The Trailblazer

The Student News Publication of Vincennes University

The Trailblazer

The Trailblazer

A magnificent day

Trailblazer staff reflects on their eclipse experience
Photo by Rene LaMontagna

‘The day the sun went dark’

By Amber Taylor

It felt meant to be, that just days before (and the days following), clouds of rain would be covering our heads. Yet today, the sun shined, like it was fully aware it only had a few

moments of glory before the moon would take its stance.

Like any other day, I woke up and conquered my morning routine – brushing my teeth, picking out my outfit and jewelry, trying to find the perfect shoes.

My pace was steady.

I wore a dress, intentionally, knowing the warmth I’d be feeling today; I was prepared.

I packed my bag with the essentials: two pairs of eclipse glasses, my journal, a blanket for sitting on, and I could not forget the cameras, both professional and my iPhone.

I was prepared.

I grabbed my keys and headed out for a nourishing meal before finding my spot in the grass among my peers.

With the sun beaming right above me, I knew I had found the perfect spot.

I found myself preparing for comfort, laying all of my things out like I was having a picnic. I would be there for a while.

My phone played gospel music while I journaled about the moments to come, excited for this new experience in this new place.

“I just so happen to be in the right place at the right time,” I said to myself, fully aware that my life journey could’ve taken me anywhere, but brought me here to Vincennes,


At 2:53 p.m., the breeze started to kiss my shoulders and I saw the birds start to fly elsewhere, seeming to have forgotten their place.

I looked around, watching as students played soccer and football underneath the dimming sun. It was happening, in just 11 minutes.

At 3:03 p.m., I watched as a student waited for totality to press play on the soundtrack of this moment for all of us to hear, “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” by Bonnie Tyler.

I slowly stood up and turned my head to the sky. I was staring at the sun, but the moon kept me from being blinded.

They were one, for four minutes. I witnessed a meeting between night and day, in sync perfectly about whose time it was to shine.

Crowds of students cheered, and fireworks made their debut in the nighttime sky; the excitement was completely warranted.

I looked back as the glowing sign that displayed “Vincennes University” burned bright yellow, suddenly aware of the darkness surrounding it.

Everything and everyone was in awe.

I started to pray, to thank God for this moment I knew I likely wouldn’t get again. I closed my eyes in the dark, and upon my “Amen,” they opened to the sun shining once again.


‘Once in a lifetime’

By Emma Culver

I was sitting in my bed working on homework.

I had lost track of time so I decided to glance at my phone to see what the time was. It read 1:30 p.m. It then hit me that the once-in-a-lifetime event was about to start.

I could hear the muffled noises of people chattering and laughing outside my house. I knew the eclipse must have been starting. I jumped out of bed, changed out of my comfy clothes, grabbed my eclipse glasses, and raced out the door.

Running outside, the sound of gravel beneath my feet, I went to the parking lot next to my house. I took a second to find my placement to be able to see the sun. Then I was ready.

Everyone around me was already looking at the eclipse, so I put my glasses on and looked up. With the sun warming my face, I stared in awe. There it was – the start of a monumental event.

With my eclipse glasses safely in place, I could see a bright orange ball with a shadow covering it ever so slightly.

I raced back home to let my family know that the eclipse had started. I waited for them to come outside with me. I could hear their feet running against the wood floor eager to see it, too.

My mom and my brother met me at the front door, and we walked out together. My mom brought her green blanket so we could all sit comfortably to watch the eclipse.

We found the perfect spot in a section of grass beside our house, the din of chatting neighbors wafting over to where we sat.

The softness of the blanket brushed my legs. I put on my eclipse glasses again and looked up. The moon was now covering the sun even more. I watched with my family, taking it all in.

The weather was beautiful – not so hot you started to sweat but warm enough to where you could lay and soak up all of the sun. Birds were chirping away the whole time.

After a few more minutes, I decided to take off my glasses to look around. It had gotten a bit darker. It was also starting to cool off, with the breeze picking up as more of the sun was hidden by the moon.

Anticipation filled the atmosphere. Everyone was cheering. The street lights beamed on because of how dark it was getting.

Then it happened. The moon took over the sun, and it was the most unique experience I had ever had.

Everything got quiet. I took off my glasses, and I saw a shadow with beautiful white light peaking around the sides of the moon. It felt like a sunset. Everyone then started cheering and clapping with excitement.

It was breathtaking.

Then after those four minutes, the sun started to peek out from behind the moon, and the warmth hit my face yet again. I looked away and exclaimed, “That was so awesome!”

My family, too, said it was way cooler than anything they had imagined.

I stayed awhile longer outside watching the moon pass over the sun. I thought about how such a special moment brought so many people together and how we put our worries away for a few hours to embrace it.

It was truly amazing, and I hope everyone can experience a total solar eclipse at least once in their life.



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