The independent student newspaper of Goucher College

Category archive

Fiction - page 2

An Ode to The Van

Photo credit: Anya Schwartz

The vacant space in the front of Van Meter stands stripped and naked. As you walk up the steps off of Van Meter Highway and gaze into the front window of Van Meter building, you contemplate your warped reflection and the strange lack of coffee grounds filling the air. Lately the only thing you have to look forward to when going inside is the safety from the wind, not a warm muffin or a hot latte.

The Van was a weird, strange kiosk, a bodega and a café and a magical haven that presented food in the most dire of times. The lone soldier on the sidelines of the fight who brought brave, slowly-dying fighters sustenance in the midst of battle. The Molly Pitcher of Goucher, The Van was the true hero of the everyday combat against the rest of the academic quad, standing firmly on the side of the students. You can vividly remember the quick sprint from Hoffberger to The Van in the ten minute stretch between classes, desperate for a bagel with cream cheese, the extra 50 cents for more than one cream cheese cup be damned. The “bathroom” breaks that were actually only to grab an iced coffee. The Van was always there for you.

Now The Van has been shot down, another casualty in the campus evolution this year. As if its closing wasn’t enough, its bones have been knocked away, its skeleton removed from its fossilized husk. All that remains in its place is the chalkboard sign upon the ground, the writing still intact, runes from an ancient language newly deceased. Someone wrote those words, whether they are still on campus or have moved on; you wonder if they know that they have outlived this tiny creation, this fractional piece of their soul, if this small artistic act while on the clock is something they even remember having performed.

In its place there is now a small lounge. Or…something like a lounge, you’re not really sure. There are a few chairs and a table. If you ever felt like spending more time in Van Meter than you already do, it’d probably be a picturesque gathering space, right next to the window, the perfect perch to overlook all the way across campus. But it feels too wrong to be relaxing in the same place where The Van used to stand, proud and strong.

Because the brick wall in the inside of Van Meter used to be an exterior wall, some poor professor’s office looks into the entryway, directly into where The Van used to be. Now their window is free, unblocked. When you stand in the place where The Van was, the professor in the window stares at you, alarmed, shy, afraid. They are shocked that there is light on the other side of their window. They gape straight past you, as if you aren’t even there, at the trees on the outside of the building. You wonder how long it has been since they last saw the sun. How many seasons have gone by? How many dining halls and food repositories have disappeared since then?

In the hallway, someone says, “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was, like, a place to get some food between classes?” One day the ignorance of the first years is going to actually kill you. They don’t know what this place used to be, the heroes that you have worshipped and watched fall. They tramp across a hallowed site, a holy place, without even knowing what used to reside here. But you know, and you say a silent apology to the discarded chalkboard now laid to rest. The Van was its own type of Giving Tree; it gave to all whenever they most needed it, until it had no more to give.

Six More Facts About Hoobastank That You Will Not Believe! #5 made me want to climb a tall building whilst wearing a gorilla suit holding a small girl in my arms!

Photo credit:

After the universal interest in my previous article on Hoobastank, I present to you another list of unbelievable facts about the world’s foremost experts in post grunge, nu metal, and ska punk.

  1. Drummer Chris Hesse accidentally designed the infinity symbol.

Back in the early days of Hoobastank, Hesse would write the band’s name with the two “o”s connected in a little loop. The other members of H∞bastank thought this was confusing, so they reverted it back fairly soon after. Clergyman, mathematician, and Hoobastank fan John Wallis was listening to the band while furthering his research of infinitesimal calculus, and decided that it would be easier to use the connected “o”s Hesse designed instead of writing the word “infinity” over and over. Thus the infinity symbol came to be!

  1. Hoobastank wrote the first elevator music.

Back in the early days of Hoobastank, while they were still gaining popularity, they wrote a series of songs that consisted of upbeat pop rhythms, usually without lyrics. Major General George Owen Squier took particular interest in these, noticing how his perception of time would be sped up greatly due to them being in the background. He, very soon after, used this music as the basis of Muzak, his brand of background music that would be played in retail stores, public establishments, and, you guessed it, elevators. Of course, now that Hoobastank has reached stardom, you won’t be hearing their music in elevators anymore due to those pesky royalty fees!

