At BYU-Idaho, all communication students are required to take a Writing For Communication course, also known as COMM 111.
Stephen Henderson, a faculty member who teaches the course, uses an assignment called Fly on the Wall, where students people-watch in a public place and write what they see.
This article is part of a series that showcases students’ Fly on the Wall pieces. All stories are edited by Scroll for grammar and clarity.
Submitted by: Thomas Elder
“I think I am going to get the chocolate milk, what are you going to get Trevor?”
A girl looks up at her date, Trevor.
“I don’t know, probably orange juice,” he says.
Trevor pauses for a moment.
“I have never actually had Chocolate milk.”
“Woah, wait. Trevor, you’ve never had chocolate milk?” says the girl, mouth agape as she stares at her date, a man no older than 23.
Trevor looks back at the girl seriously.
Taken aback by his reply she asks, “But you like chocolate, right?”
Trevor hesitates, then replies, “Yeah.”
Following her line of questions, she asks, “And you are not lactose intolerant?”
Trevor, breakes into a wide smile and laughs, “Yeah, I can drink milk.”
Throwing her hands up in the air, she asks, “Didn’t you ever have any back in elementary or middle school?”
Laughing, he puts his hands up in mock defense.
“I saw it there, but like I said, I never really thought it would be good.”
The girl sits back in her chair, amazed at his admission.
“Fine then, I’m buying you chocolate milk,” she says.
Without another word, she leaves the table and orders two glasses of chocolate milk. Beaming with self-satisfaction, she sits one in front of Trevor with anticipation.
“Well, go on,” she says.
Trevor, glancing down and then back at her, grabs the glass and drinks.
“Yeah, no, that’s pretty good.”
Submitted by: Alex Bradberry
The fast food restaurant down the hill was fairly empty.
Only a few group of friends, and what seems to be a couple, eat their assortment of Mexican food. The couple eats a simple meal of three soft tacos. The two eat in silence, making eye contact, then quickly averting their eyes. The man smiles widely whenever he looks away. When the young woman smiles, it is smaller.
They both finished their tacos and sit in silence for a few more seconds before the man starts a conversation. The woman is nodding along, occasionally saying something in return.
The young man grabs both her hands in his and says something with a big, kind smile. The woman looks uncomfortable, tenses slightly, not making eye contact. He squeezes her hands, and she gives him another small smile.
She looks around and pulls her hands away. The two talk a bit more before getting up and throwing away their trash. The woman reaches for the door, but the man bats her hand away and opens it for her. She nods and gives him a “thank you” before walking outside. They walk down the sidewalk, still in view of the windows in the fast food restaurant. He pulls her aside and places his arms around her waist. She freezes and tenses, but smiles anyway.
He pulls her in and kisses her. Her eyes are wide, her eyebrows furrow and she doesn’t seem to be kissing him back. She is shaking. She looks scared when he pulls back. His smile slowly fades when he sees her face.
He seems to ask her a question, maybe a “What’s wrong?” It’s too far to even entertain the idea of hearing them.
She answers him and he lets go of her, quickly backing up. He places his face in his hands. The young woman is crying now. She hugs him, and he hugs her back. She seems to be comforting him, rubbing circles on his back, before pulling away again. He doesn’t make a move as they stand together for a moment. The woman says something once more and they walk away together, a larger distance between them.
Submitted by: Nathan Williams
It’s a warm afternoon in Utah when two young men plan a group date. The date is simple: Top Golf.
They pick up their dates and head inside, eager to have some fun. They’re already laughing as they approach their section.
One of the men, about 5’7″ with messy brown hair, steps up to take the first swing. As he feels the club in his hands, trying to find the best angle, he sees the golf ball roll out. Watching his target, he rotates his arms backward, his eyes locked on the ball. Right when the ball is in perfect position, he swings.
The ball doesn’t move.
The girl he brought can’t help but laugh a little. Feeling embarrassed, the man quickly picks up the ball and puts it on the T. This time he aligns his club, making sure he knows where it’s going, and shakes himself off a little. He swings down with all his might and finally feels his club connect. Smacking his club into the ground, it barely connects with the top of his ball, and it slowly makes its way down the field.
“Welp, who’s next?” he says.
His date, who has been watching, steps up and takes position. She taps the sensor, which releases her ball and sets it on the T. Grabbing the same driver as the young man, she sets her arms into position. With one swift motion, she sends her ball flying deep into the field. Watching her ball fly for a moment, she turns around and sits down next to her date smiling.
They both laugh.