The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Grinnell Cribs Crawl: The High Life

Moving-in day must have been very much a surprise for the six residents of the Halfway House—none of the residents were good friends before moving in together. Rachel Smith ’11, Scott Koenning ’10, Marshall Chavez ’10, Caitlin Helterline ’10, and Jeff Kljaich ’11 were brought together under one roof by James Archer ’10, who acted as the “forefather” and “commonality” between them, according to Kljaich and Helterline, respectively.

For a house full of athletes, the Halfway House is spotless. “Have you seen Shambalot across the street? You should definitely go look and compare,” Archer said.

Not only is their house clean, “The cabinets are even labeled!” Helterline said—something Koenning did to cope with a football loss. “He takes his anger out on the cleaning supplies,” Kljaich said.

The residents decided to name their house the Halfway House, not because they consider themselves homeless teens, but because, “We’re all half something,” Kljaich said. “Like, I’m half Asian.” Chavez is half Mexican, Archer half black, and Helterline half Jewish. “Rachel half likes girls, half likes boys,” said Helterline, and added that as for Koenning, “He’s half gangster.”

But there is a more sentimental interpretation as well. “This is our last residence before we, you know, leave,” Helterline said. “[We’re] half in college, half taking care of shit for ourselves.” Plus, they are also halfway up the first block of High Street.
The only plans for the house are to “decorate,” Koenning said. They have already invested in some furniture, including a couch that they affectionately call “the Piss Couch.” Wondering why the couch was so inexpensive, they performed a sniff test and knew instantly “Someone’s pissed on this,” Koenning said.

Despite the early negative result, they continued the sniff test and ultimately approved the couch. “One by one, each of the guys smells the couch and make the nastiest faces,” Helterline said. “So we bought it anyway.” They’ve invested in Febreeze and Resolve since then, and while it doesn’t smell like urine anymore, “It doesn’t smell like flowers, either,” Helterline said. The couch is yet another thing that’s halfway—halfway between smelling like pee and smelling like flowers.

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