Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy May Day!

It's May First! That's May Day! Now, unless you have gone to Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, that probably doesn't mean much to you. I am a proud graduate of Washington (Often pronounced WAR-SHIN-TIN)College. And, maybe not so proudly, a four year participant in their May Day Festivities. My level of participation increased each year, and by my senior year, I was..well, totally free.
So, what, you ask is May Day at Washington College? Let's see...WIKIPEDIA describes it as such:
It is a Washington College tradition to celebrate May Day (May 1) by liberating oneself from one's restrictive and oppressive clothing and partying desnudo with fellow students mostly by the flagpole

Yeah...Naked. I was naked. Geez.

As a freshman at Washington College...I wasn't quite sure if this was something that was true...or if it was akin to the lies that you hear upper classmen tell freshmen all the time. You know, telling some poor schmuck, "Oh, yes. I'll help you...Go right down that hall. Make a left at the pool and then head up the stair. First room on your left." When the one story school has no pool.... I thought maybe it was like that....

I had an English Paper due on May 2nd. I was assiduously (Pun intended!) working on my paper...and I was irritated because I'd waited too long to do it...and even more irritated that it was for Professor Bennett Lamond--who, legend had it, had started all this May Day nonsense to begin with. I heard some noise in the hallway. Then it came...a knock on my door. "Um...come in?" The door opened. And, there were Five Naked Theta Chis. Steve "Hutty" Huetner and William "Ice" Halagarda were two of them. I cannot seem to remember who else was there though...Gimme a was 19 years ago!

Anyway...I decided to go and explore the activities! And, oh what fun!

I did end up finishing that paper. Well, kind of. I didn't exactly do the assignment. We were supposed to write a paper on this stupid book called Palefire (I think). Professor Lamond was good at giving us completely vague paper topics. And, when you asked him, "How long does the paper have to be?" his response was always the same..."Write until you have exhausted all possibilities and then begin to write." What kind of crazy answer was this?!?!?

Anyway, we had two choices of topics for this paper. We could either write about the homosexuality in the book or the heterosexuality of the book. I decided NOT to write the paper at all. In my defiance, I wrote--maybe eight pages--about how I wasn't writing this stupid paper about this stupid book. That this professor that assigned it was nuts to expect a class of freshmen to turn in a paper the day after this crazy tradition which he had started. And, that the book, really, was all about that stupid tradition anyway. And, I proved it...

Good ole Bennett loved it. I got an A+. In fact, I think I got As on all the papers I wrote for him. Oh, no, once, I got a B+. It was a paper on The Postman Always Rings Twice. The paper began, "I refuse to write a paper about The Postman Always Rings Twice because...."I think it was maybe three pages double spaced in 14 point font with inch and a half margins. Benny wrote, "You could have refused to write even more."

I probably still have those old college papers around here somewhere. If I can find some of them, I'll post them here. They were fun!

Here's a link to an article about May Day.

And here's a picture of Professor Bennett Lamond.
He's the one on the left. Have a great day! Go get naked.


Jeffrey said...

No pics of your May Day to share?
Damn.... ;-)

Anonymous said...

The joys of Mayday. Cold beer, strip caps, score cards for the ladies in the presidents office, and wearing nothing but a pair of Chuck Taylors.

I am honored and humbled to have played a small part as a corrupting influence during your time at the WAC.

In the words on the wise sage and hedge fund manager Big B, "You can always retake a class, but can never relive a party".

Vive La