It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Winter Break
Posted on December 15, 2010
That whoop you heard coming from Park Hall is the sound of a semester ending, but that second whoop? That’s our reaction to the good news that starting next semester, the Café will be open in the evenings, Monday through Thursday, till 9 pm. I’m so happy about it I’ve got the President and all the VPs doing a Souljah Boy two-step in the lobby. Break it down, Ron!!
Seriously—thank you to all of you who emailed me your opinion about this issue, and to the Dining Oversight Committee that worked with Aramark to make this happen. But please note: this is a trial run, and we have to demonstrate that it’s a viable model. So please—use the Café on those evenings, buy a hot drink, and make it worth their while. Since most of you said no to music, there will be none, unless you convince me to come over and serenade you with songs from the ‘70s (early Linda Ronstadt, anyone? Alice Cooper? Bachman Turner Overdrive?).
And if you invite me to join you and your friends, I’ll even buy you a round of drinks from the coffee bar.
So. What else is going on? Well, there are the lines out the doors of various staff and faculty offices, where folks are working overtime to handle all the existential crises that final exams seem to provoke. There’s the library, where students can be found face down in text books, fast asleep, a small bit of drool about to drop from their lips onto the page. There are the basketball teams and the swimmers taking a break from competition to devote their considerable talents to last-minute studying. There are the various methods of procrastination (X-box, Like a Little, Facebook, The Sing-Off, etc.) emerging as prime-time activities. And there’s me, sadly watching you pack your cars and head off into the sunset for a few weeks away from Wheaton.
Okay. I’ll be honest. I’m not that sad at the moment. It’s time for your parents to take over the full-time fretting over you, and for me to catch up on books, movies, friends and sleep. Lest you think, however, that all we do over break is sit around and play Tetris, there are plenty of retreats, meetings, planning sessions, project organizing, budget battles, admissions application reading, fitness equipment repairing, snow-plowing and major league cleaning going on.
One of our biggest projects is the continued work on YMC and Meadows. In YMC you’ll see renovated lounges with new furniture, carpeting, lighting, blinds and…wait for it…wait for it…new Blue-Ray DVD players! Students returning to Meadows in January will see a model room and have the opportunity to comment on its furnishings. And then, over the summer, really major stuff will happen—new furnishings in the rooms, new windows, lighting, and a new exterior window wall in Meadows Center that will make it a lot easier to use. Rumors of a climbing wall are greatly exaggerated, but yes, this rumor is true: the sofa of epic proportions in Meadows Center (“Brobdingnagian” for you English majors) is going to be reupholstered! That’s right: it’s the end of the Mauve and Teal Era at Wheaton, and not a decade too soon (by the way, I can serenade you with ‘80s songs as well. I do a mean Pat Benatar…um…ask your parents).
Movies you’ve got to see over break: “127 Hours,” “The Fighter,” and for those of you who want to relive the best years of your young lives, the new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie so you can watch Johnny Depp do his best Keith Richards impersonation. Books I recommend, my favorites of 2010: Non-fiction? “The Wave: In Pursuit of Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean” by Susan Casey. Fiction? “Room” by Emma Donoghue.
Here’s another hot tip: Maybe you’ve found yourself, during the semester, wondering, “Is the Gentleman Callers Jam Friday or Saturday?” Or “What time does the basketball game start?” Or “Where is the speaker that I have to go to for my class going to be speaking this afternoon?” If you want to keep track of Wheaton events in a very easy-to-use way, download the app “Wheaton Now” on your iPhone or Droid. It’s free.
Boy, I am full of good advice. But I bet you’re all a little sick of me, and of all things Wheaton, at this point, so I’ll sign off. To the 170 or so of you that will return for January to work, do research and enjoy the weather, I’ll see you in a few short weeks. To those of you bound for distant lands to study in places far from Wheaton, Sporty’s, Dunkin Donuts and Cowduck, stay safe, hang out with people other than Americans, and TRY THE FOOD! And to the large group of the rest of you who will return at the end of January for another round of classes, camaraderie, and impending existential crises, I’ll see you in six weeks. Meet me at the Café!