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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

GC pride stems from shared traditions

“I don’t want this weekend to end,” sings philosopher Rebecca Black in her critically-acclaimed prose poem, “Friday,” and I am inclined to agree. Outside of our bubble, the National Football League is going ahead with its annual draft while the owners and players bicker over who hates fans more, partisan politics is getting in the way of fruitful budget debate in Washington and the world has a reason to know the name Kate Middleton. Surely this column is not about the importance of tradition?

In short, it is. Inside of our bubble, we are gearing up for a resurgent Relays and the thirty-fifth annual Titular Head film festival this weekend. Stay in Grinnell for just one Reunion and count the number of times alumni talk about either of these events. Compare that to the number of times alumni talk about going to class, or academics at all, and maybe you won’t be surprised that many of their most cherished memories happened outside the classroom. And maybe you won’t be surprised if I predict that many of yours and my favorite memories from Grinnell will not occur in a classroom. And maybe you won’t be surprised if someone besides me looks back on this weekend in twenty years and remembers it fondly.

For now, these two traditions seem safe. Twice as many teams signed up for Relays than anticipated. The number and quality of Titular Head submissions have somehow managed to surpass last year, and tickets ran out within the first hour. I honestly expect it to be the biggest and best ever. Initially, I wanted to write about how to have a great Titular Head experience in this column, but I realized that Ron Burgundy said it best in three words already, “When in Rome.” If you don’t know what I mean today, you will tomorrow.

We at Grinnell are very fortunate to have these two outlets of creativity and relaxation; even more so because we can reasonably expect to see them again in 2011-12. Some long-standing campus institutions are not as optimistic. I sincerely hope that the days of Bob’s Underground Café are not numbered in the way they are for the Class of 2011. After all, it was in Bob’s, as a prospective student in the fall of 2006, that I decided to come here. I implore you all to find the things at Grinnell you value and endeavor to preserve them. It is our, and soon, your, responsibility to fight for what makes this such a special place. Don’t stop believin’.

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  • K

    Kramer J McLuckieMay 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Great column, Pat. You seniors have done a nice job of helping preserve important Grinnell traditions, now it’s [2012]’s turn!

  • S

    Sarah '08May 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. I also spent a large chunk of my prospie experience bright-eyed in Bob’s. Thanks for this!