A Huge, Huge Tool

by Chris Barth | 11/4/04 6:00am

To the Editor:

Everyone said that the bonfire was going to be amazing. That it was going to sum up the Dartmouth spirit in one night of crazy fun. And it did. They told me I would feel more like a part of my class than I ever had before. And I did. They told me that the fire would be so hot it would hurt, that the 108 laps I ran would be fueled by adrenaline, and that upperclassmen would chant and tell us we were the worst class ever. Once again, they were right. They didn't, however, tell me that someone would steal my hat.

Normally, I wouldn't care. If I had left it lying on the ground, or given it to someone else to wear, I would blame myself, walk to the Co-op, and buy a new one. But this time it's personal.

You straight up grabbed my hat off of my head. C'mon now. I was running with my class, pushed along by the wave of freshmen running in circles. My hands were linked with my '08 friends. And you take my hat right off of my head? Real cool.

I was faced with a choice. Keep running, do my 108 laps, and let you keep my hat, or stop, leave my friends, try to find you in the crowd, and get my hat back. I chose the former. I don't know what it was -- maybe the energy and adrenaline, maybe the crowd surrounding me, maybe the fact that I didn't want to put a face to such a loser thing to do -- but I kept running. And I'm glad I did. Because if I had stopped I wouldn't have noticed how the crowd changed. How the shouts turned from "worst class ever" to "keep it up", and how more and more people left until I felt like I recognized everyone in the circle. How stopping after two hours of running brought high fives of completion rather than shoves back into the circle. I'm glad I let you keep my hat. I know I made the right choice on Homecoming.

Thanks to everyone involved in making Homecoming a great experience for the Class of 2008. And thanks to you, guy who stole my hat, for being a huge, huge tool.

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