Sunday, June 1, 2008

Reunions Nightlife

At the tail-end of reunions, the campus is still one big party. Well, really, a group of small parties, each providing its own challenges for gaining entry without a wristband.

A dash through the Little basement takes me to the Fifth Reunion, where the bands are playing songs from the '60s and '70s like "Sweet Caroline" and "Sweet Home Alabama," with interludes of more recent songs like "Crank Dat" and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" played from recordings in between. I thought it was ironic that the Class of 2003 reunion featured songs from the '70s while the University hired a tamer, Caribbean-style band for the Class of 1983. I guess they figure that by their 25th reunion, people are too old for the music of their youth? Anyway, in 2036, I'm going to set up a stereo and blast the Soulja Boy song whether the University likes it or not, and learn the dance, too. (So far, as far as I've gotten toward that goal is learning the "Kosher Boy" dance from YouTube.)

The Fifth Reunion tent was most well-attended of the parties I went to, with a big contingent from the Class of 2006. Alumni were friendly (one guy complimented me on my orange socks), and there was pretty much beer everywhere, including cans lying on the ground. Most people looked like they were having fun, except for one or two people who looked like they might have gotten stood up by their friends and didn't know anyone. Or returned to college only to remember they never liked dance parties after all.

I dart through Laughlin to try to get to the 10th reunion, but a police officer is waiting for me on the other side. I don't notice him as I walk out the door, so he nabs me and tells me to get lost. I try disappearing back into Laughlin, but that doesn't work since he follows me and grabs me again. Ejected into the back of Blair, I run into Christian Harris '09, who tells me the party at Quad will be going on 'till 5:30 a.m. Something to check out.

The guard for the 40th Reunion lets me in without a wristband. The daughter of one of the alumni tells me that her dad's class is drunker than the '03s, which seems credible given the wine bottles on the table and the dancing styles of some of the class members. A few of the children are dancing with their parents, and there is an elementary school girl who is spinning in some pretty crazy circles with her dad. She's way cooler than I was at that age.

By the time I get to the Class of 1983 and its Caribbean band, most of the members of the 25th Reunion class have left the party. I chalk this up to middle-aged people's desire to get to bed, and do everything else, on time. This is a good thing, since it keeps the trains running, but it also makes for a sparse dance floor at 2 a.m. Fortunately, members of the Class of 2008 and other undergraduates on campus came to Whitman to fill the void.

With the University-sponsored parties over, a wave of alumni hit the Street, returning to their old clubs. Judging by what Harris told me, the party probably didn't end until 5:30, which was ... 10 minutes ago. Luckily, the sun officially didn't rise this morning until 5:31.