UAlbany’s Podium


Students on the podium resemble reporters in a newsroom, with a deadline approaching. They are all on a mission to get from point A to point B.

In front of the library, students file up and down the stairway which leads to the LCs, carefully zigzagging to avoid one another. Some casually wave to other students, but do not deter from their goal at hand: make it to class before their 10 minute break ends. Others purposely stop to make small talk with every passing acquaintance, to catch up or stall before it is time for another class to begin. Then they will quietly sneak into their classroom and grab a seat in the back, where they are sentenced to remain for the next 55 minutes.

Most students juggle cell phones, coffees and books. Several stop to light a cigarette and sit on one of the many cold concrete blocks that make up benches along the inside perimeter of the podium, hopefully finding a spot in the sun.

The sound of construction is just background noise while the roar of socializing takes the foreground during this time period. And once in a while you can pick up the music from a passerby’s iPod.

Girls, with hands full, gossip while they walk towards the library. One boy waits to hold the door open for them, but they are too wrapped up in their conversation to notice, and after some time they realize his courtesy and hurry through the door, thanking the boy. A UPD officer walks through the podium to do his regular patrol, many students get quiet as his passes, while a few acknowledge him and pass on a pleasant (but forced) smile.

As students finish their smoke they toss the butts to the ground and carry on. And when the new class time arrives the podium empties. The last stragglers run down the stairs or into the class buildings. Students that have a lucky gap between classes meet with friends to eat lunch in the Campus Center, and the last bunch pour into the library to check assignments online or print something out.
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2 Responses to UAlbany’s Podium

  1. This description was so accurate! I love the opening sentence comparing students to reporters!

  2. Rosemary Armao says:

    Good job. A.

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