Shape Up, 'Shmen

by Johannes Thum | 1/5/06 6:00am

It's the start of another Dartmouth term. At this point, all I can say is, "Meh."

It's worth noting that if you could see me right now, you would notice that I simultaneously shrug and grin when I say it; this is more a "there's some pretty good times to be had" kind of iteration than a "I'm a cranky son of a gun" kind.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy here. I like snowballs, Ray at Collis and really slippery sidewalks.

Life is good. Another day in paradise.

But if there's one thing that really prods my cattle, it's those silly 'shmen.

You know the ones. They walk around with that ridiculous freshmen smirk on their faces, as if they are really on top of their game now that they made it through their first term at college. They may have run around the bonfire, but I'll bet a pretty penny that they didn't run 109 laps. Those sissies probably ran nine and called it a night.

Back in my day, the bonfire wasn't over until Mike Sinnott finished 107 laps. And every lap was run like a true champion.

What happened to things like pride, dear class of 2009? Have you not ever heard of American mettle?

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

A prime example of the failure of the current freshmen class has got to be Max Hopkins '09. Just this very morning, he tried to explain to me that he felt freshmen males were discriminated against in the Dartmouth hook-up scene. "While males only become more attractive as the years pass in the eyes of females (to wit, Sean Connery, Robert Redford or Elvis)," Max wrote, "females peak at the age of 16 (evidence: look at Lindsay Lohan in 'The Parent Trap' vs. Lindsay Lohan today)." To say the least, this logic reminds me of a duck in love with a football: no matter how hard he tries, all we can hear is a bunch of awkward quacking.

But I don't hate like that. I love my class! Although I don't know if I'll come for the reunions. I think reunions are, in a way, a bit like going to your doctor for a check-up. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Also, if you're feeling healthy, why find out that you're sick? It's an attitude thing, really.

I will always think fondly of my time with my fellow members of the Class of 2007 -- I ate a lot, I played a lot, I went to exciting hockey games a lot. Granted I only tubed on the Connecticut once, but it was some memorable tubing. Back on track, I guess my point is this: Freshmen, get your act together.

Now, I'm not out to sound like Mr. Know-It-All. Lord knows that I don't know the answers to most of my exams. I can't do those funny Japanese tic-tac-toe puzzles in the newspaper. I can barely check in at the airport without help.

But c'mon kids, shape up!

None of you touched the fire like you were supposed to (it's not like you weren't reminded to). You all still keep in touch with your high school girlfriends. Your class has no catchy tagline to put on T-shirts for your families such as "Oh Seven Heaven."What will you do when Parents' Weekend comes around? Your parents will be embarrassed at what their precious children have become. Let me guess, your tagline will be "On Cloud Oh Nine."

Give me a break. What happened to things like originality?

Oh, and Max, good luck with the ladies.