DALLAS, Texas- Since the advent of DART Rail service to Farmers Branch six years ago, Skip Day has become an inter-urban adventure by rail. This year seven teams of students, decked out in coordinated T-shirts, took off on a trail of clues through downtown Dallas and Irving.
First stop—American Airlines Center: everyone raced away from the station, ran entirely around the huge building, and finally found the clue-man Dr. Hahlen patiently waiting at the station where he’d been all the time. Next clue pointed to House of Blues—race back up the hill to find Coach Maurice, who elicited an air-guitar performance from each team. Next stop, Dealey Plaza, where a team member had to roll down the grassy knoll for Mrs. Arrington. Then off to Belo Garden on Main Street, where somebody had to act like a dog and bark.
Catch the train at Akard to Deep Ellum—to find the “oddest item in the oddest store”: one mathematically minded team chose 7-11 and found a package of 3 things. Then race to Klyde Warren Park: light-blue team chose to skip the train and hoof it—and beat the train in a 20-minute jog.
Picnic in the park (thank you, Patrick and crew)—Mr. Arrington handed out extra cookies to strangers, and—highlight of the day for many—the light-blue team threw P. J. Serletic into the fountain-wading pool.
Group photo, and then off again, next clue at the DMA, sending everyone dashing to Plaza of the Americas, where every team had to perform a chant in the towering lobby; then across to Cancer Survivors’ Plaza and name two famous cancer survivors; retrace steps to the Virgin of Guadalupe to recite the Lord’s Prayer out loud (not exactly the most devoted recitation the Lord has heard in a while); back to Pearl station for Orange Line to University of Dallas station, to google answers to sports questions (“what two sports conferences are based in Irving?”).
Orange Line back to Green Line and last stop—Farmers Branch station and a footrace the ¾ mile back to campus, the dark-blue team winning. And a picnic of Worley-Q to finish off the day (thank you, Mr. Worley and crew).
Highlights? “running and being silly”—“team-building”—“seeing PJ get thrown in the fountain”—“getting to know our teammates”—“racing”—“getting to talk to strangers on the train”—“making Eric Hinton wait till his whole team got there” (Coach Maurice)—“sitting at the DART station watching everyone racing away from me” (Dr. Hahlen)—“PJ getting thrown in the fountain”—“Dr. Snyder leaping a wall at American Airlines Center” (it was a tiny garden wall, 2’ at most)—“being able to run around downtown with faculty and group”—“nobody got any tickets from for disorderly conduct”—“hanging out with Professors Hardy and Hahlen in Deep Ellum”—“watching PJ get thrown in the fountain”—
Though not every student gets to participate—Skip Day hits when papers are falling due, and many students can’t miss work, of course—this year’s Skip Day gave over fifty students and faculty a day of exercise and urban hilarity. And all were grateful for the gorgeous weather
(between days of heavy storms). Student Council, led by Abby Lopez and Joey Martinez, with outside help from Hannah Haskell, did a great job.
Dr. Cara Snyder is professor of English and literature at Dallas Christian College and managing editor and senior writer at the Cornerstone