Freshman year, sophomore year, junior year. For three years, I have sat in Room 104’s rolling, spinning chairs—whizzing back and forth between the table and computer—frantically writing timed stories, researching writing topics, sneaking in Facebook before class.
Slumping over to withstand the textbook weight in my backpack, I head in once again hoping no one has claimed my normal seat.
Earlier in the day, I walked into a classroom and sat. Notebook and assignment pad in front of me, I took notes from a PowerPoint. Welcome to memorizing biology.
However, this rote process does not happen now—not in this class. As journalists, students, distracters, we walk.
Walk around the hallways housing business and journalism classes.
Once? Child’s play.
Twice? Getting closer.
Third time’s usually a charm.
But no—four times for us today.
Ladies first out the door as a blue-shirted, blue-drinking student lets us pass ahead of him each time.
In shorts and sandals, the air-conditioned halls force my arms around my chest, into the twisted pretzel fashion. My feet add to the other click clacks as we observe.
New brown tiles interspersed among the average white ones capture my attention first.
I make mental notes as I watch my peers’ faces and minds doing the same.
Rounding the final corner, I see my photo on the wall from last year’s photojournalism class. I hear Denny’s voice filled with attempts to frighten his new students. I had never feared him in class though; instead, I would silently laugh.
Four rights in a square loop puts us back in front of Room 104.
Quietly seated and instantly writing down observations, we readily raise hands to explain what we saw, impressing the professor with our participation on the first day.
Flyers, bulletins, classes, trash—typical.
Where is that eye-wash station the student across from me speaks of?
We did not just walk; we journeyed, the professor explains metaphorically.
We journeyed through a piece of writing. Draft after draft, we will see something new or different or absurdly wrong, just as we found walking around the exact same loop four times.
Welcome to Feature Writing.