  1. Doug Robb was a poetry ghostwriter.

Before Robb entered the music world, he was a poet. One of his most eloquent poems, “The Reason,” became inspiration for Hoobastank’s hit song “Crawling In The Dark.” But prior to even that, he spent many of his teen years as a ghostwriter for Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, Thomas Stearns Eliot, Theodor Geisel, amongst others. Although his poetry didn’t get him too far, it was his love of language that brought him into the world of music, where we love him today.

  1. Dan Estrin is colorblind.

Born in 1904, Estrin was raised in the black-and-white world. When the world started to make the transition to color in 1918, Estrin, as a rebellious teenager, decided to not go through this transition. Now, 101 years later, he stays like the dalmatians, two-toned. In an interview, Estrin said that he prefers this view. This hipster way of life has largely affected Hoobastank’s sound.

  1. The members of Hoobastank are actually the reincarnated members of The Beatles (I’m pretty sure they spelled their own name wrong).

On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot in The Dakota, his residence at the time, in New York, NY. Later that evening, Doug Robb was shot out of the womb of his mother in the exact same building. Coincidence? No, not in the slightest. Robb is the reincarnated Lennon. All the three other members of the critically panned band The Beatles also have been reincarnated as the other three members of Hoobastank. It is so great to see four sub-par musicians get a second life in a famously genius band!

  1. The band likes to occasionally dabble in cosplay.

Since 1993, Hoobastank has been spending their free time dressing up. Their favorite outfits resemble those of Swedish pop band ABBA. In the now infamous 2007 NBC Breaking News report, they were seen walking around Central Park, New York, wearing their ABBA outfits, singing “Voulez-Vous” at the top of their lungs. New Yorkers mistook them for the actual Swedish band, but true Hoobastank fans knew that Robb, Estrin, Hesse, and Lappalainen were just having some classic Hoobastankian fun. Every year since this event, fans gather in Central Park to create what has been nicknamed the “Hooba-Vous Choir.”

(Note: we were able to contact Lee Winters soon after last week’s article was published, asking him why the information was made up. In response, Winters did a backflip, and walked away singing ABBA’s “Voulez-Vous,” adding the word “reason” after every “the.” The information published in this week’s article is also completely made up. The editors of the Q are perplexed as to the nature of Winters’s agenda, assuming there is an agenda. He seems to have messed up multiple timelines, and has large interest in a one-hit wonder band as well as ABBA’s fairly unknown song. We will provide more information as we find it.)

The Proliferation of the Goucher Plague

Photo credit: Michigan Radio, NPR

In the year of our Lord, two thousand and nineteen, the small college community at Goucher experienced the wrath of the Gods on a scale to rival that of the destruction of Troy. The first victim, may Hades have mercy on their soul, succumbed to the Plague during syllabus week. The poor, sickened fellow failed to isolate the Plague and it further spread among the populace. The Plague was small, the commonfolk were distracted, and the petty qualms of class work took precedent. It was our mistake, for the deadly Plague would prove unstoppable.

If only the Goddess Hygieia would rescue us, for no less than two weeks ago, classes lost attendance. Professors were teaching empty classes. Groups were understaffed, and presentations were compelled to be rescheduled. What exaggerated the spread of the Plague was the blizzard.

The class studying Near East politics, normally comprising of twenty, was diminished to ten. Learning was a failure, not for the fault of any faculty or students, but for the lack of attendance. The library was overcome with the coughing, sparing not even the quiet floors. It was close to the point of needing to employ an asymptomatic carrier, to remove those who have passed on, to the lower world.

The blizzard, now named Kevin, punished the populace at our moment of weakness. The snowball fights and ice skates left the castle gates open to our bodies for the Plague to enter. Too many betrayed their defences, there was no stopping the Plague.

One of the most affected communities were out diplomats who just returned from a campaign in the City of Tea Parties. The seventeen fought well, but upon their return, they were subjected to the most brutal assault. Excessive travel was the culprit for it lowered their defences and left them helpless against the Plague.

With all the pieces now set, the true extent of the brutality begun. Plague spread through the dorms. No student was safe, with nowhere to hide. One had to dress with a beak stuffed with flowers and a dark thick cloth, and must wield a big wooden spoon to poke things away from thyself. The miasma permeated the air, sparing but a few.

