Just Read Steph's Column

by Caleb Powers | 5/19/06 5:00am

OMFG. We've worked through nearly another whole term and our big weekend is finally here. It's the same routine every term, but there's definitely something special about Green Key. Homecoming stands as a monolith among traditional collegiate weekends; it always happens and, as its name implies, has a real purpose. Winter Carnival at Dartmouth also has a clear purpose: We pretend to celebrate the cold to trick ourselves into temporarily forgetting its overwhelmingly miserable and depressing reality. Tubestock was a gift to Dartmouth sophomores, an opportunity to be like Seinfeld and to kill themselves at life's peak. Now the Man wants to rescind his offer, but what the Man doesn't know doesn't hurt Him.

In contrast to all of these other weekends, Green Key is a weekend that has no ostensible purpose. Admittedly, I'm completely ignorant towards the entire realm of Green Key history. Maybe there's something about it in this issue. I assume it has something to do with the Green Key Society, but that's just another purpose-less institution. Seriously, ask anybody in it and they'll tell you. Or, instead of asking a member of the Green Key society about it, just kick one in the groin and explain that you assumed their resume had enough padding to share a little with their pants. The point is that I have no idea why Green Key exists, and I don't care. As far as I know, it's an opportunity to immerse oneself in mob mentality and just get after it for no real reason. I find its lack of purpose to be beautiful and inspiring. Kind of like the Immigration Day march/rally, except without the bullhorn and actually inspiring me to do something more than shut a couple windows.

From year to year, these special issues don't change much. That's because these special weekends don't change much. Lots of alumni come back to relive their glory days, but usually end up getting aggressively drunk to escape the monotony and emptiness of life at Bear Stearns and vomit on freshmen girls. Many undergraduates drink more than they should and gallivant from party to party, partner to partner and hard drug to hard drug. I hear others attend the many cultural events that are planned, simply enjoying the weather and life. It looks like it will probably be raining for the majority of this Green Key weekend, so I guess it looks like a lot of those East Wheelock better-than-me's milieu of high culture will have to clash with the id of the masses (read: basements) if they want to have any kind of significant Green Key experience. (I want everybody to pause for a second to realize how great of a metaphor that was: Comparing Freud's concept of id to a fraternity house basement. The metaphor falls short, though, when you realize that a super amount of ego saturates the entire physical plant. I guess it'd just be easier to say that your frat is full of douchebags and that "Heorot" isn't even a Greek letter.) Or maybe they'll just move the Pow-Wow and Festival of Humanity inside.

Unfortunately but inescapably, the forecasted rain will probably put a big damper on the weekend. The undeniable reality of Green Key is that the good weather is what sets it apart from the rest, along with the activities that good weather allows. I'm sure Phi Delt would love to use the IFC as its personal piggy bank to pay for famous jam bands to play on their porch over Winter Carnival or Homecoming as well, but the likelihood of snow (combined with the high costs of anti-AEPi propaganda) forces them to settle for using the batch song to entertain guests instead. Drinking from trash cans aside, do your best to keep the rain from ruining what will be a disappointingly normal weekend that you'll reflect on for years as being the "best time ever." Don't let anybody tell you holding an umbrella is preferable to holding a Boone's. If somebody does, remind them that Green Key isn't about comfort. It's not about anything. To illustrate this point for your dry counterpart, grab their umbrella, unscrew the knob on top and stab them in the stomach. Then break the bottle of Boone's on your head and run into traffic. Neither of you were that interesting anyway.

My point is that reading this is not what your Green Key needed. Go enjoy your weekend. But first, make sure you've read Steph's column on the opposite page. When you see her at the lawn party, she'll probably want to talk about it.

Advertise your student group in The Dartmouth for free!