Out Upon the Campus Brown

Ted Holleran

A plea for students to care for campus landscaping

There I am, an anxious young sixth-grader ready to start a new school year at a new school. I step off the bus and remember that, as a middle schooler, most of my classes will take place in Good Counsel Hall. And as anyone with basic geometric knowledge knows, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Naturally, I line myself up with the southernmost entrance to Good Counsel Hall and begin walking. Little did I know that this early morning stroll was about to completely redefine my moral code.

Just as I reach the opposite side of the quad I hear this furious yelling. Terrified, I realize that it’s directed at me. “Hey! What do you think you’re doing!? You can’t just walk on the grass! Go back to where you came from and take the paths!”

 So with my heart beat instantly tripled, I walk back to where I came from, the bus drop-off point by the O’ Neill Athletic Facility. Then, with a ridiculous amount of caution powered by fear, I followed the sidewalks to Good Counsel.

At one of the most vulnerable points in a kid’s life, being yelled at by an angry man from a window can be traumatizing. So, of course I have never again stepped foot on the grass to this day, thanks to the fear associated with the act of walking on it. I accepted the words of the furious man in the window as law in the biblical sense. We do not walk on the grass here at Malvern.

Now, four years after this incident, I’ve been noticing some things that I don’t think the man in the window would approve of. Kids, very students of Malvern, are just tromping across the quad. I, for one, am finding it difficult not to heave my cookies at the very sight of those insolent feet frollicking across those sacred blades. We do not walk on the grass here at Malvern, under any circumstances. The rules do not stop existing just because the cafeteria is serving Fiesta Crab, or you got stuck behind a kid on crutches on the staircase of Tolentine. We have sidewalks for a reason and as convoluted as they may appear, what with paths to buildings that no longer exists, they get the job done.

Many hours of labor have gone into care of that grass, maintaining it at a nice height, and getting it that perfect shade of green. So maybe one or two or even, dare I say it, three students walking on the grass isn’t going to cause a noticeable change. But once everyone’s walking on the grass, the quad will be in shambles. A beloved thing of beauty will be destroyed. Walking on the grass is everything that is wrong with this world.