For one to undergo the suffering of the Plague meant certain misery. It starts with one’s nose becoming diuretic requiring constant maintenance. As the sickness spreads within the body, one’s throat become dysfunctional. Coughing incessantly, like one with consumption, ensures discourse with compatriots is unobtainable. Such early symptoms are disproportionately easy when compared to what follows. After a few days time, one develops an elevated in the head, not to the point of ego, but to the extent of one’s soul ablaze. The fire spreads across the joints down to one’s inner being. Such extent is not seen with any other sickness, and one can never fully recover from such misery.

Hades would not be appeased until his bowels were filled, but after some time the sickness did yield. Victims were left to recover and lick their wounds. Few believe it will be over, for the Plague emerges every semester to varying degrees of destruction. This will not be the last, but it was the worst this generation of Gophers have experienced.

An Ode to Heubeck Dining Hall

Photo credit:

In your 9:20 am class, someone says, “I really want a Heubeck burrito.” You roll your eyes—how could someone want Heubeck burritos that badly? Watery sour cream, variable ingredients dependent on the day, cracking flour tortillas. Also, it’s 9 in the morning. You barely had time to drag yourself out of bed; you didn’t even have time to stop at Pick 3 for a Tupperware of rubbery scrambled eggs. But then you think about it harder, and, gosh, you really want a Heubeck burrito, more than you can ever remember wanting a food. It becomes a tangible thing, like if you don’t get a bite of cold shredded cheese in the next day, you might actually die.

The Heubeck dining hall had been another terrible loss, another soldier to lose its life in the battle against Mary Fisher. Unlike Stimson, Heubeck had no toxic smells or no suspicious stains. You knew Heubeck was bound to be lost after the death of Passport Cafe, a name that’s dug into your memories and now sits somewhere primal and distant, carved into a gravestone that purely exists in the collective past of Goucher students.

Heubeck had been a museum, a preservation of all the things you had loved throughout your years here. Fall of your freshman year, you stopped in Heubeck every day to pick up a bag of jalapeño Cheetos. The next spring, it had been the blue Naked juices they had, even if they were a ridiculous hit to your Flex count. Then your roommate introduced you to Heubeck’s mixed milkshakes, and that was your obsession for another few months. Each semester, a new fad, a new must-have. It didn’t matter—Heubeck had it all, Heubeck had everything you could imagine. Somewhere in between the glass sliding doors of the fridges and the confusing lines that ran out into the hallway, there was a subtle, hidden magic. Heubeck recognized you. Heubeck knew what you wanted. Heubeck made sure it would be there for you. Yes, it was tiny, and, yes, it was chaotic. But it did everything it could to make itself into a home for you. A mother who invited you into her own warm womb.

Are they still there, you wonder, the fridges and the registers and the black cloth retractable belts in the middle of the floor, barely attempting to hold everyone in line? Are they lonely? Do they stare out the windows into the hallway, watching you as you pass? Maybe they sneak into the Multipurpose Room, play a secret tune on the piano, or watch the students below on Van Meter, unsuspecting, ignorant of all they’ve left behind. Maybe they are angry that you have forgotten them. You, who used to smile at them every single time you picked up a container of Fruit Loops in the morning.

The new Student Market is even smaller than Heubeck, has even less space for the chaos of the 1:10 pm lunch rush. There is no excitement there, unparalleled to the ecstacy of finding out that Heubeck was serving french fries. Student Market tries to compensate with impossible burgers and vegan breakfast burritos, targeting those student demographics that Heubeck never bothered to acknowledge. It offers you Pick 3 with shaking, embarrassed hands, a full take-out meal for a meal swipe to address that the other food can only be payed for in Flex. But nothing will compare to Heubeck serving hot mac and cheese for lunch, or the joy of filling up your flimsy paper plate with greasy chicken nuggets.

