I Was A Busker For A Day–Or More Like Four Hours–But It Was Busking Awesome

I Was A Busker For A Day–Or More Like Four Hours–But It Was Busking Awesome

You're days are numbered, WRDSMTH.


People are strange but curious. They do things we never thought of and we see how different yet interesting they can be. Reasons not our own cannot always explain why they do the things they do.

Personal cliffhangers, all of us, everyone so different and the same, from the first to the last. If we can look past our differences, and see what makes each of us unique, people would be more tolerable and open to who you are and others are.

Most sing a song, play an instrument, or both for anyone who can hear. Some juggle while performing improvisational rhythmic gymnastics or bang out speedy percussion on empty, upside-down baseball buckets and paint cans.

Few do something rare and niche, something that has not met eyes in a long time. Like a roller derby at a disco rink, an arcade next to a drive-in movie theater, or a game of marbles and Pogs in the park.

No, I didn't grow up in the sixties, seventies, or eighties, nor do I claim to be "born in the wrong decade." I do what any sensible person would do: I write and send messages via typewriter.

Anachronists, classicists, modernists, this is for you.

Typing next to Sion Dana, the sculptor of Steampunk Curiosities. - Joseph Aubrey Wiggins

I had an inkling of doubt growing up that I was not so much a friend to others as much as I was an acquaintance. Kids my age came to me with their questions, and I would give my answers and two cents, but sometimes it left me two cents less.

An outsider is not labeled, but unlabeled. An outsider is misunderstood but understood by himself and by others like him. An affection for mysterious and lonesome characters like Batman and the Incredible Hulk grew on me. "I Play Chicken With The Train" by Cowboy Troy is one of the first songs I unashamedly bought on my second-generation iPod nano.

Whatever everyone else liked, I liked questionably or not at all, and the status quo treated me unanimously with its indifferent, same old roll of the tide. I couldn't explain myself either, since talking meant drawing attention to myself. But not talking meant not getting the attention I deserved and that was the paradox I was comfortable and uncomfortable with.

I confided in the authors and books that I read, people and stories that defined themselves with as much inspiration as they liked. Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, and more were responsible for my introduction and future love for writing.

Metaphors became different pairs of glasses to see and explain the world I lived in and around. Or more literally, the reason I began to wear glasses; I got my glasses doing something smart... reading in the dark.

My thoughts were like slow, meticulous fish and now they had another vessel to play in rather than swim and sink inside my dense and condensed aquarium mind.

I started a blog freshman year of college, which laid dormant for years until I found a renewed love for writing with the typewriter. I always wanted to know how writers made their living with these hand-operated, office machines.

People used typewriters out of necessity back then, but who used them now and for what need?

This Dorothy, a 1955 Smith-Corona Skyriter - Brent Mitchell Wiggins

Quite a few typewriter enthusiasts have their reasons, like mechanist Joe Van Cleave from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and poets Jacqueline Suskin and Rebecca Rimmer Givens, who do the very thing I dared to do, something rare and niche.

The typewriter is a tool that runs on willpower where instantaneous and permanent work resides. The computer is a tool for instantaneous but endless and persistent revision, a glutton for any and all information, questionable, reliable, and otherwise.

The typewriter creates, the computer manipulates.

I bought my typewriter from a Michigan woman named Dorothy who recently passed and decided to get her out of the cold and under the Florida sun. A coffee shop or a bench in the park would be too distracting, but a fall festival of artists and patrons of the arts felt right.

I made my sign, my modest attempt at marketing myself, bought a chair and TV tray, and the rest depended on the curious halt of festival goers. Five minutes later, a woman named Virginia Silberstein and her father, the artist, Sion Dana welcome me to their shop, Steampunk Curiosities.

Thank you for the typewriter, Sion! It works like a charm. - Virginia Silberstein

The festival started early morning, and I didn't attend until late afternoon, but it was perfect timing. I shared the space with the French family and bought a beautiful sculpture from Dana, a typewriter, a steampunk dream.

Four hours later, and I typed eleven poems for eleven people, each with their own stories.

Busking was never something I thought of doing. The hesitating fear of wandering eyes and backhanded compliments that turn into uninformed or unfair judgments rested comfortably with its feet propped up on the back of my mind.

There was nothing that would bring me to use my typewriter out in public. Drawing attention to myself was a death wish. That and the fact that a busker always felt like a fancy word for pilferer to my unenlightened mind. I know now that couldn't be further from the truth.

Buskers make it look easy. The street corner is their neighbor and second home. They peddle their talents for as long as they can sit or stand. No matter how infrequent their side hustle is, they are back at their usual spot with newfound discipline each time.

With Dorothy and people who need the right words to say, I think I can busk just the same, or different, with the best of them.

Busking makes everything a work in progress, and the true busker's work is never done.

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ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.


Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge-drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100% real" and that incoming freshmen should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

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Writing Is More Than Just A Hobby

It's something that I want to make a part of my career.


As a second-semester freshman who spent most of their first year in college as an undecided major, I can say that I have explained what I was considering doing and then receiving feedback as to what others believed that I should be doing many times. Now, I finally have an idea of what I want to do, but it's not a plan that many people agree with.

I have finally decided that I want to double major, which seems to impress a lot of people. That is until I tell them that one of those majors would be professional writing.

I have answered the question, "So, what do you plan to do with that?" more times than I can count, and I'll admit, it is a fair question. I think that many people are under the impression that writing is just something to do on the side; it isn't viewed as something to make a career out of.

To me though, writing is so much more than just a hobby. When I write, I'm not just doing it for fun. I do it to voice my thoughts and express my emotions. While some people turn to exercise or music when they are stressed, I turn to writing. It never fails to make me feel better after a long day.

I get where people are coming from, though. I know how difficult it is to make it as a writer and how dedicated I have to be to make sure that I end up in a career that offers me financial stability. But I also know how rewarding it would be to find myself in a career that suites me perfectly rather than one that only offers me monetary gratification.

I'm hoping that my love for writing can translate into a career in law in the future, which would both suit my interests and offer me the financial support that I need. Wherever I end up though, I'm hoping that my love for writing can extend beyond just a hobby, because to me, it's so much more than that.

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