Tag Archives: autumn

Autumn’s Song

Everything is gold.

The trees above my head are bright as the sunlight,

Which filters down through the gaps in the leaves.

The ground under my feet is completely covered by the fallen,

And with every step a crisp rustle-crunch rings out.

 

The winter birds are calling,

The branches whisper-creak in the breeze,

And the music of autumn flows throughout nature.

It’s a soft song,

Whispers and creaks and rustles.

Nature’s very own lullaby.

 

It’s time for sleep,

For hibernating and migrating and settling in to wait.

For curling up somewhere warm

And letting nature sing you to sleep.

Whisper rustle creak.

 

It’s cold beneath the tree tops,

But so beautiful.

The wind blows again and loose leaves fall.

Fluttering to the ground as golden rain.

Drifting and spinning and falling down to the earth.

 

Over the winter they’ll turn to dirt,

And come spring those leaves will fuel the world’s rebirth.

But for now they sit, bright and gold and crisp,

Sitting quiet for now, until someone like me comes along;

Then it’s rustle-crunch, rustle-crunch,

Marking my path with Autumn’s music.

Summer’s End

Held within the tender palm

Of her sister, seldom seen

Did the brightest of them all

Feel the strength within her ween

 

Shudder, shiver, glow within

Shining bright against Autumn’s slow dance

The doe and the fawn found solace in last

Of warm days to come, and meadows to prance

 

A smile did cross Sister Summer at last

As meek Sister Autumn found strength to then stand

Her time had now come to lead the year’s cycle

The seasons together, to dance hand in hand

 

As Summer closed her eyes, so too did the sun

Its warm rays cooling as sky fled to night

Autumn turned away, but gave final glance

To the land stretched before her; a sister’s last light

Good Luck

late
“Georgia resolved to take a quick glance at her watch that she had somehow remembered to strap on in the midst of her morning’s madness.”

It was a rather disastrous brisk September morning. Georgia had snoozed her alarm one too many times, and suddenly every step felt one step behind. She managed to pull on a button-down shirt and her cleanest pair of slacks in record time before realizing, to her chagrin, that her shirt was inside-out.Her efforts to get back on schedule were entirely fruitless and her attempts at rushing were only making her slower. It took a few tries to get her left shoe on and to get the buttons of her shirt in line.

Georgia’s frown fell deeper when her telephone rang incessantly from the kitchen and she just about lost it when she answered and her mother was on the other side of the line, expecting for a long conversation. She was required to clock into work at 8:30 and at this point, arriving before 9:00 seemed like a dream.

She found herself out of her favorite blueberry Eggo waffles and was forced to shove a couple of slices of lackluster wheat bread into her toaster to retain a semblance of her normal breakfast. Her hands reached to pull out her hair when she caught a whiff of her burning breakfast from across the room. Of course she forgot to adjust the toaster setting, she thought bitterly. In the midst of her sprint to retrieve her burning toast, she forcefully slid across her kitchen’s tile floor into the edge of the counter.

Georgia could already feel a massive bruise forming as she reached over to clutch her throbbing side. Her anger and frustration off the charts now, she kicked a nearby stool over, causing an unfortunate domino effect that upset a stack of her sorted papers in all different directions.

Feeling as if her dignity was in shambles, she dutifully retrieved the papers that were now spread across her kitchen and stuffed them haphazardly into her burgundy briefcase. Georgia resolved to take a quick glance at her watch that she had somehow remembered to strap on in the midst of her morning’s madness and her frown transformed into a downright scowl.

She crunched on her burnt toast and hauled her iota of pride out the door with her briefcase and car keys in tow. There was hope when her car started, but New York City never failed to provide her with dreadful traffic on a day to day basis. Her car crawled down avenue after avenue at a reliable pace of something less than a mile an hour. She figured that at least in the confines of her car, she was safe from some of the outside world’s morning hysteria.

As she approached another momentary standstill, Georgia checked her watch once more to discover she was already ten minutes late. A few more left turns, she thought, hoping her unexpected bad luck wouldn’t push her tardiness past 9:00.

She could see her building in the distance around 8:44 and the nearing proximity triggered her mental search for an adequate excuse. She parallel parked a block away, not willing to risk jamming herself into more traffic. After stepping out of her car, shutting the door, and checking if her efforts to lock the vehicle had done the trick, she raced off in her kitten heels toward the skyscraper that was her workplace.

