The Washington Times - September 4, 2008, 10:20AM

What are the signs school is back in session in College Park? Let’s count the ways.

* The student union is packed rather than sparse, especially around lunch. This makes the union a far less conducive place to get work done; on the flip side, there’s just a lot of background noise rather than, say, one person loudly yapping on their cell phone or someone crooning along with the tune on their iPod. Please remember: The reason they sing it is so that you don’t have to.

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* Lots and lots of dumb pedestrians. Yes, there’s this whole pedestrian right-of-way thing that can be annoying, especially the leisurely approach of some folks while strolling through a crosswalk. But the first rule of crossing any street should be look both ways, right? It’s never seemed to be the case in College Park, where there is a great deal of trust that motorists are paying close attention. Frankly, it’s stunning that doesn’t become a giant problem.

* New t-shirts everywhere. Maryland wideout Isaiah Williams bounded up the stairs from the locker room yesterday and happily showed off a new shirt (“700 student-athletes, 27 sports, 1 team”) he got from an athletes picnic on Tuesday night. The general student population has a way of sporting free new threads as well.

* Walk-ons not invited to camp populate football practice. Gradually, they start cropping up, and a few were spotted yesterday.

One guy who isn’t back is kicker Brett Weiss, who I wrote about back in the spring as a dual sport player (football and lacrosse). Well, he’s at Georgetown now according to Inside Lacrosse, and should be an interesting addition to Dave Urick’s lacrosse team in the spring after playing mostly as an extra-man specialist as a freshman this past spring.

Patrick Stevens