What better way to show love for your fellow class members than beating them into the snow drifts that blanketed the freshman quad this past week? At the freshman snowball fight organized by the class’ resident counselors (RCs) last Tuesday, many found themselves being taken down hardcore by people who they had presumed to be close friends.
“I just couldn’t understand why all of a sudden the very same guy who had been so docile and considerate just that afternoon turned into an animalistic force the minute he stepped on the quad,” said Phoebe Stone ’04. “It might have been our whispered plot to ‘go get him.'”
The basic structure of the brawl began with an alliance between James and Stearns Halls as they joined forces against the bonded North and South Colleges. “Valentine and Appleton were in there somewhere I think … at least I saw them afterwards, but they were surprisingly dry and warm,” noted Molly Jacobs ’04.
Several first-years were also disappointed at the missed opportunity to attack their RCs, since these helpful upperclassmen were stationed in the basement of James Hall with hot chocolate and cookies. Granted, no one disputed this invaluable service.
Overall, the giant battle was a huge success, and the freshmen proudly bore impressive bruises and sore muscles to show for it for days afterwards. Katayun Adhami ’04 and a friend took a noteworthy beating by South RC Jonathan Schneider ’03. “We didn’t even know what hit us, but luckily the poofiness of my coat was insulation enough to break my fall,” she said.
Some played fair, others dirty. In the end, though, the only casualties were a couple pairs of room keys and a great deal of dignity.
Unusual performances in Valentine are becoming quite fashionable. Last semester, Amherst students danced into Valentine with trays to announce the theater and dance performance “Cartesian Split.” Two nights ago in Valentine, cast members from “The Doctor in Spite of Himself” called attention to their upcoming performance when they ran into Valentine chasing each other with whips and calling out “Use the sharp end!” in an interesting display of thespian camaraderie. “I think Valentine advertising is neat,” said Keith Ulmer ’01. “It makes dinner more interesting.”
Cast members followed an extended route that began in the servery and ended with a grand finale in West as they sprinted through the dining hall, pausing briefly only to beat each other up. The backs of their shirts read “Stage Leprechauns,” which explained their strange elf-like appearance.
“The debacle that occurred in Valentine this evening was a sure sign of the influence of sadomasochism on the Experimental Theater at Amherst,” said Courtney Dowd ’04.
The play, directed by Dan Farbman ’01, is a modern version of Molière’s “The Doctor In Spite of Himself” and has one of the longest schedules in the history of the College. It is running for six evenings in a row, not including the open dress rehearsal on Monday afternoon. The play opened on Tuesday evening and runs through Sunday.
Students of all ages were impressed and intrigued by the unexpected performance. Some were even frightened by the display of violence.
“It was really kind of disturbing-more disturbing than it was amusing,” said Crystal Bass ’04. “I guess it was kind of intriguing because now I’m wondering just what the play is about.”
It’s a good thing the cast members chose Monday for their Valentine debut, as the number of small children and innocent Amherst civilians numbered few, if any.