10 o’clock list: 5 Greatest Tiny, Inconsequential Kenyon Moments

Ah, the first snow of the year. Don't you wish cold and dark December would come right now? (Photo by David Hoyt)

Yes, Kenyon is one of the friendliest colleges in America and the go-to for students slow to make friends and, yeah, basically just the place to go if you want constant hugs and love and butterfly kisses from school administrators. (Note: I’m legally obligated to point out that Kenyon administrators cannot and do not hand out butterfly kisses. Even the Nuge. Even if you ask nicely.)

Still, around finals crunch time, things can get a little tense around here, and our usual jolliness tends to fall by the wayside. This list celebrates some of the scenes of random camaraderie that make Kenyon great.

1. When Gund Commons goes collectively apeshit.

Most of the time, Gund Ballroom is a dimly-lit hellbox where silence reigns and dreams go to die. Once in a while, though — usually around midnight or 1:00 a.m. on a warm Wednesday night — a full moon rises and all of a sudden, everybody turns rabid. There’s shouting, there’s laughing, there are YouTube videos played sans headphones; it’s anarchy. Then, as quickly as the mania descended, it disappears, leaving nothing behind but a large square room of overcaffeinated people with eight to 10 pages of term paper left to write before their 9:40s.

2. When the Market’s about to close.

15 minutes before midnight, there’s none of the usual “I’m going to stand behind you in line buying Bugles without looking you in the eye or otherwise acknowledging your presence even though you live across the hall from me and are also buying Bugles” pretense. Everyone’s on the same team, working together to get that six-pack of Keystone or bulk supply of Kleenex (thanks, Krud 2.0) out the door as fast as possible.

3. When it starts snowing during class.

It’s like being a kid again — the professor is droning on, blithely unaware that all the students are staring out the window and exchanging looks of unbridled glee. Who can concentrate on the Medicis’ influence on Italian Renaissance architecture when the first flurries are falling? Nobody, that’s who.

4. When there’s something unexpectedly glorious in Peirce.

Cookie pie, Panko rice, Jarritos; it all sends the same buzz of gluttonous anticipation coursing through Peirce, from lowest Dempsey to uppermost Dempsey and beyond. Sure, there’s some occasional side-eyeing and threatening fork-wielding in the chicken patty line, but a copious amount of deep-fried Peirce fare has a funny way of uniting everyone for the noble purpose of being gross.

5. When everybody’s drunk.

Middle Path is never friendlier than at 1:00 a.m. on a Friday night, when everyone is stumbling to and from various parties, slurring festive “HAAAY”s at one another and loudly enumerating the reasons why “WE HAVE TO GO SOUTH RIGHT NOW, GUYS.” God bless us, one and all.

8 responses

  1. Great list. The only things I would add: the unknown moment when the power is out and we’re wavering between drinking and studying, not knowing whether or not classes will be cancelled; the collective groan when you and those around you in the library hear the 2am bell

    Well done.

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