With the closing of Stimson and Heubeck both, the heart of the campus has been unrooted. You feel unmoored, drifting from day to day; your body doesn’t recognize nighttime without a meal from Stimson or Heubeck. You struggle to feel awake in classes without your daily egg and cheese sandwich on a bagel, carried on a paper plate all the way down Van Meter. You are unaware, lost, unsure how to be the person you once were without these homes. The magic that existed in these places is gone, slowly drained away into the dirt below the Van Meter stone. The souls fed and inspired and housed, now left homeless, drifting. You can feel them, sometimes, on the edge of your consciousness. They call out to you, they whisper, Please come home.

Photo credit:

Sweet ice that grows in my heart,

Let your sadness be thawed,

Let your sweet Sappho song breathe to me

Allow my words to flow freely

As I slip into the sweet lavender scent

May your strawberry coated lips echo those words

Which flow from my mind and heart into your soul

I hope it echoes there  

May your words never hold any restraint

May they reverberate in the fabric of life

Not as a miserable note

But as a sweet song of a lark

Kind little bird

Spread your wings

Fly wherever you feel free

Go to the lush green forests of meadow and dew

Sit upon the perch where waves crash over aged oak into the vast open sea

Feel the salt on your feathers

The moon on your back

Lovely little bird

Grow into a swan

Do not mourn me

But if you do return

If you find life upon the wind too dangerous

If you wish to return to my soft and gentle embrace

Let me wrap you up in cotton

Let me sing you sweet lullabies

Feed you sweet things

Let me kiss your scared wounds

Let the cuts in your heart fade

Let me help you throw your doors of opportunity wide open

So that you may feel free again

Sweet lovely graceful swan

I love you so.

I let you go.

Six Facts About Hoobastank That You Will Not Believe! #4 made me want to punch a baby!

Photo credit:

Hoobastank is the world’s foremost rock band. Known for 2003’s song of the year “The Reason” and others, Hoobastank has become an international household name. Here are six facts (one for each fantastic album) you may not know about this incredible band!

  1. Hoobastank was influenced by Bulgarian wrestling.

Hoobastank’s original bassist, Markku Lappalainen, was a big fan of Bulgarian wrestling. He was especially a fan of Stanka Zlateva, a 5-time European Champion. In her early days of wrestling, she used to come into the ring yelling “Who’s The Stanka?” to which the crowds would reply “You The Stanka!” That response, in a thick Bulgarian accent, gave Lappalainen the idea for the band name Hoobastank. Incredibly enough, after the critically acclaimed 2003 album The Reason came out, Hoobastank was invited to perform the homonymous song as Zlateva’s entrance music during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens!

  1. Doug Robb is a record-breaking skydiver.

In July 2005, Doug Robb and his brother Bank went on a skydiving trip right outside of San Francisco. They started to get into a fight on the way up into the air, until Bank couldn’t help himself, and yelled “every man for himself,” while pushing Doug off the plane without a parachute. Miraculously, Doug survived, and became the first person to ever skydive without a parachute. This experience became the basis for Hoobastank’s 2006 concept album, Every Man For Himself.

  1. Their Grammy performance caused a riot.

After their new album “Push Pull” came out last year, they were invited to perform at the 2019 Grammys. During the performance of the single “More Beautiful,” Robb started changing the lyrics to some very politically charged remarks, including, “Donald Trump is more beautiful than Shaq,” “climate change would be solved if everyone stayed inside,” “‘Voulez-Vous’ is the superior ABBA song,” and many, many others. The aforementioned ABBA comment caused quite the stir, as the Grammys host Alicia Keys was recently engaged to Björn Ulvaeus, one of the members of ABBA. The crowds started to swarm the stage, and Hoobastank had to be kicked out of the Staples Center.

  1. Hoobastank had a plan to swing onto Broadway.

In early 2008, Hoobastank was contacted by Julie Taymor, known for directing the hit broadway adaptation of The Lion King. She was working on the upcoming musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, and believed Hoobastank would be perfect for writing the music. Of course, the band agreed, and wrote some incredible music for the show. Unfortunately, due to creative differences between Taymor and Hoobastank’s drummer Chris Hesse, they were taken off the project, to be replaced by upcoming artists Paul David Hewson and David Howell Evans of the band You Too. Hoobastank included a few of the songs they wrote for the musical, including the hit “Who The Hell Am I?” in their 2009 Fornever.

