10 o’clock list: Top 15 Kenyon Things I Should Know By Now

Tonight’s list is brought to you once again by listmaker extraordinaire Thea Goodrich.

As a senior who has spent all but one semester on this teeny-tiny Midwestern hill, I think I’m supposed to feel that I’ve got the lay of the land down pat by now. As it turns out, though, I’m still endearingly awkwardly clueless.

  1. On which side of Ascension the women’s bathroom is. In my defense, I’ve only ever had one class in there, but I would love to chug coffee and then plunk down on the third floor without having to do a Stairmaster workout or thread my way through Philo every two hours. Anyone have a handy mnemonic for this?
  2. What, precisely, a provost does. Or an ombudsperson.* Or the mysterious SPACES folk near the south entrance of Olin.
  3. Whether the Deli or MiddleGround has better coffee. I’m pretty sure MiddleGround is slightly cheaper, but I have yet to do a serious taste or efficacy test. (Of course, in terms of inexpensive not-Peirce caffeine, nothing beats the Bookstore. Pro Tip: Use your own thermos, as a refill costs only 80 cents!)
  4. How the Library of Congress categories are dispersed around our countless shelving units. I feel dumb looking at those little color-coded maps on the wall just to find the N’s again.
  5. That it would really behoove me to say hi to all new acquaintances I pass on Middle Path no matter how hazy our respective first impressions were, because I will indeed end up having to do a group project with them in the future. (“Group project” here also meaning “clumsy not-quite-sober interface.”)
  6. That professors do not, in fact, know what you did last night.**
  7. That the forks in Peirce are always in the middle cups. Whenever I think I’m being clever by skirting the hungry mob and approaching the silverware from the other (i.e. non-toaster) side, I always end up having to stir my coffee with a knife.
  8. What a Caples suite looks like. Or, for that matter, what anything inside Hanna or Leonard or the Cove looks like (she types with embarrassment).
  9. The names of the Amish families who sell their wares on Middle Path. (At least I know that their peanut butter cookies are delicious.)
  10. That a Gambier girl can make no better fashion investment than in a sturdy pair of rainboots — not $20 ones from T.J.Maxx whose heels will come apart after a week and which no amount of duct tape will keep together during November tempests.
  11. The difference between Olin and Chalmers. I think the former is more eastern and the latter more western (as evidenced by the visible difference in External Configuration of Large, Anhedonia-Inducing Concrete Blocks), but where does one end and the other begin inside? Is there a difference in what they contain? Why does no one ever distinguish between them?
  12. Which of the many diverse chairs in the library is (a) comfortable, (b) non-soporific and (c) undesirable enough that it will be dependably empty.
  13. That the printer in Peirce breaks down more often than a group of unemployed and nostalgic seniors in early May.
  14. How to wait gracefully for a professor during office hours. Must I set up an appointment ahead of time, or is just dropping by acceptable? If I only need a signature, can I interrupt the current student-professor meeting or cut the queue? If the door is closed (perhaps for simple reasons of AC or heat retention but also perhaps for reasons known only to Security Clearance Level 6), do I knock to announce my presence, or is that the badge of a presumptuous oaf? If another meeting is already in session, do I wait in the nearest common room (inevitably at least two hallways away) and walk back to the office every five minutes to check if the coast is clear? If another student comes by while I’ve got the professor’s attention, am I obligated to wrap things up immediately? These are the questions that keep me up at night. (Also What To Do with a Degree in Analyzing Lock-and-Key Motifs in Irish Literature, but that’s another issue entirely.)
  15. Where my carrel is.***

*Oh, how handy!

**This remains scientifically undetermined, so don’t push it.

***Just kidding. By the end of the year, this will be the only thing I still know.

9 responses

  1. Rainboots: Buy them at TSC (Tractor Supply Company) in Mount Vernon. They are built for farm work and thus, are much sturdier.

  2. 14 Oh my god. The Hill. Sunset Cottage. WHAT DO I DO? Stand awkwardly with my backpack and look like I have an idea of what I am doing.

  3. I am baffled at the need to distinguish between Olin and Chalmers. For a long time I thought Chalmers was just a computer lab. Perhaps it’s everything on the half of the building farthest from middle path, minus the top floor and the gallery? But I’m completely making that up, I haven’t a clue.

    • One was built after the other… the need to distinguish them probably has to do with with the fact that they are dedicated to different people — you know how Kenyon loves to show it’s appreciation of donated funds w/ permanent name recognition!

    • The division between Olin and Chalmers is the vaulted ceiling study spaces on either side of the spiral staircase (and in the basement, Chalmers begins behind the spiral staircase, and in the second floor, the division is the wall between the staircase and the periodicals section). Chalmers went up in the 1960s (Robert Frost read at the dedication!) and Olin went up in the mid-1980s.

  4. 10. Gambier girls–for the coming winter, Sorrel boots are the BEST. Sooooo warm your feet feel like they’re in front of a fire place no matter what and so incredibly indestructible. They are expensive, but you will end up spending more paying $40 every winter for shitty boots that fall apart and get your feet wet.

  5. 9: As someone who has lived around Amish communities for most of their life, let me tell you: their last name is probably Yoder. In this case, the stereotype is true: the majority of Amish families are Yoders.

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