‘19s: How to Touch the Fire

By Fiona Ewing, The Dartmouth Staff | 10/9/15 7:55am

The time has come: Homecoming is finally upon us. And at Dartmouth that means that tonight the upperclassmen will gather around a massive, burning pyre shout “Touch the fire!” as the freshman class runs around it. Nothing oddly satanic about that. Not at all.
If you’re a ’19, that also means you now have two important tasks ahead of you: touching the fire and running around it 119 times. It’s basically a question of speed or endurance — take your pick. If you’re not already in good enough shape to complete all 119 laps, that sounds like a personal problem — not much we can do for you. However! Touching the fire? That’s something everyone’s invested in, what we’re all there to see and an area where we can offer you some real advice. So ‘19s, read through this guide on how to touch the fire, devise your plan and do us proud – lest you continue to be labeled the “worst class ever.”
1. Know why you’re touching the fire.
You need to understand why you’re doing it. I believe they say the same thing about rush. You need to have a good reason to run straight for middle of a blazing inferno and stick your hand in it. I believe they say the same thing about rush.

2. Don’t be afraid of getting tackled.
Rugby and football players, skip this step. There’s going to be a lot of officers waiting to take you down once they see you make a break for it. Here are a few tackle gifs you should take a look at. That way if you see the person before you fail you won’t get scared and back out of this wonderfully thought out eight-step plan.

3. Have the eye of the tiger.
You’re going to need to run as fast as you possibly can, and to do you’re going to have to pick up the intensity.

Oh wait…not like that. Let’s try that again.

4. Don’t draw suspicion.
Don’t stop running around the fire, looking like you’re about to make a break for it. You need the element of surprise on your side, so it’s probably best to just turn towards the fire and go for it once you reach the part of the circle that gives you the clearest path in.

5. Runnnnn! Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge!
Go. Just go.

6. Touch the Fire!!!!
If you make it to the fire, don’t hesitate. There would be nothing worse than actually making it to the fire and freezing up. Just touch it and continue on to step 7.

7. Book it out of there.
Have a group of upperclassmen friends waiting at the other side of the circle to absorb you back into the crowd. Security will continue to look for you even if you successfully touch the fire, so it’s probably also smart to wear something that won’t be easy to spot. So like the opposite of flair.

8. Bask in your glory.
For the next two weeks the question on everybody’s lips will be “who touched the fire?” People will know your name, and in their minds will either label you a hero or slightly crazy. Possibly both. Probably both. But hey, you might get a new Facebook friend or two. And at the end of the day maybe that’s what all of this was for. I believe they say the same thing about rush.

Fiona Ewing, The Dartmouth Staff