A Week of Weird Nights

For one of the first times this semester, I’m having writer’s block. Let’s once again chronicle my nightly adventures. Maybe something interesting will come of it.

I returned from Thanksgiving break on Sunday night, and sat and talked with a few friends. I found it odd that when I asked others about their breaks, they said things like, “it was alright,” or, “yeah, good,” in unenthused ways. My break was absolutely wonderful. I found it to be too short. It just made me sad that these people didn’t have the comforting and good experience that Thanksgiving should be. My main worry is that they weren’t thankful. Like, yeah, maybe you have stressful family problems, but we all do—thing is, you have family. That’s the important part. The fact that you have stressful family problems presupposes that you have a family, as well as presupposing that you’re alive. Both these things are incredible feats, in my opinion, and should be celebrated. I think Thanksgiving is the time people should be reminded of that. And I hope, even in their grumblings, my friends experienced some of that gratitude and awe over the break.

Monday night was a tad peculiar. It was weird being thrown back into the school routine after such a short lapse of time at home. My roommate said she “woke up wrong,” and was off all day. The highlight came when one of our friends (who was actually my spibling, aka, in my sponsor group) came and knocked on our door. He distracted us for about 45 minutes with a miniature football. Playing catch in a dorm room has never been so entertaining; nor, I think, have people ever been so bad at playing catch.

Tuesday night was even weirder. I have a final project for my Cognitive Science class that involves conducting an experiment on people. I needed to collect data, so decided to travel through the dorms of south campus, visiting the sponsors I know well and forcing them and their sponsees (first-years in their sponsor groups) to perform an assigned task. I felt like I hit the jackpot when I found rooms full of at least 3 people. Collecting data goes by so much faster when you can administer something to multiple people at once. I tested my friends, as well as first-years whose names I didn’t know. I was quite thankful for their participation and help in my project. I decided I would collect all my data that night, which took around 2 hours, a surprising amount of time. (I’m also quite social, and everyone asked for an explanation of the test, so that might have had something to do with it.) But then I walked back through Gibson, and stopped to talk to one of my friends who is a sponsor there. We ended up talking, laughing, and joking for at least an hour. I asked about where his parents grew up and how they met, he asked me why I became a vegetarian (still going strong! 8 and a half weeks! DANG. I just looked at my calendar for that. It’s a pretty long time. I’ll write a blog post about it eventually…), I asked about classes, he asked if I wanted to read poetry he’d written. Then I looked at my watch and it was 15 minutes past midnight. I was surprised at the lateness of the hour. I didn’t leave till 1 a.m.

Wednesday… was a typical Wednesday. For me. Which is to say, atypical for most. Mainly because I work as a Copy Editor for TSL, or The Student Life, the newspaper of the Claremont Colleges. I go in to the office every Wednesday night, and edit articles with fellow TSL staff. We occasionally point out hilarious errors to one another, along with making fun of ourselves, and this week we even got free food! The TSL office is located in a dorm, Walker, and a talent show/competition was occurring in the lounge a floor above us. They had food, because every Wednesday is Walker Coffeehouse, where students make and sell baked goods and hot drinks, and apparently had too much of it. So, there arrives a plate of homemade brownies with hazelnut white chocolate topping and banana nut bread, on the table right next to me. I don’t eat chocolate, but I was as happy as could be with STILL WARM banana nut bread. Oh, and we also had peanut butter-filled pretzels, which are becoming a staple of our late night editing sessions in the office. (Seriously, I think the container gets bigger every week, but we still manage to empty it by the end of the night.)

Thursday…was mildly entertaining. It was pretty busy, which is typical of my Thursdays. Class till 4, then being ridiculous with my roommate and listening to a friend from home’s radio show from the University of Washington,

then getting dinner with someone I hadn’t talk to in a while, then an Executive Staff meeting at KSPC (our radio station, where I work),

then a talk put on by PSU (Pomona Student Union) called “Ethics and Labels: Considering Consumerism Activism,” then finishing a Computer Science assignment, then laughing at how my program can’t do math, then “Hey, I Like You” at the Women’s Union with a new friend for snacks and hot chocolate, then a discussion about 5C stereotypes, then a google search of “random fun things to do in Yorba Linda” that led to the discovery of a science museum exhibit on gingerbread, then quiet time as my roommate stresses over an Ochem exam tomorrow. As I write this. So, you know, a typical Thursday night for the involved and intellectually curious Pomona College student (and her friends).

I’m not quite sure what the future nights will bring, but I’m sure it promises to be interesting. Heck, it’s Friday. I don’t have classes, everyone else relaxes after they finish theirs for the day, and then… the nightlife of the Claremont Colleges begins! (I don’t really know what that means, but it’ll be an experience, right? Oh, yeah! One that involves going to see a Queer Burlesque performance!) And then, on Saturday, I’m going to Halona (Pomona’s cabin in the hills/woods/wooded hills) for a retreat with the Computer Science department. I honestly can’t wait. Board games and bonding are the best.

*sigh. Even though this week has been sort of weird, I’ve realized that I truly do love it here. And that I love my life here. I’m no longer so bitter about the short break. Because I’m darn lucky to be at Pomona College.


Oh, and one of the professors on the PSU talk panel was from UPS (University of Puget Sound, near my hometown), and made a comment about how ironic it was for us to be “discussing capitalism and inequality at a $55,000 a year school.” He added, with a sly smile, “My school is much cheaper, it’s $50,000 a year and it’s full of all proletariats… We call this a Neiman Marxist discussion.”

I think this wryness is necessary, even though I don’t necessarily agree with the implications of “Neiman Marxist” as not actually doing things to affect change. We’ll see after the divestment rally next week to rid our school of its money in oil companies. But hey, these reasons of high tuition and the ability to discuss and be aware of global issues are just more reminders of why I’m darn lucky and thankful to be here.