It’s an overcast cloudy day in Peirce. I’m eagerly sitting at a table by the window overlooking the long hill down to the KAC, anticipating this upcoming interview. Two minutes pass after 4:30, the agreed upon interview time. After sending out several student-info emails, desperate posts in the Kenyon Class of 2020 and 2019 pages, and cries of despair into the night, I have finally found the person with the best and (almost) worst lottery number.
A disclaimer: I did not find the first year with the worst lottery number. Either they were too embarrassed to reveal themselves or they do not check their email/FB. Nevertheless, I did find the first year with the third to last number, Cameron Austin ’20. He sent me a very sad email:
Ahh the sweet smell of success. A day later, someone revealed to me that Matthew Gerson ’18 does indeed have the highest lottery number in the entire school, and that Ryan Muthiora ’18 is the proxy on campus. I eagerly messaged Muthiora, who immediately suspected that I was trying to steal his lottery number.
With the air cleared, I started the interview. A disclaimer that both gentlemen were incredibly kind to each either, and handled this situation beautifully.
What were your initial plans going into the housing lottery?
Muthiora: “I was going to do whatever it takes to get an NCA. Whatever it takes. Seriously”
Austin: “I just wanted a room in Caples”
What were your first thoughts when you saw your number? Is there a song that encapsulates the feeling?
Muthiora: “All the Way Up by someone I can’t remember”
Austin: “Shake it Off by Taylor Swift”
How did that number change your plans:
Muthiora: “Well we wanted to get the new housing (Editors note: RIP the Cove) but they’re all filled which is dumb. We deserved that, we really did. But I just walked around the NCAs, being the eyes for my future housemates, and I decided on 15B. It faces the woods, it’s secluded. It’s really beautiful.”
Austin: “I figured I’d either live in Mather or find someone with a higher number.”
At this point I almost started crying by how sad these two extremes were. Nevertheless, I pursued.
Has there been any drama?
Muthiora: “We got a lot of messages with some hefty offers. We were offered money (‘real guap’) or ‘whatever it would take.’ People were talking about trying to get an eight person, or offering to trade slightly lower numbers. But we never considered switching.
Austin: “I found a friend with an average number, 1000 in the whole school, who I’m going to live with.”
How does this lottery number change your Kenyon experience for next year?
Muthiora: “[Having the highest lottery number] definitely will allow me and my housemates to fully live out the cigar lawn chair fantasy we were hoping for. We’re going to try to smoke a cigar on a lawn chair every day next year.”
Austin: “I found out that the room in Caples that I want is haunted. So that’s fun.”
Do either of you have anything to say to Housing and Res Life?
Austin: “There’s gotta be a better way to do this” (Editors Note: he’s shaking his head sadly while Muthiora grins.
Muthiora: “Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s working great”
Both agreed that there were no hard feelings between them. Muthiora revealed that sophomore year due to plans falling through, he received the lowest number in the school, and has gotten low numbers since then. He told Austin to “not expect it to average out.” Austin shook his head sadly and stated that there were no hard feelings.
So there you have it folks. When life gets you down, you could maybe get featured on The Thrill!