An hour on the 'creeper deck': my anthropological experience


My anthropology course, "Human Cultures" has inspired me to do some field research. I wanted to see DePauw's culture at a glance.  The Hub is DePauw's watering hole. Almost every student eats there once a day or passes through to get their mail or visit the bookstore.  I decided to spend a lunch hour sitting on the "creeper deck" in the Hub.

I watched and observed those with me on the deck and those below in the main seating area. This is a journal entry from the creeper deck. 

10:55 a.m. — I enter the hub through the side door facing the GCPA and hurry up to the upper level of the dinning area to get a seat that over looks all of my peers. The place is almost empty. Five tables are being used by two or three students, all having quiet calm conversations. Most are munching on breakfast foods. 

11:04 a.m. — A few more people begin to trickle in. The food that is being eaten is no longer of the breakfast family — students seem to be transitioning into lunch. Still, most of the tables are empty. Sound must carry because I can hear every word one student in the lower area is saying, either that or he is just talking really loudly. He is talking about "the good old days," when he was a freshman. The kids he is sitting with just burst into laughter. I didn't think it was that funny. 

11:13 a.m. — One of my fellow deck inhabitants spoke to me. She asked me to watch her laptop as she went to get food. I am feeling a bond among the students on the deck, a "You have my back, I have yours." It feels good to be accepted and trusted with watching a silver MacBook Pro. 

11:21 a.m. — She is back and seems to have just noticed some strange scratches on her computer. I didn't even touch the thing! I only looked at it twice. Now I'm sure she thinks I did it. Great, I guess I screwed that one up. So much for the creeper deck bond I was forming.  

11:28 a.m. — Directly below me I can hear some very odd techno-club music. I assume some club is having a call-out and is trying to get the attention of all the students. Based on the music selection, I am going to guess a group of students are trying to break the Guinness World Record for having the most people doing the robot at once. From where I am seated there is no way I will be able to see what the club really is, so it seems the creeper deck has a blind spot. 

11:39 a.m. — I am almost positive the entire student body is here now. The lines are backed up and almost every table is occupied. Nothing remarkable is happening, people are just sitting and eating. Everyone is talking with their friends, because so many people are here and all talking at once, voices are no longer carrying and I can't eavesdrop on anyone.  

11:42 a.m. — A group of new fraternity members have sectioned off a table so they can have a space to cluster by themselves and are now playing music. I know they are all from the same house because they are all wearing their letters, except for one of them. Yeah, I can see you in your blue polo, you stick out like a sore thumb. I am not complaining about their addition to the room, though; I happen to love "Little Lion Man." I can't help but notice that the tables closest to them have cleared out and have yet to refill. There is a good two-table distance between them and the other students.  

12:36 p.m. — Students are starting to file out. Leaving the room almost as empty as it was before.  

— Cangany is a freshman from Indianapolis, Ind., majoring in English writing.