  1. Their guitarist may have some Nietzschean blood.

Hoobastank’s world famous guitarist Dan Estrin is an outspoken existentialist. In 2016, he appeared on season 8 of TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are? in an attempt to learn more about his background. On Estrin’s episode, he discovered that he is a distant cousin of Friedrich Nietzsche! Unfortunately, he had a heart attack very soon after this discovery and passed away on December 19, 2016.

  1. The current members of Hoobastank are ready to change the world.

In a 2018 interview with Robb and Estrin, Estrin announced that the entire band will begin campaigning for the 2020 presidential election. When asked why, Robb simply replied, “the reason is you,” stood up, and left, and, as of this publication, has yet to be found. Although we currently don’t know much about their stances or their affiliation, what they have said is that their top priority as president is to change the national anthem to ABBA’s “Voulez-Vous.”

(Note: the editors of the Q researched the information Lee Winters presented in this article, and have discovered none of the information to be true. We are currently reaching out to Winters for an explanation.)

Restroom Review – Wagner Fourth Floor



Photo credit: Julia Haworth

Stimson. Plain and docile by day. Dark and menacing at night. She was top dog, with a dining hall and large complex of resident houses to boot; Stimson Hall was Goucher’s former glory, now being forcefully put to rest.

Camera, notebook, and buddy in hand, we walked past the darkened dining hall and Hillel lounge, once central, lively hubs of Goucher’s campus, now an abandoned ghost town, yearning to be used again.

Getting into Stimson Hall itself was easy, but getting into the residence house was not nearly so easy thanks to the hate crime. After trying just about every door to every house, someone kindly let us into Wagner.

Even after exploring Stimson at the beginning of last semester, I still tentatively wandered through dimly lit, incredibly narrow staircases and a few unlit corridors. I felt thankful I brought someone with me to face Stimson’s quiet, menacing, institutionalized vibe. After all that wandering and jumping at every possible sound (next Halloween they should totally make shut-down Stimson a haunted house), I ended up on the fourth floor. I opened up the tall, slender bathroom door.

“Screw this,” my fragile, meek freshman self said as the door came to an abrupt close behind us. I think it has become apparent to you, the readers, that Stimson genuinely creeps me out, and her bathrooms were no exception. The dim lighting, yellowed atmosphere and weird, cramped layout left me shaking in my mortal skin. The mirror and sinks, though they were old and had weak water pressure (a consistent thing on this campus), were decently clean. The exception to that being what looked like a dining hall chocolate cupcake was left, completely obliterated in one of the sinks.

The darkened toilet stalls definitely made getting business done tough, but those who reside here had adapted to these dank circumstances, because they were also surprisingly clean. No jizz, and little-to-no pee doused the toilet seats; it was a content feeling to see basic hygiene being practiced.

I noted the yellowed cubby shelves I kind of wish the First Year Village bathrooms had. I moved to the dreadful, mysterious looking shower area. I pulled back the slightly damp, aged plastic shower curtain to reveal ancient tile and caved-in stand-up shower floors.

“This whole bathroom makes me feel like I’m in a mental institution,” my buddy said as they stepped in and inspected the odd-looking showers. Tuning out the transitioning rant about how they would rather not be institutionalized, I hesitantly turned towards the bathtub, expecting something much grosser than I found, as it was creepy but clean.

After surveying the whole bathroom, the corridor I had to walk back down to get back to Stimson’s main area became suddenly unlit. I gripped my poor buddy’s arm as we slowly made our way back to the staircase. I jumped into my buddy at every rattle, creak, groan, and door slam, but eventually began to breathe again when I made it back to the common area.

I would give the entire bathroom an 11/10 for being so creepy, and 5.5/10 for being cleanliness, which shouldn’t have surprised me because anyone who isn’t a freshman takes care of the living spaces they’ve been given. 🙂

Ten Billion Dollars and Half a Pie on 5th Avenue


Based on a true story seen on the corner of Fifth Avenue New York. 

