring, and the black mold that was recently removed. Yet, I wouldn’t change a thing. And now the game is on, and my dear old Nittany Lions are giving me really bad heartburn. Until next time! If I survive the next 3 quarters, that is!