What is under the leaf piles on Main Mall?

I considered that perhaps beneath the leaves lay the perfect study pot. File Cherihan Hassun

Throughout this season, just like tears and my grades, the tree leaves on campus slowly drifted to the ground. Falling in a delicate, even distribution along Main Mall while occasionally hitting me in the face, the leaves coloured what was an otherwise grey fall with bursts of orange, brown and yellow.

Soon, for no apparent reason beyond maintaining the pristine condition of our campus, UBC began to rake up the discarded foliage into mass piles. As heavy machinery descended upon campus, gathering every leaf insight and leaving no twig untouched, the delicate campus-wide quilt of leaves transformed into large mountains the height of tall children.

Week after week, I pass pile after pile as I travel between classes, intrigued by their mystery. Gone are the days of running through leaf-piles as a carefree child. All I am left to do is consider in somber post-secondary thought: whatever is under these large piles of leaves?

This first thing that came to mind was bodies… of work. As busy UBC students confront midterm results and burnout, perhaps these mountains have climbed so high as discarded midterms, art projects, annotated readings and readings that were never read are tucked beneath the leaves.

One evening, as I made the journey home from the library, I considered that perhaps beneath the leaves lay the perfect study pot. Quiet, airy and damp, it is difficult to distinguish a pile of leaves from a corner of IKB.

When my desire to escape reality was especially fervent, I considered the possibility that they concealed a complex tunnel system that allows Santa Ono to make it to his many engagements with incredible speed and agility.

I then considered that perhaps the piles have been concealing the many stolen bikes on campus. Of course they’d be advantageous to the bike-theft regime! What better place to conduct your thievery than in plain sight?

In my exhausted caffeinated, post-midterm, midst-of-papers-and-final-projects, pre-finals November state, I decided to find out the answer. Backpack clad, I confidently strode through a pile, hoping most for a hidden portal, but all I found was… more leaves.