In the following post, I have taken my fieldnote jottings and have created two scenes from the bookstore.
Once I got up from the seat, I decided to work from left to right. I headed over to an area marked “Dorm Supplies.” “Dorm Supplies” was situated on the left hand side, and the rest of the shelves spilled out to the right. At the “Dorm Supplies” shelf, there were several bedding needs, such as cheap comforters ($69.00). I noticed that there were zebra-print throws on the shelf, indicating the young, college-level age group for which the bookstore is designed and was in the middle of writing down that “throws” were an item on the shelf when a black male with a red backwards hat approached me. He asked me, “Do you have any iPhone 4 chargers here?” Having never seen this person before, I thought it was inappropriate for him to ask to borrow my phone charger. Then, I realized that he was under the impression that I worked at the bookstore and that he must have mistaken my fieldnote jottings for store inventory. I smiled and shook off the surprise by saying, “I don’t work here.” He took a step back, smiled, and put his hand up to his mouth saying, “Oh you don’t? Sorry.” I smiled and replied, So I don’t know if they have them here. He smiled and walked away, and I turned back to the shelf, feeling relieved that I would be able to create this funny moment into a scene. The same male passed by a few seconds later to head into the restroom. It was then that I noticed that he had red socks with yellow designs that came up past his shins that complimented his bright red shoes. He was also wearing a red backwards baseball hat, and I wondered if there was a reason he was decked out in red. I saw him a few minutes later when I was in a new section of electronics, and he was talking with a Hispanic male and laughing. He was giving off the same easy-going, happy-go-lucky personality he had exhibited with me moments earlier.
As I was walking back through a row filled with folders, three students came up the steps and went over to the art
section in the back of the store. Two were male, white and Hispanic, and one was a white female with medium-length sleek brownish-red hair up in a ponytail. She was attractive and was smiling and saying, You guys need to not be with me right now, though her smile let on she was not being serious. One of the males had a haircut that made him look like he had stepped out of Whoville: the bottom portion of his brown hair was cut very short, not as short as a buzz-cut but not much longer. The top part resembled that of a blow-out but was not as intense. His hair was heavily gelled and the top of it hung over his forehead. The other male had a greenish-gray loose beanie hat over his dark hair. They stayed in the area for a minute, the girl looking at the supplies and the boys grinning, until they headed back down the stairs.
Once they had left, I walked over to the art supplies but was distracted by the science section next to it. It contained lab aprons, safety goggles ($12.98, I had expected them to be more expensive), and then I noticed the lab notebooks. They were spiral bound and intimidating. When I opened the cover, a Periodic Table of Elements was staring back at me, the different blocks in different colors like a labyrinth to my Language Arts-accustomed eyes. I turned the plastic, shiny Periodic Table of Elements page and was met with pages of carbon-copy texture, although it indicated it was “carbonless duplicate sets.” Each page contained, in serious red, type-written font, a box for recording each of the following: “Experiment #, Experiment/Subject Date, Name, Lab Partner, Locker/Desk, and Course/Section #.” The paper underneath was a copy of the first.
As I rested the lab notebook down as though it were a grenade pin, I realized that to science majors, these notebooks
are the norm. For them, this is one of the items they pick up when school starts again in late August. For me, picking up a thick Shakespeare anthology or several novels are my norm. I realized how “bubbled” my schooling experience has been. Without a real sense of what else is out there, I was overwhelmed with the supplies in this science section. It indicated how much about other majors I was ignorant of, and, to be honest, quite pleased that I did not have to buy any of those products. I walked slowly away.