It's Wednesday, July 11th, and while I've been told there is a sweltering heat wave sweeping the rest of nation, the weather has been beautiful up here on the Mountain.
And mercifully so! The Bread Loaf School of English is entering the intellectual equivalent of the Tour de France's "Climbing Stages," when the reading loads pile up and the first round of papers are due. In other words, it's a critical time for Bread Loafers. The stress levels begin to rise and when stress rises it can create problems. To relieve the stress, Bread Loafers have been known to concoct a series of diversions.
|Reading Proust is hard.|
Back in my pre-Front Desk Maven days of yore, my proudest accomplishment wasn't taking part in the summer plays or doing well in my courses. No siree Bob, my prized honor was that I helped invent two of the most highly regarded stress-relieving games in the history of Bread Loaf: Frisbee Face and Retardo. Frisbee face is a lot like Othello: it takes a moment to learn but a lifetime to master. I'll try my best to explain the rules. To begin, you need two people. (Any two people would do, but we have found that people who are deranged work best. For instance, people who enjoy earning their Masters of Literature in the summertime.) The next part of the game is where it gets good: the two people stand approximately 10 feet apart and take turns throwing a Frisbee at each other's face. Whoever flinches loses a point. Or a 1000 points. How many points isn't the point anyway; the object the game is to ease the pain of trying to read Ulysses.
As for the rules of Retardo, let's just say that some things should kept secret. I will divulge the following: a) there was an official Whiffle ball and bat involved and b) haikus have been composed in homage to Retardo.
|Please Do Not Attempt to Imagine The Rules of Retardo|
But that was years ago. Things have changed considerably. It's a gentler time, no doubt. Gone are the days of Retardo and Frisbee Face. Gone are the days of such games as Wake Up and Binge Drink Until You Puke. These days, a vistor could take a stroll around campus and espy Loafers engaged in a range of family-friendly Loafing. For instance, there's the annual Bread Loaf Bocce Ball tournament, where pairs compete against one another for bragging rights.
|The McNe'er-Do-Wells warming up|
|Maven MacNair longs for the days of Frisbee Face.|
As for the Front Desk Mavens, we consider it our duty in these times of intellectual overdrive to help relieve the stress load of the Bread Loaf student body (or as Edward calls them, "The Proletariat.") To that end, I'm happy to report that the director of Bread Loaf has selected Front Desk Mavens Gene and me to organize Barn Trivia Night, where teams of Bread Loafers compete against one another for fabulous prizes. According to the director, this is a Bread Loaf first. Shockingly, in a place as Nerd-tastic as Bread Loaf there hasn't been anyone willing to run a trivia night. Which means that Gene and I are officially Operating Thetan Level 1 Nerds. Also, according to the director, if all goes well, we can expect to turn Trivia Night into a weekly event. In conclusion, we are very excited.
|One of several teams already formed on campus.|
|Due to a limited budget, our "Fabulous Prizes" is actually the front desk Lost and Found box.|
That's all, folks. Enjoy.
Christian Patrick Clarke
Front Desk Novitiate, 2012
Hic et Ubique