As morbid as it might be, there are plenty of ways to die at Brown. College is a dangerous place. Winter is a dangerous season. The new Campus Snapstory encourages students to do attention-grabbing things. The buildings are 200 years old. You never know what’s gonna happen, so you may as well be wary of the ways you might find your demise here on campus. Most are uncontrollable, but you may as well know, in case there’s any way to prepare for the danger that lies ahead.
1. Being smushed when the person in front of you on line for the Ratty neglects to hold the door open. Or being blown backwards, flying up, and getting smashed on the inside Ratty doors when those 1,000 mph winds are unleashed while trying to leave. (Basically, you’re screwed pre- and post-Cajun pasta.)
2. In something that looks like a scene from I Am Legend, you are climbing to the third floor in Health Services and the slanted spiral staircase, in slow motion, collapses beneath you.
3. Sledding down College Hill and making a grand entrance right into the below-freezing Providence River. We’re talking a deadly drowning/hypothermia combo.
4. On that note — being impaled by a six-foot dangling icicle.
5. A big disk (is that a light? a fan? a UFO?) that hangs from the Ratty ceiling falls and lands right on your head, creating something that looks like this:
(And obviously you’ll just be sitting there, like, “Oh, bother.”)
“These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, really though/ There are no hedge-rows, just look”
“Where are you living this year?”
“I’m in Grad Center.”
That was a conversation I had within seconds of meeting another Brown student over Thanksgiving break, who happens to be a friend of my cousin. It was not an unusual interaction in the slightest. The Graduate Center is not held in high esteem by the student population at large, and I admit that I take the occasional potshot at it. But today is going to be different – today, I shall avoid the quick and easy defamation of this cinder block citadel and explain why Grad Center is actually a nice place to live. This is my second year living in this dorm thanks to the potent combination of my apathy towards the housing lottery and my bizarre and fragmented sleep schedule. Am I exposing the truth, or is this a textbook case of Stockholm Syndrome? I leave it up to you, dear reader, to decide.
Grad Center Bar
The GCB is great, no question about it. But how often do we consider what the first two letters of that acronym stand for? Without Grad Center, there can be no GCB. Think about that the next time you want to talk trash, you ungrateful wretches.
The Bear’s Lair
No, don’t stop reading. The Bear’s Lair is terrible, and utterly inferior to Nelson Center in terms of equipment and space. However, it fills a particular workout niche that Nelson leaves woefully unaddressed: night workouts. The Bear’s Lair is listed on the Brown recreation website as closing at midnight. This is pure fiction. The Bear’s Lair is always open, which is a dream if you, like me, procrastinate your workouts so much that you end up starting at 3a.m. I’d go so far as to say that the middle of the night is the only good time to workout in Grad Center’s own carpeted gym (Who made that decision?). You won’t have to wait for a treadmill, or for some guy to get his millionth set of curls done with the 25’s. If you feel intensely awkward when working out, or have an intense fear of gym rats, get to the Bear’s Lair at the witching hour. If you live in Grad Center, you barely have to go outside, which is ideal in colder months.
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: I cannot and will not refer to the Grad Center gym as the “Bear’s Lair.” I refuse on principle. The principle being that that name is terrible. I have not heard a name that I have hated that much since my parents gave me the middle name Weidman (also potentially spelled Wiedman, I’m not sure).
Since returning from winter break, our lovely Providence streets have been defined by two things: black ice and the blood of its victims. Which brings me to my flog within a flog: people who don’t shovel their sidewalks. It is these individuals who are to blame for our treacherous walks. They didn’t shovel their sidewalks after that first snows weeks ago, the snow proceeded to freeze when the temperature dropped, and poor pedestrians are now confronted with sheets of ice impossible to traverse with the boots of mere man. These people are the worst of the worst. I mean, I know that at home my dad would ask me and my sisters to shovel at least three times before he would just do it himself because THAT is what it means to be a good Samaritan. But I digress.
The point is that, for those who value their lives, the number of recent days fit for running outside has been
nonexistent limited, to say the least. Luckily, alternative exercise opportunity can be found at The Happiest Place on Campus: Grad Center.