It’s a new semester. A new year. And a new decade. And with all this newness, the Monday Catchup is under new management. My management! With the first week of the semester under our belts, there is much to discuss. For me personally, the past week has been marked by speed walks to the registrar, a long-awaited reunion with the deli’s Mickey Eggs, and an ongoing inner monologue about whether or not I’m “built for a sorority.” For my peers and I, falling back into our Kenyon routines in this new year meant a year of firsts, including:
I’m not sure how this bit started, but some friends and I committed to make a roller skating outing before the end of the semester. We did some research, found a place about 40 minutes away called Roll-A-Way Skating Center in Newark, Ohio, and –wow!– our research revealed the place was open 24-hours on Saturdays. Okay, yes, fair, that seems like a red flag, but we trusted it. Upon our arrival, at 11:30 AM, we felt an initial wave of panic. The place looked sketchy as hell. But, damn, the parking lot was PACKED, so we still had hope. When we entered the lobby, we felt our bodies transported to another dimension. Kids were everywhere, clutching beautifully wrapped birthday presents for some kid named Daniel. It was the aesthetic of the lobby that really did a number on us. It felt like a family-owned, run-down carnival ride that had been passed down to some weird nephew named Scotty in Grampy Herbert’s will, and that weirdo Scotty converted it into a 24-hour roller skating rink for birthday parties. But alas. There was a fatal flaw in our plan. From the darkness, an adult man with a goatee emerged, who I can only assume is weird-Scotty, and he said to us, “There’s a private party happening today. You get our hours on the Google?” to which we replied yes. He then over-explained his personal feud with the multi-national technology company. The word “insidious” was used a minimum of 3 times. He apologized and hoped that, for our sake, one day “Google will be sued out of existence!” Anyway, we fled the scene and drove another hour to a different skating rink. We made sure to call and confirm their public skate hours, because goddammit, we would not be duped by that insidious Google again!
ohmigod you guys. Elle Woods graduated from Harvard Law School this weekend!! I’m, like, so proud of her. The daughters of Delta Nu support each other, and I’m the pledge-master of Kenyon’s chapter of Delta Nu, so you know I was at that graduation ceremony, cheering her on sooo hard, like “Honey, it’s us! The girls of Delta Nu! We came to seeeee our president beeeee legally bloooooonde.” I’m still a little bit bummed that she and Warner didn’t work out (RIP Ellner), but I’m glad she found a new mans who seems like a better guy. He’s a little scruffy? But she gave him a really good makeover and got him to ditch that corduroy tragedy he wore as a jacket. Also! He’s a frat guy! Some frat called AD… I’ve heard he lives in a bullseye??? Not really sure what that means, but I’m so happy for her. Delta Nu also had our formal this weekend, we had to compete with pretty much every other greek life org on this CAMPUS!!! But of course we pulled the people. It was like…. sold out or something ;)
The truth is, Kenyon Time is fake. Kenyon Time doesn’t follow the rules of nature. So when you leave campus, time stops. If you find yourself sitting in Peirce, wondering how break went by so fast and how you could possibly be sitting back at a New Side rectangle ALREADY, it’s because that week didn’t exist. Your Kenyon World with its Kenyon Time got put on pause, so it feels like you’re picking up exactly where you left off, because YOU ARE. The fresh haircuts on the boys in your 10:10 are blips in the space-time continuum. When you ask me, “How was your weekend?” I think of the last two weekends spliced together, with a perfect seam on a Saturday evening in John Glenn Columbus International Airport. I know this all to be true because I lived it. And, as a friend of a biology major, I can say confidently that science is on my side.
As I sat down to write this week’s catchup, I thought to myself, “oof this is gonna be tough, nothing really happened this weekend.” But, as I really reflected, I remembered more and more of the events from the past few days, and realized how perfect it all is. I’d describe the weekend as a collage. Or maybe a tapestry of life at Kenyon. An amalgamation of social spheres— a true microcosm of Kenyon’s student culture. Not only was there original musical theater happening in an art gallery, but there was an a cappella concert both nights, some Greek life cult events, AND some sort of sporting excitement that warranted hordes of loud drunk people around Hanna Hall at 10:30 in the morning. And finally, I’ll expose myself, with as little shame as possible, and say that I attended a murder mystery party and I didn’t hate it. THIS is the Liberal Arts. At Kenyon YOU WILL, GODDAMMIT.
Good lord. This weekend. It didn’t really break ME, but it surely broke some of my friends. The play I was stage managing went up this weekend (burtle flur by jacky silvertoe) and that was CRAZY. If any of you saw two lanky sophomores carrying pitchers of yellow liquid through the servery last week, those were my assistants stocking up for our stage beer. Turns out green tea is a very convincing substitute for beer, as proven by all the LOOKS they got during dinner rush. Closing a show always has its own sort of ~catharsis~ but OH BOY did that catharsis take a turn Saturday night post-cast-party (classic theatre kid bullshit, sorry, but also not sorry at all). Now let’s keep in mind that Senior Soiree was occurring at the same time that night. But I guarantee that the belligerent little boy I was supervising went unparalleled to any senior drunk off the school’s dime. But do not fret, he got tucked into bed at the end of the night, perfectly safe, albeit near tears about how beautiful Catcher in the Rye is. That was basically my whole weekend, but here’s my high/low/buffalo anyway:
This weekend was Kenyon’s Halloweekend, which means many of you spent your eves romping around campus in costumes that varied from poorly executed puns, to niche references that read to maybe 5% of the student body, to inexplicably sexy professions and/or notable figures (and however you put this fit together, it probably cost too much money to make it worth it). I don’t mean to rain on the joys of Halloween. In fact, I love Halloween. Halloween slaps. Halloween is my middle name! Halloween is my fucking birthday! (But actually, Halloween is my literal birthday.) I just—Okay. Frankly, I find the college culture of Halloween to be disappointing. No one seems to care about pumpkins anymore. The audience for my references to the Halloweentown movies (Halloweentown, Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge, Halloweentown High, and Return to Halloweentown) is dwindling. CANDY HAS BECOME A PRACTICALLY IRRELEVANT COMPONENT TO THE HOLIDAY. I long for the days when I’m finally a real adult, and I can dress up far too complexly for my age and just give out the king-size candy bars to adorable children who actually understand and appreciate the spirit of Halloween. BUT I DIGRESS. Let’s get to the update, because that’s what you’re actually here for, right?