Student travels to check eclipse off bucket list

Centre College sophomore Zahra Ortiz (right) watches the eclipse using welding goggles ordered by her dad, an ophthalmologist, with her roommate, Reagan Lynn. They originally planned on traveling to Hopkinsville for the eclipse but came to WKU to avoid traffic.

Rebekah Alvey

Centre College sophomore and Philadelphia native Zahra Ortiz got to check watching a total solar eclipse off her bucket list today.

“This is the coolest thing of my life,” Ortiz said after watching the moon totally cover the sun on Monday afternoon.

Ortiz has known about the total eclipse and the best places to watch it for a long time. Her father works as an opthamologist and has been texting her “profusely” warning her to get appropriate glasses.

Ortiz said she was nervous about eye damage during the eclipse and brought special welding goggles her dad ordered.

Originally, Ortiz said she planned on going to Hopkinsville, where viewers experienced longer totality, but decided to go with Reagan Lynn, her Centre College roommate, to Bowling Green out of concern for traffic.

Today was the first time Ortiz had been to WKU and said it was exciting to experience the eclipse here. Ortiz and Lynn watched the eclipse together on South Lawn with other WKU students. Ortiz said watching from South Lawn was convenient and not too crowded.

Ortiz also appreciated all that WKU provided to watch the eclipse, because glasses can be expensive or hard to find.

“It shows that WKU cares about their students,” Ortiz said.

Reporter Rebekah Alvey can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].