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Golden Spangles and a Black Cat

September 28, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Any qualms I ever had about attending Carleton (really smart people! Minnesota winters! No breakfast on Sundays!) were washed away (along with a great deal of other things—fire extinguisher in Lyman Lakes, anyone?) last Saturday night at the inauguration ball for our new president, Steve Poskanzer.

Let me tell you this: Carleton College can throw a pretty rockin’ party. Our student activities office did extensive surveying on President Poskanzer’s preferences (which sadly does not, to my knowledge, include pickled peppers) and I have to tell you, I barely know this man, but I’m already a fan. He’s shaved with Schiller, reached out to the freshpeople, and shown an intense understanding of both prairie ecology and the art of the metaphor. But now he’s off the charts, because there are only four words in the English language that are better than “You have no homework” (is the grammar on that right? I’m not really familiar with the phrase) and those are “Beach Boys revival band.” Oh yes. There are probably many, many roads to joy in this world, but I feel one of the most direct might be to shout the chorus to Help Me Rhonda several times with a great number of Carleton students, faculty, staff, and spouses. And then go see things explode.  Because there were fireworks, too.

Just because of the amount of sheer awesome I am feeling right now as a result of seeing professors dance to the Backstreet boys, lindy hopping in the Great Hall, having great second-day eye makeup, and seeing those sparkly gold palm trees: We don’t have Sunday breakfast, but we do have Sunday brunch. And Dacie Moses (the cookie house) puts on a separate, delicious brunch, which starts at 10. So chances are good that with both of these events, you will, in fact, eventually get much more than your fair share of delicious carbohydrates. And even if you do get up early as I sometimes do to explore the Arb/read Vows (it kind of alternates), you can grab fruit at dinner to compensate and/or buy really cheap Malt-O-Meal. So it’s okay. In fact, if you're me, Sunday mornings can be your own sequel to Six-Dinner Sid.

Classes are really picking up this week—presentations, papers, and tests are now elephantine and sitting solidly on the horizon instead of looming just beyond daybreak. I think I have met all of the new student workers in the Math Skills Center (you’re doing a great job, Rachel S.!), I woke up thinking in (grammatically unstable, but nonetheless) French two days ago, and I’ve started incorporating aspects of the Platonic dialogue form into casual conversation (“Oh really, best of men? But if we were to have dinner at six, would it not be that the sky might have darkened before we cross the potentially flooded foot bridge back to the dorm?”).  But I really love all of my classes, and am supremely focused on defeating bad study habits, which right now might mean procrastinating by writing this entry.

So, before I resume reviewing the imperfect and considering utopia, a conclusion: School is great, but hard, which is, I think, ultimately why fun, awesome weekend events are really important. Doing the Macarena with your friends and unnecessarily eating ‘zza (student snack bar pizza) at midnight (it’s actually ridiculous that I’m really that hungry on Sunday mornings) may not help me write that paper on Antigone or figure out how to parametrize a curve, but they are delightfully fun, different components of the college experience. Or, as the whiteboard that faces the inside of the Math Skills Center says, “Sometimes it’s important to pause in the pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”

P.S. I have knee pads now! My friend Tabatha, who claims she didn’t even read my last post, surprised me on Saturday with a pair, and we spent ten minutes before her laundry was ready roller-blading behind our dorm. My life yet again becomes one step closer to an eighties movie! So, cancel the request from last week’s blog. Regular care package items (especially Halloween Oreos) would be just fine!

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