Student Experience Blog

The Race, The Grapes, and The Glass Eye

I had a bunch of plain, numbered racing bibs that I came across while cleaning out my desk drawers. I was looking for a creative way to use them, and one of my friends suggested organizing a “race” at the local mall. I thought that was a great idea, so we got all dressed up in our best racing gear, donned the official looking numbers, and drove to the mall. It took us about half an hour to scope out what the course should be, but we finally decided that we would use the magnetic detectors at the entrance of Macy’s as the start and finish lines. We were to power walk two laps on the course that included an elevator ride up, two escalator rides up, and two escalator rides down. Power walking is a LOT harder than it seems like it would be. You have to always keep one foot on the ground, and end up with almost as much lateral movement as you do forward. On the first lap, it was anyone’s game, we all got a little hung up waiting for the elevator, but finished the lap at nine minutes. The second lap is “when it got real.” You could practically hear Bob Costas recounting our every move. By the time we reached the elevator for the second time, there were just four of us, working as two rival teams. The lead was changing every couple of strides. We were walking the fine line between the power walk of champions and the light, awkward jog of an amateur. We were rounding corners at high speeds and for our courage, we made huge improvements on the clock: the second lap was an impressive 5 minutes, an impressive negative split, especially considering the amount that I was already sweating partway through the first lap. It was really hard to tell who won, we were all within a second, maybe two, of each other. For a 14-minute race, that should give you an indication of just how fierce the competition was. I think I came up third.

After that, we decided to go to the store to buy some grapes. One of my friends happens to be of the one-eyed variety, and we thought it would be really funny to put his glass eye into the bag of grapes we were purchasing and see what happened at the check out. We acted casual. We put the grapes on the conveyor belt, eye staring up. My friend mentioned something about being unsure of the location of his right eye. The cashier did a double take at the produce, and immediately stiffened up and looked extremely uncomfortable. She then said, “Uh oh, did someone lose an eye?” “Oh, thanks,” and popped his eye back in the empty socket. It wasn’t nearly as funny as we’d hoped, but I heard that it’s the best picture on Instagram of a glass eye.

--Claire Cushing