All Aglow At Reunion
Sunday, June 9, 2008
I went down to Sharples for brunch to scope out any changes to the dining hall. Carrying my tray, I remember the fun distractions and occasional anxieties of eating at Sharples. For an assignment in one of Barry Schwartz's psychology classes, we kept a log of all the decisions we made over a one-day period. Schwartz told us that most of our decisions were not about assignments, global issues, or our futures. Rather, we wondered where to eat, when to eat, and whom to eat with.
The List Gallery hosted an exhibition featuring the work of several members of this year's reunion classes.
I joined the other '03ers sitting in the "middle room" of the dining hall. We talk about the glory days of intramurals basketball—the rivalries, the bio lecturer who could dunk, and the victories. I still have my championship t-shirt from the year the Mothership Connection won.
I tried to start recreational basketball meetups at graduate school last year, but attendance was usually low because of busy schedules, people hailing from countries that don't play basketball, and a general preference for smoking cigarettes over sprinting down the court.
I wrote an article for the school newsletter to dispel rumors of my own basketball talents, explaining that I was in the noncompetitive league of intramurals at a small liberal arts college. I did, however, win second place in the fantasy NBA league tournament that my former Mothership Connection teammates started up after graduating. I will soon have another championship t-shirt to add to my collection.
After hearing part of the War News Radio presentation, I decided to visit the WSRN studios. I had been a deejay throughout college, and volunteered in various capacities at the station.
Since graduating, I found EastVillageRadio.com. As a free-form, volunteer-run station, it feels like college radio for grownups, and I have enjoyed covering shows there from time to time, sometimes going by the name DJ Quench (embracing the pun on my name). I also studied radio journalism in graduate school to test out other aspects of the medium.
Entering Parrish Hall, I walk past the automatic water fountain. I forget about the spontaneous shots of water!
Slightly damper than before, I take the stairs instead of the new elevator, for authenticity. The studio is locked, but peering through the window, it looks the same. The old sign over the door and jiggly doorknob remain, too.
Outside WSRN's Parrish Hall studio, Sydney found the original sign over the entrance, "and the jiggly doorknob, too."
I take a look in the WSRN office. The old schedules and the chalkboard I used to write the new schedules on each semester still cover the walls. The playschool carpet, stickers on the desks, and pile of mysterious 78s are still there, too.
I glance at a couple of the old files on one of the desks. According to what I find, the station increased its wattage from 10 watts to 100 watts in 1979. Now it's up to 110 watts—a very bright light bulb—but with web streaming, which was also in effect when I was there, it can go much farther.
The Parrish renovations did not seem to have reached WSRN. Whether a snub or an attempt not to interfere with the station, I hope the leak in the jazz library has been fixed.
I meet up with Erica, Tika, and Liza for lunch. We venture to a local restaurant to dazzle ourselves with the unique tofu textures of sa-cha-vegetarian pork and spicy vegetarian chicken. Our expectations may have been too high, but it certainly sufficed.
My fortune cookie says "Find a peaceful place where you can make plans for the future."
"Back at home in New York, I get ready for bed. I turn off the lights and my 2003 Alumni Weekend fan glows."
I stop by the bookstore to buy a replacement pair of Swarthmore flip-flops. I later read that when Chelsea Clinton stopped by Swarthmore, students presented her with a pair after she took off her heels.
The bookstore is closed, so I will have to come up with a flip-flop contingency plan, or just wait until the ten-year reunion.
Back at home in New York, I get ready for bed. I turn off the lights and my 2003 Alumni Weekend fan glows.