Lake Worth, FL
Environmental Studies


making stuff exploring the James being messy stompin' to live music vegan food

About Me

Carpe Diem

September 7, 2014

How would I describe my first two weeks as a Spider?

The places I’ve been in the past couple of weeks can be described as a fantastic scavenger hunt in which I have attempted to orient myself: geographically, and socially, and emotionally. In a series of short vignettes, I’ll condense my experiences into a “day in the life”, so as to give structure to the utter chaos of my over-caffeinated thoughts.

7:30 A.M.

The pale rays of sunlight streaming into my dorm room usually wake me before my alarm does. Every morning I can expect the daily “SpiderBytes” to help pack my schedule to the bursting point. I’m in college, and I’ve got to make the most of it.

Carpe Diem.

12:30 P.M.

In the madness of dining hall, it is a peculiar kind of hunt to find good food and good company. There is an endless sea of faces, mostly unfamiliar, some crunching away on apples. I park my tray across from a new tribe, and introduce myself in a way I’ve done for the 78th time this semester. Each meal is a chance to learn about somebody else’s background, what dessert they are enjoying, and how nutty they are finding their professors to be.

3:00 P.M.

After my afternoon classes, I’ll sometimes mosey into the Laura Robins Gallery to make new discoveries in the Virginia ROCKS exhibition. I once found myself in a room in the back of the exhibit with a large red button that I immediately pushed: Instantly the room went dark and the once average looking boulders began to glow with a fluorescence I’d only ever experienced from glow stix and fireflies.

5:00 P.M.

Little fishes swim around my submerged toes, while I lounge on a perfectly flat rock amongst the marshy ecosystem at the Pony Pasture. This beautiful spot on the James River would feel wild and remote, if it weren’t for the families with enormous inflatable inner tubes skipping from rock to rock. Walking a little ways away from the shore, I hear the perfect silence of wind rustling the tree canopy with its’ paw-paw fruit swaying.

6:30 P.M.

Welcome to Richmond. That is the phrase that hits me over the head getting off the UR Downtown shuttle for RVA First Fridays, a monthly artwalk on Broad Street. As the sun sunk behind the skyline, musicians and art enthusiasts flooded the streets. Wandering in and out of galleries, coffee shops, and pop-up boutiques, I remembered what life is like outside the dorm-room.

9:00 PM

For my sound and video class, I was challenged to listen intently to the everyday noise that is frequently ignored or phased out, and to create an interesting composition of "noise" through field recordings. With a trusty sound recorder, I was set loose on campus to literally tune into my environment. Sitting beneath a pine tree outside of Moore one night, cars, footsteps, muffled conversation, and chirping cicadas became a record of my experience of UR.

12:45 A.M.

Any night during the week is when I might be reclined in a cushy armchair by the window on the 2nd floor of Boatwright library. It is here where I can study contemporary art and psychology for hours on end, interrupted only by an occasional lightning storm and rain splattering on the windowpanes. Between sips of coffee, I can take a break from my studying to watch the light show and think about all that can be realized from a day that I pursue with intent.

1:30 A.M.

Lying again in my room, listening to cicadas, I think there is nothing routine about the first weeks of college.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So I fall asleep.


My name is Isabella, casually known as Izzy. I'm a kid from the swamp (South Florida) who came to Richmond to explore- my surroundings, my academic and artistic interests, and my personal self. When I stumbled upon UR, I was a high-school senior at Dreyfoos School of the Arts who was swimming (or perhaps drowning) in a sea of college applications and presentation, unaware of where I would be in less than a year. It's exciting to be a newly born spider, one who is released upon this beautiful campus, with no other goal than to get as much out of my educational experiences as possible. As a Spider diarest, I will try to recount my adventures in their fullness as I foray across The Commons, The James River, and the downtown art scene with only a bike and a backpack. Hold on to your handlebars folks, I'm intent on chasing the opportunities and the oddities just beyond the pointed arches....