Monday, April 02, 2007

This is an assignment I had to do for my English 315 class (Advanced News Article Writing). The assignment was to describe the brickyard, a central area on campus.

Kelly Reid

ENG 315 Reavis


It’s ten past nine o’clock and my cowboy boots are soaked. My feet feel cold and heavy inside the wet leather, but they still move. I can’t stop myself from dancing to the music. Bombadil is playing a toned down set in the breezeway of Harleson Hall. Their charming, honest folk music tries to warm the cold air but the fierce rain fights back with gusts of damp, chilled wind. It’s the last night of Shack-A-Thon and a thunderstorm has left this area of campus deserted, except for three musicians and audience of four.

Hours earlier the middle of North Carolina State’s campus was bustling with students. The large brick lain field sprawls out almost 75 feet in every direction from the center and is the plaza of central campus. This week eleven student organizations have built shacks in the middle of the brickyard to raise money and awareness for Habitat for Humanity. The shacks are in four rows; assembled like a village with brick allies running between each row. Most of the shacks resemble traditional houses, but there are two that stand out: a tee-pee and a giant rectangular prism that looks like a radio.

Two students from each organization are required to be at their hand-built, temporary housing 24 hours a day for five days straight, which entails spending the night. Three nights ago I suffered through a long night inside the radio. My dog and I spent the night in the shack for WKNC. I went to sleep on top of a four-foot long mattress with my pillow and quilt. I awoke with a backache and the cheek of my face planted on the cold bricks.

Thunder rumbles and the last notes of “Jellybean Wine” chime from the xylophone. The rain is pouring from the sky and small creeks run through the brick allies of the shack village. I clap my hands and cheer, lighting flashes. I turn to my buddy Nick,

“You ready to go see Valient Thorr?” I ask. He looks at the brickyard. Our cars are parked on Hillsbourgh Street- at the top of the hill, on the other side of the library, past the brickyard.

“Yeah, let’s do it,” hey says. We roll up our jeans, pull our jackets over our heads, and make a dash for our cars. The water has made the bricks slick. Running up the brickyard the toes of my boots cut into the streams of water and I can feel the cold liquid leak through the stitching of my boots.

1 comment:

Rob Cauthen said...

God, I hate myself when I do this shit, but I think you meant "brick alleys" instead of "brick allies".

I guess that's why Nick gets mentioned in your blog before I do...