Fall’s beauty and its beast

Kat Dunne

If you ask the average Northwestern student for an opinion about the changing fall colors around campus and around Evanston, you’ll likely get a comment similar to Andrew Epstein’s.

“They’re sweet,” said Epstein, a Weinberg sophomore.

Some students said they don’t enjoy trekking through an obtrusive pile of dead, rotting leaves, but for other students, the changing colors make them contemplate the wonders of the season.

“When the leaves turn colors, everything looks so cheerful,” Weinberg sophomore Jia Ning Cao said. “I collect a whole bunch of leaves in my textbooks. I press them.”

Students interact with the season in other creative ways.

Medill freshman Victoria Larson said she has witnessed some of the antics brought on by the changing leaves.

“My friend jumps in the leaves every time she comes across a pile,” Larson said, “even when she’s alone.”

Some students are disappointed that the cycle of changing leaves occurs so quickly.

“They’re beautiful,” said Michelle Woods, a Weinberg freshman. “The campus looks great in the fall. I wish (the leaves) weren’t falling off so fast.”

But university maintenance workers disagree with Woods and wish the leaves and the waste they produce would just disappear.

“(The leaves) are not very easy to manage,” said Irene McGary, an NU maintenance employee. “It’s a lot of work, especially when they are wet.”

This time of year, McGary said she typically works eight hours a day just to keep lawns and walkways clear of leaves.

“Except for Monday, ” she added. “(That’s) when we pick up flyers all day.”

Weinberg freshman Nick Liadis has noticed the NU maintenance staff’s efforts to keep the sidewalks clear.

Liadis said the leaves don’t really bother him “because at NU the leaf blowers have been very good at keeping them up.”

Other students appreciate the work maintenance does for the campus, but still experience frustration.

“When I cut across the basketball court, sometimes it’s kind of annoying because you have to walk around (the leaves),” Weinberg sophomore Amy Gao said. “There are a lot of dead birds … I’ll stop because I’ll see a leaf and think it’s a dead bird.”

Weinberg freshman Narin Pruttivarasin, who grew up in Bangkok, Thailand, said this is her first autumn witnessing the changing leaves.

“I like them better here because they’re all colorful,” Pruttivarasin said. “They’re not like that in Thailand … (where) there are evergreens so they’re always green all year long and they never fall.”

Other students from the United States who have never seen leaves change color express similar attitudes.

“I’m from Texas, and we really don’t have seasons in Texas so the changing colors are nice,” said Josh Schecter, a Communication freshman. “It is special.”

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