Dear Diary (or should I say, "Fly-ary"?),
It's me again, Franklin the Fly, Penn's resident fly on the wall. As the wise Miley Cyrus once asked, "Don't you wish that you could be a fly on the wall? A creepy little, sneaky little fly on the wall?" I resent that Miley called me "creepy," considering I've had several Miley Cyrus–induced nightmares... But I digress. She was simply just voicing the obvious: many wish to possess my ability to witness anything and everything on Penn's campus. It's easier not to take all the name–calling and fly–swatting so personally when I remember it's mostly motivated by jealousy: anyone would kill to know the ins and outs of Penn life like I do. In an attempt to ease the envy of those who echo Miley's sentiments (and honestly, I'd like to prevent another magazine swinging catastrophe—uncool guys), I'd love to share with you how I spent last Saturday.
3700 Spruce Street
I begin my morning in search for breakfast and find myself circling the Quad. As I enter McClelland, I overhear a conversation between two freshman girls who are recapping last night.
"Last night was like, the sickest thing ever," Becca begins. "Penn is way fun."
"Totally, Becca!" Her roommate screeches in a tone that is far too enthusiastic for 8 a.m.
The McClelland employee serving potatoes exchanges a knowing glance with me as I sit in the serving tray, perched upon a bit of fried pepper. She doesn't shoo me away, but she does serve that pepper to Becca... I have found myself an unexpected ally.
Becca continues, "Dressing up in lingerie for parties is exactly what I expected from college."
"Oh, I loved the lingerie. And the lap dances from sophomore girls! Such a personal touch."
I land on her plate and proceed to lay about 10,000 eggs on her omelet.
The dorms are equally disappointing. It doesn't take long to remember that freshmen don't have kitchens—all I find is half–full Gatorade bottles, empty shot glasses and stale kernels of Skinny Pop. The stench emanating from the many gender–neutral bathrooms reminds me that most freshmen still have the liver strength of high school students (shoutout Becca), so I deem the Quad useless and fly out the door.
Metropolital Bakery & Cafe
4013 Walnut Street
Hoping for a bit more luck at Metro, I fly over to Walnut. I'm struck by quite a motley crew. Not sure whether to focus on the varying lengths of Lulu leggings, the stoned hipster serving coffee behind the counter or the bitter graying woman scolding everyone in line for forgetting the $10 credit card minimum. I finally settle on a wall near the corner and eavesdrop on two professors having coffee.
"I hate to say it, but I love the bagels here," one professor confesses.
"Can't stand them," says the fellow professor, as a grave look washes over his face. "Schmear it or die."
Feeling satisfied with the nibble of the professor's (truly mediocre) bagel, I decide to move on with the day.
Van Pelt Library
3420 Walnut Street
I go to Van Pelt seeking peace after my hectic morning. Upon buzzing in, I immediately remember that Van Pelt on a Saturday afternoon is equivalent to the scene and regret my inability to SABS. I choose a wall near the back corner and focus on a trio walking from occupied study room to occupied study room, mumbling about a full GSR schedule. Two freshmen sharing a table in the back corner suddenly capture my attention.
"Josh, have you gotten back your Econ grade yet?" The freshman looks questioningly at Josh with bloodshot eyes, as he pops his sixth Adderall and swallows without water.
"Nah, man, not yet. But my TA is pretty hot and I saw her out once. So I'm not too worried. I think she might be into me." She's not.
39th and Walnut
My day ends with dinner on the lovely strip of Walnut between 39th and 40th streets. I watch students buy $16 salads from Sweetgreen. They eat, blissfully unaware that most of my friends live hidden in the wild rice kettle.
So, Fly–ary, this is where my Saturday ends. A pretty routine day in the life, but I'll be sure to let you know if something explosive occurs—like Miley Cyrus making a public apology to my fly friends and me at Smokes'.
Franklin the Fly, Penn Fly on the Wall