Cross It Off
By Anna Lippincott
For many people, life is a checklist. It’s a long series of dos and don’ts. Do pass go and collect $200. Don’t eat the yellow snow.
College is no different. For so many Bobcats, the college experience is crossing everything off one’s bucket list, trying to squeeze all the potential Athens experiences into four (or five) short years. That means eating at Big Mama’s, perfecting the Court Street Shuffle, and becoming a legend on BobcatMakeOUts. It means pulling an all-nighter at Alden, painting on the graffiti wall, and, according to Athens Tonight’s “Official OU Bucket List,” drinking a Liquor Pitcher at Lucky’s. And a Mega Mug at Redbrick, and a Black Out at Pawpurr’s, and a Champagne Slushy at Broney’s.
It all seems like a great time—crossing off one bucket list item at a time, but what happens when you lose sight of your years? What happens when you suddenly remember you are a senior only a few weeks from graduation and still have so much left to accomplish? Pressed for time, all those glamorous to-do items become daunting tasks––more like duties than blissful experiences. For two seniors, that was the case exactly.
Wil Lloyd, a senior studying mechanical engineering, realized almost too late that his time in Athens was running short. With only a few months left as an undergrad, there were still things he wanted to accomplish. He had been to a game of every sporting event and had urinated on every green on campus, but still had not done some of the more traditional bucket list items such as climbing the rock wall at Ping.
“I’ve always seen the wall in Ping but never got around to climbing it and felt I needed to. Sometimes I think I’m the only senior who hasn’t,” says Lloyd.
But Wil was not the only one. Third-year grad student Crescent Gallagher also still had yet to climb the 36-foot artificial rock face.
The boys agreed that it was time to stop procrastinating and start taking action. It was time to cross the rock wall off their bucket lists. Wil gave the wall a go and chose to ignore the color-guided climbing paths set out by Ping. Though he only made it about halfway up the wall, he was proud of the progress he had made and decided the attempt counted as a check off the bucket list.
Crescent was quick to follow and scampered up the wall, choosing the same plan of attack as Wil. Sadly, he did not make it much further and descended after about 20 feet but still considered it a victory. That would not be Crescent’s only accomplishment of the week. After seven years at Ohio University, he still had yet to steal a brick from College Green. The one-of-a-kind Athens Blocks are made only for Ohio University and are traditionally stolen by seniors in their final months at OU. So after only 24 quarters and a semester and a half of waiting, Crescent was keen on the idea of taking an Athens Block for the keeping.
Intoxicated by the thrill of climbing the Ping wall the day before and the idea of crossing the most cherished item off his bucket list, Crescent excitedly snuck out to College Green at about ten o’clock at night. It was a dark and chilly night, with just a spitting of rain wetting the ground—the perfect weather for stealing a brick.
“When it’s wet that means the soil is softer and easier to dig up. When I stole my brick we used my key to dig up the soil, which made it easy to pull out,” says Angie Cordell, a senior political science major.
After a bit of a struggle, Crescent broke the Athens Block free of its identical counterparts and proudly held his new medallion—the cold, muddy rock prize of a job well done and another check off the bucket list.
But it is not just about the brick. And it is not just about the wall. It was about living up another week in Athens. It was about taking time to stop and cherish the time they had spent in this beautiful city. The chalk-stained shorts and the brick in Crescent’s apartment, well those are just the tangible things. But the memories, those are what will serve as constant reminders of all the cherished moments spent in their reckless and exhausted adolescent years.