Georgia had yet to give up on making it to work as early as possible (which she had yet to accept was still plenty late). Suddenly, her heel wedged into a crack in the concrete and snapped clean off, sealing her fate.

It was only a few seconds after this fortunate mishap that she lifted her head up to spot an airplane barreling towards the tower that she had been heading towards. She was frozen now, helpless as the aircraft collided with the building, setting a massive explosion of fire and smoke into motion.

Her briefcase plummeted onto the concrete and its contents floated away towards the chaos before her.

Georgia was still; her first instinct was not to run to her car screaming like the crowd building around her, but to stare thoughtlessly at the machinery that had wedged completely through her office floor. She doesn’t remember when she lowered herself to the concrete but sometime between the loud screams and sirens she woke up again. She found herself clutching her broken heel to her chest, musing about her good fortune.

I’m basic and I’m proud

As the leaves begin to turn a colorful array of bright shades, the temperature lowers and suddenly everything is pumpkin spice flavored. Fall is my favorite time of the year, and as the internet keeps telling me, this makes me “basic.”

On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, basic girls everywhere are proudly showing off their Starbucks cup of pumpkin spice latte (PSL), their infinity scarves and of course, the famous Han Solo outfit (boots, long-sleeve shirt and a vest). There are tons of memes spewed all around the internet making fun of girls who get uber-excited because it’s finally fall.

I’m one of these girls, and I’m not ashamed of it.

Even SpongeBob is in on the Pumpkin Spice craze
SpongeBob says, “I am basic and I’m proud!” Graphic from Reddit

I won’t lie, I get a PSL almost daily. I have a proud collection of fall-appropriate boots, vests and scarves. I love taking pictures of the fall leaves and filtering them to the point of obviousness.

I love the cold weather and curling up in my organic cotton blanket while watching Netflix. Fall is what I call my “Pinterest season” because I look up fun new ways to layer my fall outfits every single morning before I walk to Starbucks.

I’m not ashamed to be called “basic” because it’s who I am. I’m not going to stop liking things because a bunch of boys on Twitter keep making fun of us girls who indulge in the season’s best characteristics. I’m not going to try to suppress my cravings for all things pumpkin-flavored and I certainly won’t be ashamed when I post pictures of my dog frolicking in the seasons brightly-colored foliage.

The thing about being “basic” that gives me no shame is the fact that if I tried to suppress my enjoyment of all things fall, I’d be called a hipster as well.

“No matter what you do or what you like, there’s always going to be someone who has a criticism.”

For example, I love black clothes. Ninety percent of my fall outfits are made up entirely of black or 50 shades of gray. I even wear black shirts to my workplace, along with black pants and shoes. I like black because it’s flattering to my pale skin, it’s easy to match with anything, and despite the fact that dog hair is completely obvious on black clothing, they rarely look dirty. Because of my affections of all things black and mysterious, my coworkers and friends call me “goth” or even “emo.”

Honestly, I thought when I came to college I had left those days of immature name-calling behind me.

The point I’m trying to make is that no matter what you do or what you like, people are going to try to put you in a box. Don’t mind them, because you know who you are and what you like.

Do what makes you happy and comfortable and forget what anyone else has to say, because their opinions on you don’t matter. People who take the time out of their day to make fun of your affection for PSLs or Han Solo-styled layering are insecure in themselves. They can’t be confident in their interests and hobbies, so they take time to criticize yours. It sounds like dorky mom advice from elementary days when your parents said the bullies are “just jealous,” but it’s the most honest, simple advice you can give yourself.

So lift your PSLs high, my fellow basic ladies. Be proud of what you like. Others see it as conformist, but you’re just doing you.

Why fall is the best season

leaves
“I love walking on the orangey green leaves and hearing the crunchy sound, filling you with memories of when you used to jump into a pile of leaves as a child.”

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace, as I have seen in one autumn face.” This statement by John Donne is perfectly valid in my world. Autumn (or fall) is the best season, there’s so many reasons to love it! The leaves are changing colors, it symbolizes a new change in your semester here at Radford, the atmosphere is so calm and helpful for days you want to stay inside and read a book and drink coffee. Also holidays are just around the corner.