On the corner I sat with a little pie no bigger than your monstrous hand on the corner of Fifth Avenue. It was small, I guess, but it was huge to me. I’ve never seen a bigger pie in all of my life and neither had Rex. The way he licked his drool-covered lips and lay down upon my concrete bed, I just knew. I just knew he was hungry. He didn’t ask for the pitiful stares or the condescending pats or the occasional pies. What he did ask for was a bed and they gave it to him I guess… It wasn’t soft but the world never really is now. Not after you see it fall apart as we have. Guns, bullet shells, guns, more guns and thick runny blood fills my shattered dreams. Rex is no different, really, his legs move up and down to no particular rhyme. That’s how I know he’s running away from his dreams, not chasing them. It’s hard to run towards something you can’t see and it’s even harder when you look through cracked and bloodied lenses.

They’re really just shards of glass that are mixed with crusted blood, a byproduct of my hopeless past. Those little pieces don’t make a good telescope, or glasses for that matter.

You know when you stare through a telescope with the lens cap on? Well it’s basically the same except I’m looking at you, not the universe. Cracked and falling, all you can see is the abyss. Black, all I see is black. An overwhelming inky grey that fills the corners of my mind telling me there’s nothing out there.

I’d like to live there, in those perverse corners of my mind, in the inky black, where the screen is shattered and all they can see is the cracked walls of my bullet ridden telescope. My rimmed broken glasses trying to stare out into the world and tell it hello because then I don’t have to feel anything. The tears don’t threaten to spill and a smile won’t accidently work its way onto my face. I don’t want to see the world because it hurts so bad just as it feels so good and I can’t do that to a world that has prescribed my place as the fire hydrant sitting on the street corner. It’s just too scary for them to let me love. I understand, it’s too scary for me too.

My smile isn’t beautiful like those of the million dollar models that line the shop windows and my laugh is not like that of the man who saw his daughter walk for the first time and then plop her bottom on the ground. I’m not beautiful to this world and, to be perfectly honest with you, the world hasn’t been that beautiful to me. It’s not about the world though, and it’s not about me. We as humans are big. We’re big and bad and transcend the line of impossible but we’re also tiny, delicate, and kind. At least I am. I know that. I know the day I pulled the trigger I felt like a god dictating who can die and who can live and I loved it. I really loved it. I felt powerful and worthy and strong like I could do anything but all I managed to do that day was shatter the looking glass. I’m no god baby, I’m really not. I can’t speak for the billions that line my street corner, but I could speculate that they wish they could smile instead of shatter.

I’m no god, baby.        

And that’s why I gave the little girl the pie and smiled big. Not because I didn’t know her father would throw it away at the next street over but because I knew my smile was worth something. I looked terrifying with my goofy smile and smelly clothing but I promise you the pie was ok and so was the girl.         

In case you were wondering, that pie burned me. It burned my hand in fact and I cried. Then I smiled because at least then I felt something other than power.          

Restroom Review – First Year Village

Photo Credit: Julia Haworth

Hi! I’m Julia Haworth, a first-year Communications major. Last semester, Neassa Hunt began writing bathroom reviews, but she has since graduated, and so I’m taking up bathroom reviews this semester! Enjoy!

Ah. The First-Year Village. From the rotting food and unwashed dishes in the Fireside demo kitchen, to the broken-down pool table with the sketchy cues in the Trustees game room, it’s home sweet home! But it holds a dark, smelly secret: the dorm bathrooms.

All the First-Year dorm bathrooms have the same set-up: two to four showers on one side, two to four toilets on the other, and four sinks in the middle. I don’t even want to start on about the single-use gender neutral bathrooms, which is like Satan’s personal torture chamber for people with good hygiene.

Walking into the First-Year bathrooms is like a game of Russian roulette: you never know what you’re going to get when you pull back a shower curtain, open a stall door, go to wash your hands in the sink, or even what smell you get when you step in the door. You could get flowery soap, the crappy Axe that someone doused themselves in, or last night’s dinner sitting unflushed in some toilet.

Bringing in a whole bucket of cleaning supplies and Clorox wipes is essential to having a comfortable, sanitary toilet experience. Unfortunately, us students are either too broke to afford that, too lazy to think about it, or both. Opening up the stall doors to cautiously peer in is totally like that game show where you had to pick a door, and you got whatever was behind that door. “Behind door number one it’s spontaneous and sleazy, it’s a jizz covered toilet seat folks!” And the list goes on to pee soaked floors, unflushed toilets, etc. My ultimate quest in life has changed from ending global warming to finding a clean, dry toilet where I only have to put one layer of toilet paper over the seat.

