Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Tourists

Ah, summer. I remember the days when this meant daily rendezvous(s) to the pool, Otter Pops, sunburns, baseball games, and "Even Stevens" marathons. For those of us living in Provo, however, such summers are merely distant memories that feel almost mythical: we pasty-skinned twentysomethings are all in class/working full time/job-hunting full time, and "Even Stevens" was canceled years ago.

There are still people on BYU campus who are enjoying the sunshine, and these people are the Tourists. This is a pretty broad category, for it includes not only EFY kids but also the freshly-graduated 18-year-olds and their families. The future Zoobies are easily spotted by their flop sweat and terrified eye twitch(es)...or maybe that was just 18-year-old Jordyn.

One will also have no trouble identifying the families of these freshmen ready to soar their wings and mingle with the EQG and the King of Helaman Halls. If this is their eldest child, the parents will be the ones asking a kazillion questions and shouting about how the campus has changed so much/little since they were here. In true LDS form, the entire flock of fourteen kids will be in tow for the entire Wilkinson Center tour, starting with the Bookstore, where they will demolish the CTR ring section before heading straight to the CougarEat, where they will push eight tables together to enjoy their Teriyaki Stix. The final stop of the tour is the bowling alley, which the parents save for last because it's what will most effectively convince the thirteen other kids that they also want to come to BYU. I know it's why BYU is the only school I applied to!

The Tourists leave a trail of disgruntled students behind them--pale, tired students hunched behind their laptops and books, hating that some people actually get a summer vacation. Follow this path of sad undergrads, find the family, and if you volunteer to help herd the children, maybe they'll buy you some Graham Canyon.