After writing my post thanking all the awesome adults at home who support students, I started wondering what the parent section of the Prospective Students section of the website looked like. They have a section called "Carleton 101" and I got really excited because I thought it would be some kind of list of awesome things about Carleton. Instead, it had a lot of really official logistical information. Don't get me wrong--I love Web Services and Admissions (and when they combine, it's kind of magical) and it's a good page (and you can see it here) but it wasn't quite what I was expecting.
Rachel, you might be saying, have four years in this place taught you nothing? If you want something cool to happen you should just do it yourself! As Nietzsche says, "Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?"
Ah, wise, pithy teabag reader, you have reason.
But making a list of 101 reasons why Carleton is awesome, though, was frankly too easy. So I started thinking of 101 other things. What follows is, with serious credit to allergy-freak on funtrivia.com, are the Carleton corollaries to the 101 Dalmations. Here are the first 25, which is (future self here) as far as I got.
This is not the strongest beginning, but seniors have a tradition of blowing bubbles at opening convocation. I am unclear about whether this happens at closing convocation (honors convo, or "honvo") which is in about two hours--if anyone reads this and would like to comment, it would be much appreciated.
Carleton has no ROTC that I know of, but we have at least 88 alums who claim the military/protective services as their careers.
Carleton has two rockin' dining halls: the LDC (many jokes exist about what this stands for, the most appropriate having inspired the "Leisurely Dining Club" my freshman year) and Burton. We also have a snack bar in the Weitz Center and one in Sayles. If you want to see what we're eating, you can check out the menus here.
Carleton offers an archaeology concentration.
There is a fantastic show on KRLX, our student-run radio station, that is totally Disney themed. It's on sometime Monday afternoons (I am sorry I can't be more specific--if you know about this, you should comment) and it is wonderful.They played the whole Princess Diaries soundtrack a few weeks ago and it was one of the best things ever.
We have a big green, open space we call the "Bald Spot" in the front-middle of campus, but you may not know that it's freckled with trees, many of which honor past presidents, and students playing Frisbee, many of whom honor beautiful days!
7. "Eight ball"
There are many ways to make a college decision, but this method probably isn’t recommended. I made pro and con lists when I was trying to decide between my top two schools and I found them last summer---they were hilarious. In the end, I realized I wasn't really trying to choose (and often couldn't measure) which aspects were objectively better; I was trying to decide where was right for me.
You can see this man (or at least his belt) gracing the sky over Northfield most nights.
9. "Full stop"
Cars make these in town, and I really appreciate it (I am quite serious). Historic downtown Northfield has no stoplight (though there’s one to get on the bigger road to Target) but it is definitely pedestrian-friendly. Vehicles have the right-of-way in Minnesota, but most are quite nice. There's a lot of hand-waving. (For more on Minnesota traffic laws, which you should know if you're going to drive here, check out their very clear driver's ed manual).
We sometimes have haircuts for charities in the Great Hall, and there are also several great barbers downtown.
Check out the website some awesome CS majors made for their comps project: http://northfieldcarpool.com/testdrive/
Did you really just ask if we have a geo department (OK, maybe you didn't but I'm going to assume you did)? Oh yeah we do, and they're awesome. They go on really cool field trips and run a Carleton study-abroad program which goes to New Zealand. They also study stuff here; I've had friends who have tried to map Lyman lakes, which they describe as being muddy, difficult, and very fun. More about the geology department can be found here.
From the Perlman Teaching museum: https://apps.carleton.edu/museum/universe/nasa/sunspot/
Something that I think is really amazing: our anitors have a scholarship fund and they collect the change in rooms at the end of terms for this. You can read more about it here.
So sadly Tiny’s Hotdog Shop downtown closed. But given the number of grills around campus, it isn’t outlandish to say we still have a fair amount of these.
Some cultural phenomena a fair number of Carls like: Game of Thrones, Lonely Island, Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars, Les Mis (OK, this may just be my friends), Shrek, the song "Wagon Wheel," anything with dragons. And, (the point of all of this) Mean Girls.
There are several spots on campus where you can safely make a fire. These include some fireplaces within dorms (when you register it), the Hill of Three Oaks, and agrocrag, a cool bonfire spot next to the lake.
There was an Ebony dance at some point which did a quite good mash-up of the 1958 lollipop song ("huckleberry, cherry, or li-ime") and the Lil Wayne song. This dance joins such legendary combinations as the Rebecca Black "Friday"/ Katy Perry "Last Friday Night" and a dance I was in my freshman year (from an existing song) "Combination Pizza Hut/Taco Bell."
One of the best times of the year, I can honestly say, is when the girl scouts come to Sayles to sell cookies. It is so so good, mainly because you probably forget despite constant reminders and then find yourself in front of a 10-year-old in uniform with a handmade sign selling Thin Mints...joy itself.
Yup, we have three pizza places in town. Basils and B&L are great to go to dinner to and to order from at reasonable hours, but if you want pizza at 1:30am on Saturday night, gotta call…
Ah, Willy Wonka's everlasting candy. You can read all about it in the Carleton library:
Carleton has nice showers. Really. And most students bathe, which is even better.
We have a fair number of vending machines on campus, selling everything from soap (see above) to bacon-flavored chips to natural soda. Trust me: you will not go hungry here.
24. "Cotton ball"
It seems most liberal arts colleges have squirrels. But do they have rabbits? (Maybe). Our rabbits are quite bold, and enjoy staring at the moonlight. They also apparently eat our oak trees.
Rumor has it they’re in the arb, so be careful! To me, this was very exciting and after this warning could not get a certain (relatively uncontroversial) Brad Paisley song out of my head. We have real nature here, people. Thorns and all. Literally.