The showers are another nightmare. It’s just like that classic horror movie scene, where the killer pulls back the shower curtain and there’s a screaming naked girl, but instead you’re the screaming naked girl pulling back the curtain, and whatever trap the devil set up for you is behind it: hairy shower drains, mysterious crusty substances on the walls, wet towels, gross chunky tile floors, and sometimes the stall just smells like straight ass (a shower’s purpose is to make you clean, so why would it smell like that?).

We finally reach the sinks, the hidden disaster within this special hell reserved for us. From unwashed spit and boogers, to pasta noodles and grimy dental floss, you can’t ever look down into the sink bowl when you wash your hands. The weak water pressure refuses to break through the layers of dried toothpaste, and with no paper towels in sight, cleaning it is not in anyone’s best interest, unless it’s with a three-foot pole.

The First-Year Village bathrooms do have some positives: sometimes one is lucky enough to find a decently clean shower, a dry toilet seat, or a bearable looking sink. It would be a much nicer bathroom if the people making use of such facilities can figure out how to use it. As nice as they look, it’s just as deceiving as the people on “Catfish.” This rating is a 2/10 from me folks.

An Ode to Stimson

Photo Credit:

“Your shirt smells like Stimson,” someone tells you. There’s not a specific smell that you can pinpoint as smelling like an entire building, but you know exactly what they mean. Yet — you haven’t been in Stimson in, like, eight months. Actually, you can’t remember the last time you were in Stimson. Also, this shirt is brand-new. Does that mean that everything you wear smells like Stimson? Do you just smell like Stimson?

“Stimson was supposed to be knocked down in the seventies,” an upperclassman said once, back when you were still a freshman. It was a funny joke; Stimson was the focal point of the entire campus, the meeting grounds at which clumps of people would reunite each mealtime. Now the administration is saying again that Stimson will be gone soon. Isn’t that what they promised last time? Maybe there will always be cycles of new people saying that Stimson will be destroyed every decade or so. Maybe you should switch your means of measuring time to be the last time someone said Stimson would be eliminated. How many years has it been since 2010? Oh, I don’t know anymore, but it’s been seventeen years since someone in a suit promised last Stimson would burn.

“I swear I heard a mouse last night,” your roommate used to say, back when you both lived in Winslow 3. Now whenever you walk past Stimson, all you can see are mice. They have built a home for themselves in the abandoned hallways of Connor. They seem to watch you through the windows through the cracking mesh screens, leer at you with their vacuous stares. One of them seems to be wearing a crown. They have colonized the land that was once yours, made it their own. They live amongst the ruins. They are all that is left.

For the last few years, nature has been waging its own war against the aging collection of buildings called Stimson. First came the mice, but then the spiders, and the moths. They live in the showers, buried into the carpets, hidden underneath the closet doors. And do you remember the bees? An entire swarming colony of them. “Docile,” the Public Safety email said they were, but when you saw them, you knew they were anything but. Their buzzing seemed to you like screaming, like a warning, Stay out. Or, possibly, Stay away.

The new campus fulcrum, Mary Fisher, looks upon Stimson with jealousy. It has glass windows that, for some reason, are cloaked in black fabric, and updated appliances and cool orange chairs. But you know better. The orange chairs are too high for anyone to comfortably sit upon. The white floors are too clean, they smell like Lysol, sterilized and shiny. There are no stains here. Mary Fisher wages a war against the nature that controls Stimson now, fights back. It says, You may have won that battle, but you will not take me.

In sandwich line at Mary Fisher the other day, you overheard a freshman say to another freshman, “Stimson? I don’t even know where that is.” You have been here for a thousand years, and these freshman are so young and new and you feel sorry for them. You think of the smell, of the line outside by the corkboard, of the mice you cohabited with, of the recycled promise of its downfall. And you smile to yourself, because Stimson was more than just a building that may eventually be conquered, it was a talisman, a memento, an inspiration, of resilience and strength. An old friend that smiles at you sadly from the far side of Van Meter, but you never quite have the energy to go and say hello.

Go to Top