A Few Days At Colgate Teach Some Important Lessons

28 August 1998

By Stentor Danielson

I got some interesting mail this summer, including an invitation to join the First United Church of Elvis (FUCE), a demand that I join the FUCE and a letter that began "If you do not join the FUCE withing thirty days, Darryl, Dwight and Duane will come over to your house and make sarcastic comments about your decor and taste in music." But by far the most important letters I got asked me to come to Colgate early to participate in the Pep Band and The Maroon-News. In order to save Darryl, Dwight and Duane from making a trip to my house, I agreed to participate in these activities.

Before I got to experience the magic and wonder that is the Colgate Red Raider Fairly-Small-But-That's-Not-Our-Fault-Award-Winning-Pep-Band-Of-The-Gods, I had to move into my room. I got a room at the back of Gate House, so my window allows me a breathtakingly panoramic view of a steep hillside topped by a solid fence, all of which stands a mere three feet from my window. Also, I found that when I turn out my light, my stereo turns off. The only explanation for this is space aliens. Obviously, it would defeat their plan to take over the world using a disabling nerve drug in certain newspaper inks -- just like those The Maroon-News uses -- if I were to listen to Weird Al by candlelight.

As I watched my parents drive away, one single thought filled my mind -- a thought that embodied my entire view of the transition to college life: Now that I don't share a room with my brother, I won't have to listen to The Best of Village People or K.C. and the Sunshine Band's "Get Down Live."

Once I left my dorm, I noticed that the mountains surrounding campus were covered in a strange greenish substance. Using the intellectual powers that got me into Colgate, I deduced that I was seeing trees. This would indicate that Hamilton had not been poisoned by the fumes from a zinc-smelting plant, as my hometown was. No disco music and no zinc/lead/cadmium contamination: So far, so good.

I proceeded from the first Maroon-News meeting to the first Pep Band meeting. There, i was introduced to a whole bunch (actually, it was closer to one and a half bunches) of people whose names I quickly forgot. On the way to supper at the much-maligned Frank Dining Hall, the short girl and the guy in the gray shorts told me that you probably don't want to read about every single thing I did, even if I left out the parts about brushing my teeth and buying a keychain.

Over the course of the evening, I was impressed by other things about Colgate, including the dedication of the Buildings and Grounds crew. They didn't let a little rain deter them from carrying out their duty to thoroughly water the lawns.

Though classes haven't started yet, I am pleased to tell you that I have learned a number (four) of useful concepts in my stay at Colgate. Among them are "Everybody, play louder!"; "mellophones, play louder!" and "Don't fall on your butt." But most importantly, I learned that the Star Wars cards hanging up all over Gate House do not indicate that Star Wars is the card game of choice here (as opposed to Magic: The Gathering). This was a great relief, as I did not want to have to learn a new game to lose.

So, overall, I think that my first three days here at Colgate were enjoyable, even though I was unable to locate the local shrine to Elvis.

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