On the evening of Thursday, Sept. 15, the front of Olin Lawn was spotted with Rollins Entertainment Program’s iconic tents, this time for “Tea & Tee’s.” The event offered iced tea and cookies to Rollins students, as well as the chance to get a little colorful with free shirts and tie-dyeing. Under the dark blue tents, the low thumping of music mingled with excited voices. Students and the booths’ staff mutually hunkered for protection from the rain that began at the same time. These dry islands resulted in a pleasant chatter.
While standing in line to dye, my umbrella became a social tool, introducing me to a sophomore girl whose name I never caught. From her, I heard that tie-dye events are quite popular, the lines normally flooding down the sidewalk as the rain did around our feet. If it was a deterrent for crowds, the rain was something to appreciate, despite clothes sticking to skin and phones being relocated to drier locations.
Once up to the rubber band section, shirts were twisted and tied into three-lumped creatures, ready to dye and be reborn with color. Buckets of green, blue, pink, yellow, and purple dye gaped before their bound victims. Their new owners chose their methods with care; dyeing is no small matter after all. After deciding what suited their palette, they drowned their lumpy animals until dyed, the colors bleeding into one another where they touched. Some fretted the rain would lessen the concentration of the dye, but it took care of the fabric with ease.
When students became content that the shirts were successfully finished off, the bound figures found themselves suffocated in plastic bags. Their dyers indulging in cookies and tea with laughter, lamenting over the rain.
Free stuff coupled with free food will inevitably draw students, particularly when tie-dye is involved, rain or no rain. The question of to dye or not to dye was answered with swirls of color. The shirts remained in their bags for 24 hours before being unbound and washed alone. They are let loose on the flesh once dry, blooming with color from collar to cuff as the grounds of Rollins flourish in their opulent hues; much richer because of the diversity.