What I love about autumn is the beauty that it holds, the freshness in the air, the chills after a sip of hot chocolate. I love walking on the orangey-green leaves and hearing the crunchy sound, filling you with memories of when you used to jump into a pile of eaves as a child. Other things I love about fall are comfy sweaters, pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, pumpkin everything, rainy days, new TV shows, football season for the sports fan and the calm before the holidays!

Speaking of holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving are the best in my book. I loved dressing up and going to trick or treating, and we get to go back home and see our pets and family again and finally eat real food after two long months of studying hard, when you find yourself around the table with you family and closest friends. It’s very special not only being with them, you also get to reflect on yourself and show your gratitude towards the things you’ve gained for this year. Other reasons to love fall are that you aren’t sweating like crazy walking to your classes that are so far away from each other, haunted houses, one word: boots, being able to be okay with being lazy and of course winter is coming which means snow and Christmas!

Fall is a new start of endings, wearing scarves and cozy coats, and the sunsets are beautiful, making gingerbread, and pumpkin cookies, and going home for Thanksgiving. There’s absolutely no argument to this. Can anything top that?

The climb

Red leaves fluttered downward, carried by the wind toward the asphalt of Cherry Street. The newly risen sun barely peeked over the mountains surrounding Appleton, its rays not yet strong enough to break up the morning fog that hung like heavy curtains over the ground.

Mrs. Anderson opened her heavy front door slowly, its hinges creaking with effort. Frigid air streamed through the crack between the door and the jamb, making her bones ache from its icy touch. Quickly, she wrapped her flannel robe tightly around her sagging breasts, refusing entrance to the cold gust.

She clutched her cup of coffee with both hands like a talisman as she made the long descent down her driveway toward her mailbox. One step at a time, she told herself. Cold as it was, it wouldn’t do to fall a quarter of the way to the mailbox. None of her lively yuppie neighbors would be awake at this hour, leaving her utterly without help if she should fall.

coffee cup in old hands
Photo By: Danielle Johnson. Photo of: Kristinia Contreras

Pausing for a moment, Mrs. Anderson took a sip from her mug. The currently lukewarm coffee slid down her throat, offering no reprieve from the temperature. She disappointedly poured the last sip, chock full of coffee grounds, onto the grass that bordered her driveway. The break over, she secured her empty mug within a deep pocket of her robe. She continued on her trek, side stepping down the last section of pavement.

The ground beneath her was finally flat. Mrs. Anderson breathed a sigh of white, steamy relief at arriving safely at her mailbox. Her cheeks wrinkled with her smile as she opened the mailbox to retrieve her news.

She opened the newspaper to listen to the headlines before summoning the effort to climb back to the warmth of her living room.

“ARREST MADE IN RAMPTON JEWELRY THIEVERY,” one newscaster screamed from the paper. “A break was made in the case last week when Detect-,” the newscaster was cut off when Mrs. Anderson flipped to the Lifestyle section, uninterested.

“The Top 5 Pie Recipes You Need This Fall,” the perky voice of a female reporter drew Mrs. Anderson’s interest.

Seeing the picture of the spiced pumpkin pie featured, Mrs. Anderson’s wrinkled smiled returned, her eyes growing wet. The recipe was one of her mother’s, from the early 2000s. She felt the heat emanating from the wooden fireplace of her childhood, so different from the false, gentle warmth brought by her current fireplace screen.

Deeply ensconced in another time, Mrs. Anderson didn’t care one bit that her feet were growing numb, toe after toe.

All Things Pumpkin

Everybody sees at least a minimum of 10 “fall” posts on various social media a day. It’s a pumpkin spice latte (PSL), a tree with color-changing leaves, or an Outfit of the Day (OOTD) with riding boots and a scarf. No matter what it is, they seem to be the sure sign that fall has finally arrived. And you know what fall means? Pumpkin EVERYTHING.

Pumpkin candles, lotion, soap, bread, drinks, sauces, snacks, the list goes on and on. Some people might think that others like pumpkin stuff because it’s “in”, because “everybody else loves fall and pumpkin things”. Well, I am here to tell you that may be the case for some people but not all. I have to admit, I’m one of those people who is obsessed with fall, but not for the reasons you may think. Yes I love my pumpkin cupcake candle and wallflower, but I also love the color of the trees changing in the mountains.

