Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Analyzing Astute Aesthetics

Apple, aardvark, Arkansas, analytical, abra-cadabra, alimony, anthropology, art, acreage, Alaska, apple. I just lost after 11 words- that's not very good. I read an article about a Savant that could "do calculations to 100 decimal places in his head, and learn a language in a week". Which is pretty crazy, I'd bet that he could come up with at least 14 "A"words before repeating one. Speaking of Savants, did you know that there is an athletic (A-word) type of savant?

Anyways, I brought this up for no reason at all other than to display off memory the types of street-wear that students at Western Washington University are wearing. There are some really interesting styles and decisions being made by my peers, and since I have a 6-8 minute walk in between classes I have been able to astutely analyze. Aesthetically.

Already you might be wondering why this matters. What importance does it have for me? Why would I engage in these observations? It's simple- because I'm a scholar. Someone told me that "the purpose for College isn't necessarily to take specific classes, it's to immerse yourself in many things and become a better human being because of it". So if I show up to Thanksgiving dinner like this, that's why!

A normal day in Bellingham: Cloudy, windy, light rain, dark, and generally dreary out. The walkways of our campus are constructed with beautiful bricks, their color red like... bricks. The same bricks that were placed on top of marsh ground that when rained upon wiggles and shakes like a jello pie fresh from the box. These bricks sink into the ground, some protrude outwards, out of line, and out of place like one lone buck-tooth, desperately trying to grab at the feet of the unassuming student trudging along trying to get to the bus or make it to their next class. These bricks push and seep their way deeper into the marsh below, and on the surface the campus is left with gaping holes in the pathways where the water pools like a T-rex footprint in Jurassic Park. These holes fill with rain water, and as the campus sinks to Atlantis, our brave student population waits in class unaffected by the looming disaster that comes when their class finishes at :00, :30, :40, or :50.

As the metaphorical bell rings, students emerge from classrooms. Here are some descriptions of my favorite Bellingham fashion statements:
  • The Robinson Crusoe:
    • This style represents Defoe's story quite well. For those unfamiliar, it's about a well-off man who shipwrecks on a desert island. He has to survive, live off the land, blah-blah. Interesting part- he loses his shoes in the swim to the island and has to live barefoot for awhile.
    • AKA Western Kids who wear completely normal clothing (I.E Jeans and a shirt), have a rain jacket on, and then top it off by walking around campus barefoot. I don't mean wearing the toe shoes that were made popular by monkeys in the early 1800s, I mean Barefoot as in the scrape your toes on the sidewalk but feel free kind of barefoot.
    • I just don't understand! It's raining, it's cold, and you're barefoot. Your jeans are soaked because you step in every single one of those puddles to soak your sore feet in cold water and the water works its way up your pant legs, making every step you take inside splash water everywhere.
  • The Jimmy Buffett
    • Jimmy Buffett just lives free, man. Face it, the man of sunshine just doesn't care when the WEATHER tries to get him down. Did you know that if you pretend long enough, everything changes to fit your mood? Yeah, it's called schizophrenia. 
    • And yes, WWU has it's fair share of Jimmy Buffett Schizophrenics who still believe that we attend school at USC. WRONG. 
    • Jeans, sandals, bro-tank, highlighter colored plastic Wayfarer sunglasses, and a Beanie (worn on 65 percent of your head). This way is nice because you still stay warm because of the jeans and the beanie, yet you are still Chill (did you get that Joke? Let me explain it. Chill as in cool, NOT chill is in the fact that you are inappropriately dressed therefore chilled and wet) because of the glasses, shirt and shoes.
  • The Ernest Shackleton
    • Ah yes, Ernest. The famed Explorer who just loved to get his ship stuck in cold places, namely the Antarctic. However, he did not freeze to death because he was prepared for the situations that he encountered. And students at WWU idolize this man.
    • The weather is 56 degrees, it is lightly raining, and there is a small breeze of 5-7 mph coming in from the West, blowing across from Orcas Island and Bellingham Bay into the faces of poor students who unknowingly pulled the Jimmy Buffett (see above) out of their closets that morning. But there is a hero, and that is the Ernest.
    • Rain boots, jeans, shirt, sweatshirt, vest, rain jacket, puffy coat, hat, scarf, umbrella, and gloves- you my friend are prepared for this weather. You are the person who LAUGHS and giggles at your peers as you walk right through the puddles on campus, protected by your impenetrable rubber ducky boots. Laugh at your peers wet feet as you slowly suffer from dehydration due to being incredibly thirstayyyy from the sheer quantity of clothes you are wearing. Laugh at your dry feet and hair as you mop the sweat from your eyes. Smile as you survive yet another blustery Pac NW Fall day.
  • The WTF?
    • So many things. So many. And that's what's so grrreat about College- Immersing yourself in many different things and becoming a better person for it.
  • The Ian Crane
    • Swag
    • But really, help. Ever since my parents moved out of my Laundry room I've worn the exact same thing every day. And that my friends is a cry for help. I call it the Jimrobinest Crubuffton and it's not too shabby. I'm really warm, but cool at the same time. Chill.

Awesome fact that has nothing to do with style yet has everything to do with rainy day life on the WWU campus. As I previously explained, the bricks on campus go from flat to rolling drowning trap in no time at all. Because of this, there are three types of walkers.
  • The rain boots
    • Hey there! I have boots on, I'm going to walk straight to my next class. I am going to not look down at the ground and walk where my mind and Ipod take me, regardless if it's through that ankle high puddle. Because guess what? My feet are dry.
  • The dodgers/tiptoers/leapers
    • Oooooooo oh no! I've improperly prepared for the day, or I simply do not own waterproof waders. 
    • Looks like I have to dance around campus avoiding puddles so to not get my Sperrys wet! This dance is similar to this-
  • The not giving a ______ 
    • Here is definitely my favorite. Regardless of what style they rocked that day, these people are the Motorcycle Gang of the walking community.  Completely unconcerned with the dryness of their feet, these people walk as if they are wearing boots... But they're NOT? Hats off to the people who walk right through that puddle as their "friends" leave their sides to dance around. Y'all are the few unfazed by societies so called rules. Respect!
Now you know. Your campus is probably similar! I mean look-


  1. to add some fact to your bricks statements: http://westernfrontonline.net/news/9876-everything-youd-ever-want-to-know-about-westerns-bricks

    1.5 MILLION!

  2. Facts are one thing, but style is completely another. Props!
    (p.s. I spelled 'cometle' to get this comment posted. What does THAT mean, college man?)