We like to stay pretty competitive here at The Thrill, and a Blog Off is one way we can definitively prove that one of us is objectively a better blogger (dare we say, a better person). So we leave it to you, the reader, to decide in a blind taste test who is really better as we square off on various topics. This time around, we have Reilly Wieland ’21 and Kylie Lohrenz ’20 battling it out RE: square vs. round tables on New Side. Who will come out on top? Only you can decide.
It’s Sunday evening. The sun’s still out because it’s an obnoxious time to eat dinner and the walls of New Side are closing in on you. Your third Sour Cream Cookie is settling in your stomach, and you can feel the soft caress of third floor Olin on your shoulders already. You walk into New Side, pretending that everyone that you’ve ever made eye contact with on Middle Path isn’t sitting in the same room as you. You look over at the ominous round tables surrounding you, their beige bodies just asking for you to sit there. The huge tables resemble a fat aunt looking for a hug, something you feel obligated to do but that you would never do on your own volition. And there, on your left, is the beckoning comfort of four sharp edges: a Square Table.
The square tables on New Side have never let you down. Think back to your last seminar, how you felt after discussing Renaissance poetry or whatever Niche Liberal Arts Topic you’ve decided to study. Your brain is numb, you’re most likely sweating because when are you not, and the last thing you want to do is sit at a table with more than three people you can barely tolerate. The Square Tables are there for you, limiting your seating arrangement to three others instead of the whopping group of acquaintances a round table can hold. They’re there for you when you’re huddled over your computer during extendo, isolated in the back corner and shielding you from your own reality of the Amish cream cheese stuck in the corners of your mouth. If you’re like me, who gets stressed out with the hundreds of eyes that you pass while you’re bringing back your third round in the servery, the square tables offer a quick escape located conveniently at the edges of New Side for an incognito, judgment free placement.
For those of you who love conversation with people you’ve probably drunkenly embarrassed yourself in front of but can’t avoid because they’re a Friend of a Friend, the round tables are for you. For the rest of us, square tables are where it’s at.
Hot take: spending some time to complain about Peirce food among friends is the most refreshing form of self care that I practice. Where does this conversation inevitably happen? Around a circular table in New Side Peirce. Not in sad lower Peirce, not the weird tables in the atrium, not a square table in New Side, and certainly not the trough-like benches of Hell Old Side (except if you’re an athlete, and let’s be real: you’re probably not reading this if you are)
You sit at square tables when you want to be alone. Which is great, and necessary sometimes, but you know what, sitting at a circle table feels like an event. It feels like I am in Peirce to be seen and mingle and not merely to eat. I could just eat a Market sandwich if I wanted to do that. I’m invested when I sit at a circular table. One of my parent’s friends always addresses eating dinner with another couple as “breaking bread together” and it certainly feels like that when I am located centrally in New Side.
Even though you are hypothetically closer to the people around you at a square table, I like the idea of everybody being equidistant from the center at a circular table. There is something home-y about being able to talk to this large group of people in one singular place. It’s not a nightmare to pull up a chair, so yes, girl that I said hi to once who I have a mutual friend with, you can sit with us. You could even position yourself at a circular table so that you are not in direct sight of the gross bird marks on the glass.