Walking on water
Merciless. Unyielding. Frigid. Wet.
No, I am not describing an Arctic snowstorm — not even a South Bend snowstorm. What I am describing here is the sprinkler system employed by our beloved University. A sprinkler system with motives unknown to an intelligent student body. A sprinkler system with missions reaching far beyond the hopes of an impeccable quad.
En route to an 8:30 class in DeBartolo Hall, my comrade and I dodge these vicious rainmakers. Timing our steps with the clicks of the water, we have created an invisible labirynth along the quad, sidestepping the jagged bullets. Our outfits, if we succeed in our mission of safe passage, will remain spotless and pressed, and my friend's hair won't curl up after her morning struggle to straighten it. Since the begining of the year, this has been our morning routine.
On my way to O'Shaughnessy Hall a little after noon, I am surprised yet again by the sprinkler system's incessant dousing. Only this time, instead of feeling irritated, I am confused. It seems as though the sidewalk is getting a thourough wash down. The sprinklers each take their own turn laundering the walkway before continuing on to the grass. On an active college campus, I would figure that there would be more outrage over this wasted water than there currently is. As I question the need for green grass when fall is knocking at the door, I become angered over the constantly wet sidewalks.
In a constant and impatient quest for greener grass on our campus, someone set the timers for this sprinkler system without much consideration for quad-cutting students. Someone decided that the sprinklers had to go off at prime passing times. This individual dispersed the sprinklers in positions critical to the time-honored task of sidewalk irrigation.
Most people agree about all this nonsense. Our campus is absolutely lovely —that fact can not be argued with — however, do we really need the inopportune click-clicks of the sprinkler system constantly reminding us that the grass is green for a reason? I can not find a reason for the timers to be set during class time.
If I recall correctly, most towns near my house have water conservation orders in effect with severe consequences for those who feel their lawn is above the law. As a result, these towns encourage lawn watering during the early hours of the morning, as to prevent evaporation from the sun. It would make sense, therefore, for the University to run the sprinklers before most people are awake. Not only would we be eco-friendly, but also a bit more convenient for those students racing to class.
After lunch, another friend and I tackle the system once again on our way to the bookstore. As we bide our time complaining about the sprinklers, we are rudely interrupted by a merciless burst of a frigid quad shower.
The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
All Inside Stories for Thursday, September 9, 1999