A few of my favorite things

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Welcome back, everyone! I figured now would be an appropriate moment to appreciate all the things we love about our school. After all, by the time midterms come around we’ll be right back to normal: wild–eyed with stress, freezing cold and complaining. So here’s my top ten.

1. I can go in the Campus Center, go to the middle of the ground floor, and spin slowly around in a circle. In that way I know pretty much everything that is going on around campus, plus some random fun facts. “Yeah, Marisa, you GO girl! Chomp that comp!” “Hey, Jane Ellen Nickell got her PhD!” It’s such a democratic way to spread information. My friend and I made a poster that had no words, just a recycling sign, an elephant wearing a construction helmet, a pair of shoes, dragonflies, a tennis racquet and confetti. And we spread that bizarre message to the world.

2. Our campus is on a hill. When I ride my bike, it is either incredibly difficult or delightfully easy. And my brake pads wear out after ten minutes.

3. The weather is always a great topic of conversation. Everyone is up for complaining about the Meadville weather or exclaiming about how unexpectedly nice it is. I used to be annoyed by it –– I don’t particularly enjoy discussing things I have no control over –– but I have since embraced it.

4. The number of benches. I think my favorite is the marble one in the Campus Center, facing the Arnold Hall of Music. I sat there, chilled by the marble, hearing all the people in the Campus Center lobby having fun while watching all the people who were just walking through that hall. It’s like it was built to maximize creeping. I’m hoping the class of 2011 will donate another bench. Sure, one could complain about how it seems a bit excessive, but I dare to disagree. Benches are like t–shirts, you can always use another one.

5. Try Meadville in the summertime. We have a gorgeous campus, which is all the easier to appreciate during the months of ice cream cones and roller–blading. You can get to know all your friendly Bonner, Davies and researching peers.

6. The sports teams have taken to giving away food to entice me to come. I love a school where instead of having to pay to come to sports, they pay me. Especially when they pay me in delicious food.

7. We are the Allegheny Gators. My mom always says the higher up in academia you go, the less of a sense of humor they have, and, I am happy to say, that is not (always) the case here. We named our mascot after a humor magazine! Can someone bring that magazine back?

8. I like the giant blown-up pictures strewn about the Campus Center. They are totally interesting, and I appreciate the rotational effect they have. It keeps me interested when I would have long since tuned the pictures out. They are the charming visual companions to the aforementioned signs hanging on the CC railing, a series illustrating the story of our years here.

9. Movies from the game room. However, I would like to issue a complaint: Stop taking out the movies I want to take out! I’ve taken out “Doogal” more than once out of desperation. I still haven’t gotten around to watching it, but I have accumulated about 10 dollars worth of fines from it. The real deal is games from the game room, though. Playing board games with friends is where it’s at.

10. The people are just great. Everyone is so friendly! A special thanks goes out to our amazingly competent and friendly food–service and janitorial staff.

And there is so much enthusiasm! Did everyone go to the Activities Fair? One of the hallmarks of the Activities Fair is that freshman are overexcited and sign up for too many groups. That’s great! Plus, I personally enjoyed the e–mails that kept me up to date on the meetings I didn’t manage to go to.

Even our administration is encouraging, supportive, and helpful, and they genuinely want each and everyone one of us to ACCEL (That’s not a typo, that’s an Allegheny pun. You’re welcome.) and get involved in creating and improving things for our community.

As far as I can tell, they are all great. Just kidding. I’m just saying that to get on their good side. But seriously, people, everyone I’ve ever asked was willing and excited to meet with individuals and groups to share ideas and help support new plans and programs. Thanks for making it great so far, everyone! Have an amazing year!

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