I suppose I should explain why I call these the “slenderman trees.” My first year, I lived in Bornhuetter and I liked to do my homework in the little glass room right up the hill. Swipe in there and look. From inside the hill and the trees the man made structures are partially obscured. At night the only light comes from inside the glass room, so looking outside this effect is enhanced and it to me it looks like a horror movie with just the trunks illuminated in the blackness of the night. The slight, rather barren look of these trees for some reason always reminds me of the creepypasta character and the subsequent video games where you wander about a dark forest searching for notes and trying to survive the ever more aggressive creature. So I nicknamed them the slender man trees.
I just really like this spot. It’s a quiet part of campus. No one really sat here but me, and since there aren’t many lights on at the softball field up the hill, it’s also a very dark spot. I think the horror movie aspect of this place adds to the charm of it. Like I said earlier, we like a little bit of insecurity where we go, to pull us out of ourselves. My first year I liked to walk around out here, while I was on the phone calling my mom and dad, and sit out on the softball bleachers to look at the stars (because it’s dark enough to see some of them there).
Sometimes I would just go out here alone to walk, and sit in the silence to just be.
Wooster as a campus has very few non academic spaces. Go into any building and you’re bound to find someone hunched over some homework assignment. And I don’t think that is something wrong with the students, as Thoreau sometimes seems to suggests, but something wrong with the way campus is set up. There are very few places I can think of that are exclusively dedicated to rest. We are encouraged by the architecture to sit down and work as much as possible, and to stare outside the windows at illusion of nature the campus has curated from the safety of the inside. We are encouraged by the lights to linger in the library well after the sun sets and to move quickly across the paved paths to our beds, never to linger and stare up at the stars. So this place, these “slenderman trees,” were one of the few places I could go to escape that mentality. To go out and be like Thoreau in the chapter “Ponds:”
“I was rich, if not in money, in sunny hours and summer days, and spent them lavishly; nor do I regret that I did not waste more of them in the workshop or the teacher’s desk.”