Don’t tread on me: Confessions of a campus chalker

I have a bit of an odd job at Stamp Student Union. I carry around a bag of sidewalk chalk to write messages on the ground advertising upcoming events. My colorful handprints appear on everything I own.

Sitting on the ground, I think of ways to capture everyone’s attention. As I write one word, I imagine a student’s gaze of curiosity. As I write another word, I imagine more students scribbling the event into their calendar. And with the final word, I imagine the entire student body running, if not sprinting and shoving, to the event all because of the ad I put on the sidewalk.

As I am writing one of the words in my message, I am interrupted not by a voice, not by rain, but by a foot. Yes, the dreaded foot.

As a sidewalk chalker, for someone to mindlessly walk over your work is one of, if not the worst offense imaginable. It is inconceivable that a person could walk right over you while you’re working and not even acknowledge your presence.

The foot turned into two. This student, who shall not be named, went shuffling over and smeared my message, leaving a trail of rainbow footprints behind him. Yes, I scowl. It has been said that my eyes speak volumes although I can’t imagine the foot-man could hear me through his headphones.

I want to cry.

But only so my tears might wash away the footprints that were so wrongfully added to my chalking.

And this is the moral of the story and, no, a tortoise does not slowly and steadily trot by.

I quickly place my backpack at one end of the message and my purse at the other, forcing passersby to walk around me, completely side-stepping the entire message. I watch more feet walk around me and not over me. I successfully finish my chalking! I then jog in place, pumping my fists high. What can I say? The Rocky theme is the first thing I hear in my head.

If I can teach anything with this, it is not to let someone walk over you. You must realize that the sidewalk chalk in your life is important. Someone may not notice you or appreciate your presence but set boundaries. Let others know where you have set your backpack and purse so they know to walk next to you and not over you. Then, and only then, can you stand up for what’s important to you, or jog in place. If you then so choose to pump your fists in the air, I suggest you actually press play on the Rocky theme and not just let it play in your head.

Liz Lane is a junior government and politics and journalism major and student blogger for The Diamondback.


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