Note: I was going to post this two days ago, but my internet connection crapped out. Inexplicably, it was still fine on my laptop (but I didn’t have the post saved on that computer, so it did me no good).
There’s so little theft around here that many people don’t even bother to lock their bikes, instead leaving them strewn about major congregating places. I locked my bike anyhow. Though, I increasingly have just been putting it in a rack, if I’m not going to be long. Yesterday, Security sent out an email saying that there’s been a rash of bike theft and stripping, and people ought to start using their locks.
But I didn’t check my email yesterday. I got up to go to breakfast, and went to my bike, and my bike was gone. In my naivety, I had left it unlocked over the night banking on trust in my fellow Grinnellian. It was nowhere around. So I had to walk to breakfast instead. Then I called up Security to report it, but I didn’t have time before class to file a report, so instead I went to class. Afterwards, I called them up again, and they said to come on down to the Security building to report it. I walked there. And before I got in, I noticed my bike was in their bike rack. The lock was still on the lock-holder bracket, so I undid it to prove to the lady on duty that I knew the combination and it was mine. She had no idea why it was there, and I was the second person to come to file a report and find their bike there that day. She asked someone else in the back, “Do you know how’s come we have all these bikes?” So I have my bike again. It took a different theft to convince me to lock my bike up every time I used it; now it’s taken this one to convince me to lock it up every time, no matter where. On a side note, people suck.
So, now that I’ve said that, let’s get an in-depth look at my first week or so at Grinnell. The first few days were taken up completely by New Student Orientation stuff, which booked our schedules. Luckily, I had already gone on the Outdoor Orientation, so I was able to skip some of the stuff and take a rock climbing class instead, in the old gym. They created all sorts of events to get us to meet new people, most of them flawed in one way or another. For example, in the new gym, they had everyone aggregate on the floor and get in groups by various attributes, like shirt color. Then they had us make a human map, and then they had us line up by birthday. The flaw in this is that we met at least a hndred new people and were expected to learn the names of all of them, and consequentially we overloaded, and I only remember one person from the whole thing (Sadish). Another time, we played a massive game of freeze tag on Mac Field, but it was well over the critical mass for a freeze tag game, so everyone stopped playing and fractured into little groups, standing around. As far as I’m concerned, the very best way to meet new people is through something like GOOP. At the very least, they should do this stuff in way smaller groups and more organically. Anyhow, despite all that, I managed to meet a whole bunch of people, although I’ve forgotten many of them. And everyone here is someone I could get along with, and also carry on an intelligent conversation with. It’s weird coming out of a place like Finneytown, where there are only a few people among the mass who actually have the faintest clue about anything, and coming to Grinnell, where my intelligence is probably only about the average, and everyone understands when you talk about abstruse, obscure, or non-sports things. I won a game of Scrabble at a Board Game night. And did other fun stuff.
They had a hypnotist come over; he’s been coming here for about 7 years to give a good time to each incoming class. Being interested in the unconscious, because of a book that I’m going to write sometime, I tried to get hypnotized, but it didn’t work. I just had to content myself with watching the 30 or so people on the stage. It was pretty awesome. There was no specific moment where he signaled “Now you’re hypnotized”, so it was weird watching them gradually become entranced without feeling anything. He started out tame, making them think they were hot and then cold. Then he had them experience various tastes from an imaginary piece of candy, finally locking their jaws open with it by making it expand inside. After that, we got to watch a butt dance competition, and everyone put their all into it; two people were actually quite impressive, putting some creativity and energy into it. He trained one guy to take an imaginary cat to the litterbox every minute or two, and trained another guy to be physically attracted to a microphone stand. He also struck a soft spot by maltreating a stuffed dog, which they thought was real. And the had some people put on an Aretha Franklin concert, complete with a girl lip-synching “Respect”. Finally he wound down by planting some suggestions that they could keep, like, some people had to answer to a ringing sound he had by taking off their shoe and answering it, and some people ot dragged by imaginary dogs when he said “Big dog,” and one guy, at the sound of a slide whistle, rushed out to a tiny life preserver on the stage and called for help from an invisible ship. All of this las stuff was post-hypnotic stuff, too. It all ended after they left the room, at least. Oh man, it was great. I have a feeling this place is going to be the time of my life. Where else would they bring in a hypnotist? And, you can start a student organization and request funding for it, so obviously I’m going to create a krokay group, and hopefully get some extraordinarily durable nylon 6,6 for some mallets that will last a lifetime. I’ve joined some other groups already, like the newspaper, the press, Quiz Bowl, and possibly Dag (people hitting each other with foam swords in a melee situation) and some other stuff. The organizations here are so great. I didn’t realize until I got here how little fun I had before.
The classes are tough, though; especially English 223, which was my second choice, and I’m trying to get into 228, so I just have to hope someone already in it drops it. The professor opened the class with a quiz. Honestly! The others are some better, but that might just be because they haven’t gotten into full swing yet. I’m sure I’ll be quite familiar with unending torment by the end of the semester. DID YOU KNOW: Grinnell’s workload is rated the third highest in the country, approximately, depending on the source.
File under: college