10 o’clock list: Fictional Characters who would Attend Kenyon

On my birthday last year, I invited some friends to the Gund Gallery theater to watch one of my favorite movies, Footloose. At one point, one of my friends said Ariel (pictured left) looks like a Kenyon student. This has not left my mind in a full year. Because of that lingering image, I’ve thought of some additions to the list.

  1. Ren McCormick (Footloose). Yes, Ariel may dress like a Kenyon student, but the heart of Kenyon is in Ren. One of his first spoken lines in the entire movie is “Slaughterhouse-Five. Yeah, it’s a classic.” He is berated for this by his conservative new community. He leads a campaign for a senior prom. He drives off to a warehouse to smoke and drink a beer simultaneously (before smashing the bottle on the ground in a stunning display of teen angst). He wears a loose tie on the first day of school. This man is Kenyon material. 
  2. Stephen Dedalus (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses). Stephen Dedalus is one of my favorite characters in all literature. He also screams Kenyon student, so maybe that’s why. The protagonist of the James Joyce literary universe has an elaborate theory about Hamlet, and that’s really all you need to know. Stephen would be an English major and a French AT who lets his students out early.
  3. Ben Wyatt (Parks and Recreation). Frankly, everyone in this show could be a different genre of Kenyon student, but I’ve chosen Ben. I’ve met a few Bens Wyatt in my time at this school, and they are almost as charming as the original. Ben would be a math major and a member of Tabletop.
  4. Erin Quinn (Derry Girls). Like Parks and Rec, all five Derry Girls could easily be Kenyon students. Erin is just the most stereotypically “Kenyon English major” due to the high esteem she holds for her own poetry and strong sense of righteousness she doesn’t know what to do with. 
  5. Liz Lemon (30 Rock). Liz Lemon would come to Kenyon specifically for the Fall 2020 semester’s dining options. The prepackaged deli sandwiches would be the clincher. Yeah, she’d appreciate the theater department too, but the sandwiches would really seal the deal.

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