The sun is almost at its highest point in the sky, yet fog still appears with every breath outside. The leaves crunch under the feet of students as they make their way to campus. Inside, the line for coffee stretches all the way to the door. Skylights and warm colored accents bring in the colors of the trees outside. The smell of pumpkin spice drifts across the coffee shop signaling the onset of fall. Laptops and books are sprawled across the wooden tables in a last minute attempt to prepare for the dreaded fourth week midterms. Two accented baristas are making orders and retrieving scones, but have trouble keeping the line moving. Women ogle over the accented barista’s voice while he serves up drinks at the counter.
“Did you hear his accent? It’s like British. So cute,” a woman says. (The accent wasn’t British.)
At the front of the shop, she sits with another women, both sporting Kappa Delta sweatshirts; they are seated across from each other drinking frappuccinos with too many directions on each of their cups. Their conversation comes from the events of earlier in the day.
“Oh wait, like, have like, class,” comes out of their mouths and before you know it, the Kappas are gone.
The hour turns 12, and the line begins to diminish as people head off to class. The noise level in the shop dips dramatically and most people are concentrated over a book or laptop. A woman in front of the window pours over a Spanish book while listening to a Spanish video on her laptop. Her study skills leave something to be desired as she stops to text at least once a minute. She has a to-go box of food and has made this table her home. Books sprawled everywhere and food wrappers cover the tabletop.
Outside a group has gathered around the new great blue heron. A news reporter is out there taking video on a tripod. He begins to interview an elderly man with a beard about the sculpture. Others are taking photos on their cell phones as the twenty-foot tall bird stands guard on the corner of 13th and Alder. People slowly make their way over from across the street to warm up inside the shop. As the half hour comes around, people stream through the doors and the line stretches back out to the door. The seats that had become empty quickly fill back up in an almost changing of the guard regularity. New people settle down and begin to make the tables their home to study, and the old head off on their way.