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Who says a hurricane can’t come to Kansas?
I don’t mean to make light of the damage that Hurricanes Gustav, Hannah, and Ike have done, and presumably more will do. My heart goes out to all of the people who have been forced to leave their homes or worse, have entirely lost their homes. But after wandering around on the Bethel campus for the whole day in incessant rain, I am dripping with thoughts.
As I walked to work at the unseemly 8:00 a.m. hour, I surprised myself with a smile when I spotted the pond that grows out of the middle of the green between Voth Hall and Warkentin Court during rainstorms. Over a rainy day, the pond will grow to lake size, eventually flooding the sidewalk between the mods and the rest of campus. People have put goldfish in this monster puddle (they were later rescued). It might even be paddle-boat worthy. I wonder if anyone has tried.
Today definitely qualified as a rainy day. In the morning alone, the Newton area got nearly four inches of rain, puddles compared to the seven inches East Wichita received.
By the time I roamed the campus again to put up Convo posters, the Bethel campus had turned into a river delta.
For a lot of people, these rainy days are aggravating. Last night, when the rain was just beginning, a fellow modmate lamented the first phase of a massive puddle that completely covers the sidewalk in front of the 7, 8, 9 stack. There’s simply no way to avoid it. There are similar flooded spots in front of the student center when you’re going to the caf to eat, or between Haury Hall and the mods. The wooden handrails in the older buildings on campus get disgustingly sticky from the humidity. There are leaks in the English classrooms, in faculty offices, and even into the toilet in the Collegian Lab. (There’s a toilet in the Collegian Lab?)
I loved today.
I was soaked as I put up convo posters, tip-toeing through puddles but still getting cold water up to my ankles. It made me laugh, and I heard my yelps of shock and amusement repeated by others on the sidewalk. The fountain in the center of campus filled to the brim, dripping over the sides. The divets from hail on the turrets of the Ad building showed up under the film of water.
To dry off my feet, I walked across the carpeted lower floor of the Ad Building and felt the dips in the floor where students and faculty and staff had been walking for years. It was sorta cool.
I might have been in a different mood if I had been wearing tennis shoes.
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