Frivolous fun at the Tuthill Courtyard
In a rather mean-spirited effort to promote outdoor playtime, the TV cable network Nickelodeon would shut off their program for three hours, referred to as the “Nickelodeon Worldwide Day of Play.” The insistence coincided with the inconvenience of obsolete cable TV compelled children across the globe to simply switch the channel to Cartoon Network or Disney Channel. It was quite a peculiar demand by a TV network, and it’s one I would always strongly disregard.
However, now that I am a socially deprived college student with post-pandemic agoraphobia, I felt the urgency to go out and play. Thankfully, Leeward’s Student Activities Board (SAB) orchestrated an “I Need Another Break” picnic this past Thursday that I felt it personally mandatory to attend. This event commemorates my younger self had I actually gone outside to play like how Nickelodeon had instructed me to.
It was a cloudy afternoon on the day of the picnic. Upon my arrival, I was met with the sound of music reverberating from the courtyard, which filled me with pleasant anticipation. I was greeted by an array of booths that I’d found advantageous in my pursuits to avoid academic productivity. There were a variety of games, activities, and fun surprises enough to occupy my afternoon.
Reluctant but utterly starved, I dropped my guard and headed to the booth handing out bentos, which cost nothing but answering a short survey. No picnic day is fulfilled without a bento. There were vegetarian and meat options, which were served on a first come first serve basis. My bento featured a delectable cluster of carbs and protein that were enough to have me energized to go out and indulge myself in the courtyard.
I perused other booths for a bit until I came across the henna tattoo artist. The designs and the precision of the tattoos were beautifully crafted. It was my favorite booth since it fosters social interaction while simultaneously celebrating art, which is really what makes a campus event fun. However, I did not get one.
Among the activities I tried, I played “bin pong”, a game whose name affirms that this was a student-orchestrated event. The game is played against one other person and the object is to be the first to successfully shoot five balls in the bins, and the winner was given a ticket to enter the raffle. As I stepped up to play, I noticed my only true opponents were my limp wrists and foam balls vulnerable to wind resistance. Predictably defeated, I walked off without the chance to win an air fryer, but with the optimism that I would still have a fun time.
After a day of eating and exploring the different booths, I had a very pleasant experience at the picnic event. It was a much-needed decompression session after a stressful first half of a semester. Filled with fleetingly joyful moments of connection, the “I Need Another Break” picnic brought together students and staff in a way that colleges should.