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“It’s a pumpkin spice latte (PSL), a tree with color-changing leaves, or an Outfit of the Day (OOTD) with riding boots and a scarf.” Photo By: Danielle Johnson

Growing up, I learned to appreciate fall and quickly it became my very favorite season of all. I’m always in awe of the beauty that comes with fall. Even when you take a step back and think about how fall is really all of these things dying to get ready for winter, even then death is beautiful. The mountains have always been my favorite place and will always be. Driving through seeing the leaves fall, the colors change, and summer come to an end is still exciting to me. I love cooler weather, I love long sleeve shirts and light weight jackets.

For me, my love of pumpkin comes from my love of fall. Pumpkins are symbolic of fall, that’s when they grow and are harvested. You don’t see pumpkins popping up when spring rolls around because that’s not when they are in season. Just as flower buds and blooms show the world spring is here, pumpkins reveal it is time for fall. Although I’m not big on PSL (I’m not a coffee drinker either), I love everything pumpkin.

I love carving pumpkins. Pumpkin pie is my favorite pie. Pumpkin everything seems to remind me of family and happiness. Pumpkins are symbolic of fall but also of many other things; pumpkins lead up to Thanksgiving, which is another reason I love them. Seeing a pumpkin reminds me that there’s always something to be thankful for. They’re reminders that this is just one simple season, not only on a calendar, but also in our lives. There’s always something so simple and comforting about a pumpkin; even though the life span of a pumpkin is very short.

So when you see someone post about their first or second or even 25th PSL, just try to think “maybe pumpkins are important to them”. I know it sounds silly and some do it because it’s a fad. That happens and there will always be those people who do it because it’s trendy. But most people, who have a real love of fall, have a real love of pumpkins.

Break-Up Fall with a Fall Break?

For many years, RU has given their students a break from classes over the entire week of the Thanksgiving holiday. Many other schools receive a fall break in October, or earlier in their semester, as well as getting off for national holidays. RU does not receive a break in October, nor does the school allow students to have the day off for holidays such as Labor Day. But do students mind the way their breaks are set up?

I set out to interview different RU students about thoughts on the idea of having a fall break prior to Thanksgiving. One student, Alhaji Bah (better known as “Baha”), is a transfer student at RU who is beginning his senior year at the university. Baha previously attended Virginia Union University where he and his fellow students received a fall break every October and also enjoying Thanksgiving break.

IMG_0630
“I feel like with all the knowledge that we get, all the homework, all the projects and exams, we as students need just a couple days off of school to give us a break.” Photo by: Sydney Crawson

“I feel like with all the knowledge that we get, all the homework, all the projects and exams, we as students need just a couple days off of school to give us a break,” stated Baha. From this statement, I gathered a trend from the multiple students I spoke to.

Another student at RU, Katelyn McKeen, a third year junior, didn’t care much about when a break was or how she would spent her time away from classes, as long as she had that time off.

“Having classes and work for so many hours each day is mentally draining sometimes. It would be nice to have a break from the stress,” she said.

How would a fall break at RU affect the professors and faculty? Professors rely on a strict academic calendar to plan their classes; unpredicted snow-storms that cause campus shut-downs directly affect their teaching plans. Would a fall break have the same type of outcome? Some faculty on hourly wages at the university wouldn’t have money from those particular days to rely on, on top of losing hours and money from the Thanksgiving holiday.

As I gathered through my casual chats, there are many differing opinions on the subject. Many RU students cherish the idea of having a fall break at the same time as the surrounding Virginia schools so they could spend their time off with friends attending elsewhere. But, when told their week-long Thanksgiving break would be shortened with the addition of an October break they gave second thought to the fall break idea.

The breaks implemented through Radford University’s academic calendar have worked without issue for the school for many years now, bringing me to the conclusion that our typical Thanksgiving break is here to stay. Generally, speaking on behalf of the interviewed students, that was quite enough for them.

Under the weather and overwhelmed?

As the seasons and the leaves on the trees begin to change, many Radford University students are finding themselves ill. Whether it’s the rumored pneumonia said to have originated from one freshman’s trip home last weekend or the infamous yet evasive swine flu, being sick is no fun when you have a college life to take care of.

Have your thermometers ready when it starts to rain. Graphic by Caitlin Lewis.

High stress levels and a lack of sleep are both very common among college students, making campus the watering hole for the lions of the germ world. If you find yourself with a runny nose, scratchy throat, raspy voice or clogged sinuses, follow these tips to ensure you get better fast. Continue reading Under the weather and overwhelmed?