four – braids and burns

This is a story about my hair. I did not set out to write about my hair, but given the events of the last twenty-four hours, it would appear that my hair set out to make me write about it.

It all started with yesterday’s hairstyle. I am a tremendous fan of braids. Seriously. About a year and a half ago, I taught myself to French braid because I was bored with my history reading and feeling a bit antsy. It took a remarkably short amount of time (read: something like ten minutes), and after that I was hooked on everything from fish-tails (get it? hooked?) and waterfalls to pigtails and twists.

ImageIn any case, yesterday I braided the side of my hair around my head and into an updo. It’s one of the easiest, classiest looks I know, and I wanted to look at least somewhat put together for my first appearance on Carolina’s campus (for my own sake, since I know… no one here. … Yet!). I was quite proud of this look yesterday — I mean, come on. Look at that braid! Definitely one of my better attempts.

Of course, wandering around campus for hours on end means only one thing when you’ve got skin as pale as mine: sunburn.

Especially since my hair was parted along the top for this braided updo. (No, I did not take a picture of my bright red scalp. Weird enough that I have a picture of my hair on this blog anyway.)

In case anybody out there has never experienced sunburn of the scalp, though, let me put forth that it is one of the more painful kinds. I was not pleased. Arms? I can deal with. Neck? Sore, but I’ll live. Shins and calves? Okay, fine. Aloe me up. Back of my knees, all across my back, or on top of my head? Somebody help me escape this painful sensation. Please.

Enter a distant memory from camp. I was discussing sunburn with my dear friend Mary Ellen, who is equally as pale as I. “Oh, Connor!” She exclaimed, “you know you can just wash your sunburn with vinegar, right? As long as you haven’t showered yet, that is. The vinegar takes all the red and stinging right out.”

ImageAnd that is how I came to have vinegar dripping down my face and through my hair at about 10PM last night, much to my own amusement. I woke up this morning to find that, while my pajamas smell somewhat of acetic acid, my scalp is back to its usual pallor… I just didn’t know to what extent. That wasn’t discovered until this morning at about 10:30 as I was writing a letter to my dear friend Taylor.

ImageYes. At the ripe old age of not-quite-twenty-one, I have officially joined the ranks of those possessing grey hair. I’m looking on this as my battle scar from this past year, my victory badge for surviving this semester. Apparently, it was more stressful than I had previously realized.

To prevent the world at large from thinking I have a single-track mind that is attuned to my hair, here’s an inside look at today’s adventures in paradise (aka Carolina’s campus). I arrived a bit fed up with things, having just finished reading Sanditon and desperately wanting to time travel in order to make Jane Austen finish writing it, but there you have it: if wishes were horses, then beggars could ride.

ImageI spent much of my afternoon in the shade next to this table. I saw it briefly yesterday, but I wanted a closer look. I certainly had my fair share of looking at it; to be honest, it kind of creeps me out. It’s dedicated to those who helped the University become what it is, really, but it still vaguely intimidates me into silence. The whole table/stones set up reminds me of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe‘s tea party scene, while the table itself seems to have jumped out of Middle Earth or something.

From letter-writing, I moved on to exploring Franklin Street! What a fabulous place. Yesterday, it gave me a Captain Kirk cupcake. Today, it gave me guacamole. Yum. Tomorrow, it promises to give me fro yo in the company of my friend Diana! Most exciting.

ImageJust look at how much Austen there is! Alas, no Sanditon, nor even the “completed” version written by Austen “and another lady.”

ImageObligatory Old Well picture. It is quite lovely, really; I’m looking forward to the next few months.

That’s all for now, folks; a low-key day that ended with Nutella and a smoothie (yum). Time to organize for tomorrow. According to the e-mails I’ve been getting, one of the chem lab requirements is an ethernet cable… I’m wondering if this is to connect to (heaven forbid) LoggerPro, but those always come with their own cords. Perhaps UNC simply does not have campus-wide wi-fi? I shall have to investigate and report back. In the meantime, however, I do believe some sleep is in order. Tomorrow marks a new beginning! 

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