I chose this past Saturday to practice my self-observation. On Saturday, half my day consisted of going hiking with my Loyola 101 class in the morning and then going to a fall festival where we were treated to lunch and dessert and by the time we got home it was about 2:30pm. One thing I noticed about me when I first wake up is that I don’t like talking to anyone before I brush my teeth so I usually try my best to dodge my roommates until I’ve gone through my morning routine. After getting ready I head out to the bottom of the steps at Hopkins, I live in Campion, where I met two of my friends in my Loyola 101 group and then we proceeded to walk down to the FAC where our class was supposed to meet. The day started out very slow since no one, including me, was in the mood to go hiking so early in the morning. However, the rest of our trip was actually a fantastic excursion.
The hiking was a great time for our group to bond since we were forced to strike up conversations with various people in our group who we do not know very well as we walked. I got to learn more about my peers than I would have ever had without the hike even though, naturally, I like listening to other people and the stories they have to tell in general. Our group really bonded throughout that day even when we were able to go and do our own things at the fall festival we all managed to stick together as one solid group. The bonding didn't stop on our way to and from the hiking place, the fall festival, and home thanks to one of our awesome teachers who is actually a senior at Loyola now. She was awesome enough to treat our whole van of 6 students to Dunkin’ Donuts which made us have our own little inside joke about the reasoning’s behind why we were so late to the hiking area and from there our relationships just flourished whenever we got in that van.
The second half of my day was spent going to the Towson Mall with a handful of my friends because I was on a mission to buy my new phone, the iPhone 5S which came in the mail today and am now using, and also to get my computer fixed at the apple store. I could feel myself getting more and more anxious for the day as I took a shower to clean off all the grime from the morning and get ready to go to the mall. After getting ready I made a stop at the room across the hall from mine where some of my roommates were and surprised them with a box of apple cider donuts that one of my teachers was sweet enough to get from the fair for me since I had never had one before. From there I headed to the Collegetown Shuttle stop where I met up with my friends; we then caught up on each of our lives since I hadn't seen them in a while since they all live in Flannery.
My first stop in the mall was a failed attempted to buy my iPhone since I was not authorized to make changes in our T-Mobile account. After this I went around the mall with one of my friends where I learned about his extreme obsession with JCrew; it was one of those things where you had to actually see it in action to believe that it’s true because he looked like he literally wanted to buy the whole store. After shopping around at various stores we went to the Apple Store where we were so happy that I made a reservation for the “Genius Bar” because the place was packed. I somehow managed to short circuit my computer and the guy who was helping me had to actually open it up and manually reboot it to get it to work again. After that and getting everything cleared up with T-Mobile, all my friends and I headed back to the store where they took an extremely long time ordering my phone; my friends ended up leaving the two of us there since they didn't want to miss the shuttle. We ended up missing the shuttle which turned out to be okay since we got dinner at the food court and were able to talk about each other and get to know more about each other which we wouldn't have been able to do without that alone time together.
I guess I may be cheating just a little but with the hour I was not allowed to communicate with anyone using technology since, the whole time we were on our hike, we were only allowed to use our phones as cameras. Regardless, and even though I already mentioned it, I really enjoyed and appreciated getting to know everyone in my Loyola 101 group. Overall I really ended up relishing my day of self-observation. I found myself really noticing and retaining more of the events that happened in my day that I wouldn't have otherwise. Besides telling my friends where I was, where I was going to meet them, etc. throughout the day I really tried not to use my phone or any other form of communication besides actually just talking to people face to face. I observed more of everything from random acts of kindness to bizarre fashion trends going on with our youths today. Something I noted in communicating through technology was how quickly our emotions can get heightened for no good reason besides the fact that we aren't able to see the person on the other side of the screen. For example, I was getting so frustrated with my mother when she had to authorize me for my phone since I had to wait for her to answer my texts and then actually do it and then me having to go back to the store where I wouldn't have if I was actually with her. This task gave me the opportunity to really be in the now and appreciate what goes in the world around me on a daily basis.