Birds and Stuff

The thing about being a senior is that your so busy doing stuff for class, for clubs, for real life, that you don’t really have time to cry as much as you’d like. I mean, that’s a problem I hear people have. Not me, though. I never cry, especially not right now as I write this.

Since the semester started, I feel I’ve been stumbling-running-falling through each week just to get back to Monday, take a deep breath, and do it all over again. The weird thing is, I kind of love it. School, friends, crying. Everything. I can’t do the whole idle hands thing mainly because, at this point in my college career, I’ve had so much caffeine that I’m physically incapable of sitting still. Doing stuff is what college is all about. Have you ever seen a movie about college where the characters weren’t doing something?

Yeah. Exactly.

Anyways, I’m busy. Constantly. And I don’t really have much time to do anything that isn’t assignments, errands, sleeping, or being bullied into buying 8 boxes of cookies from the girl scouts down the street (they know I am weak). But there is something I have to talk about. And that is the Birdstop, my home away from home.

I have two writing classes that meet at the Birdstop and I absolutely love it. The whole place is one incongruity after another.

As a whole, it makes for a very pretty picture, but as you start to examine it, looking at each piece of furniture, each light, each paint chip, it makes that pretty picture a very interesting one. Matching sets of anything are rare, making the place look like a garage sale made into living quarters during an emergency. But it works. It adds character. The stained and loose ceiling tiles add character too, but in a less charming way. They give me a sense of urgency when writing here. Time is limited, but it is also limitless in the Birdstop. It makes you feel very tragic and very important, even though it doesn’t rain enough for that.

Specifically, writing in the vault (their quiet, side room), is a sort of nostalgia. I’m only 21, so nostalgia isn’t really a term I can fully comprehend yet; in my mind, it is just the feeling I associate with rocking chairs and harmonicas for some reason. It makes the writing process feel even more isolated from reality. Having people in there helps with that. People are grounding; they’re more than just words and ideas. If all of us had been locked in this vault during an old fashioned bank robbery, I really don’t think I’d mind. We look like we have the makings of a compelling narrative arc between us.

As a conference room, it also works. It is cramped and gives the illusion of running out of air which is a great bonding agent. Our friendship here is formed in the crucible of claustrophobia, as we hit elbows and anxiously sweat. But we love it. The comradery between us is most evident when we are here.

Also, there is the coffee.

I don’t actually drink coffee, but I like being around people who do. Coffee is one of the few foods you can enjoy by proxy.

So the Birdstop is my favorite place to be stuck doing stuff in. It’s nice to get off campus sometimes. It reminds that there is life outside of assignments, essays, and crying. 

And that’s important.


-Ashley Miller


Ashley is a senior Creative Writing major from Payette, Idaho.