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Fog and the Dutch - Why am I muddy?

by Laurel and Guinevere

The night was... sultry. As we logged into the terminal, we saw the words glowing on the blackened screen, "You have new mail." It was from... the registrar... Remembering our article from the previous week, our hearts started beating asynchronously. It read:

Dear Newspeak:

I read, with great interest, your commentary in the September 13, 1994 issue. Not only were your observations very funny, they were very insightful. I want you to know that I take the issues you raise very seriously, and look forward to implementing a "super-duper, wicked decked-out on steroids" student registration system. We've currently got some proposals on the table to do just that.

Keep observing,

Kari Blinn


We're speechless. Needless to say we enjoy this type of response to our articles compared to others we have received in the past. Thank you for your letter and support. Readers please note: If you can get someone in Boynton to type the word "Wicked," you have a fan.

On this same topic, we have heard, through our "contacts" at Newspeak, that we neglected to mention "that guy who stands at the bottom of the stairs in Harrington during registration and tells you to take the perforations off of your CMS forms, etc." Ayup, that's true... what a job... What does he do for the rest of the school year?

Gee, we are just overflowing with comments from our readers this week, since we also received a letter from Michelle R. Vadeboncoeur:

Dear Laurel & Guinevere,

Sure, I'm just a lowly freshman. So what right do I have trying to tell you guys about some weird stuff I've noticed here on campus? PLENTY. Heck, I paid enough to go here...

This morning, on my way to my (Gasp!) 8:00 Conference, a strange sight beheld me from upon the Quad. I managed to count seven scampering little squirrels there chasing pigeons. True, it isn't everyday that you see seven squirrels all in the same place and at the same time, but the key word here is LITTLE. Squirrels here on campus don't seem to get very big. Perhaps the Biology department has been doing some experiments that they don't want to talk about. Or perhaps there's something strange going on in Nuclear Physics. My best guess is that these poor, hapless squirrels were simply looking for something to eat, and wandered upon some DAKA "food."

Another weird thing I noticed today: All of the sets of stairs between each floor of Stratton Hall is completely different, except that they share the same number of stairs. The second-to-third floor stairs look like they've been glued on. Also, what's up with the little door on floor 2.5 of Stratton Hall?

These things may mean little to you, O awe-inspiring upperclassmen. But as a freshman, little things like these bug me, and give me something to laugh at when I fail a major exam. For this reason I have become an avid reader of your column, and felt compelled to write.


Michelle R. Vadeboncoeur

Class of '98

Scarily enough, more than one person mentioned these squirrels to us this week. I personally find it amusing that Michelle didn't sense anything out of the ordinary about squirrels chasing pigeons... but yes, there is quite a plethora of squirrels, correction, a plethora of little squirrels around campus. You seemed to have covered all of the possibilities regarding this appearance. We would like to make one slight correction to your last theory (as we feel it is close to correct). Please change the words "wandered upon" to "wandered into. " See "veal, veal, and yet more veal" from our previous article... Somewhere in the distance, Laurel gets slapped.

Stratton Hall is quite the curious building. The shear number of stairs alone would be enough for a sane person to question why there isn't an elevator in the silly thing, and, yes, that includes us. Imagine how fun it must have been to carry that computer lab up those steps. We imagine these stairs are the reason that the mechanical engineers moved out and gave it to the Math and English departments in the forties. You're right, none of them are the same. They go all over the place. We actually did some (gasp again), investigative reporting!, just like Geraldo, the other day, and confirmed the unusualitude of the steps. It seems that the original steps were not quite doing an adequate job, so Mickey Mouse & Co. came by and "fixed" them, i.e. glued some silly thingies to the steps. How embarrassing for them...

If any of you readers out there get the chance, break into that little door on the 2.5th floor, and tell us where it goes. We're curious, but we'll leave the dangerous stuff to our readers... [For legal reasons, neither we nor Newpseak condone our own darn suggestions. We highly discourage people from creating "Malicious Mischief" and ending up in the police log, and would not want you to follow our suggestions like lemmings. So don't break in and get your story published in Newspeak, wink, wink... But if you do, get lots of pictures, or even video.]

Sorry to be basically repeating lots of things from last week's issue, but these things just won't die. Just in case some of you did not notice, Freeman Plaza was not finished in time for Homecoming. Gee, surprise surprise. Actually, they looked as if they were going along quickly enough to make the (new and improved) deadline, but obviously they didn't. Hmmm, wouldn't it be cool to go out there at night and finish the job for them? They had all the materials there, just waiting for some good samaritan to come by and lay them out in neat little rows... Tempting, isn't it?

Freshmen. Sophomores. Mud. What do these three things have in common? (Keep it clean...) OK, we'll tell you: The Rope Pull. Every single year at Homecoming, these two classes face each other across the smelly waste of Institute Pond, vying for the right not to get pulled in. Hmmm, what a strange custom. Barbaric, dirty, but strangely amusing. Where else can you watch a whole bunch of total strangers, or, heck, even your friends, yank on a rope for a while in the hopes of getting the other side hopelessly mired in the muck and scum of the pond? But, remember, no one was excluded from taking part in this wonderful, and quite celebrated, event. Although only Freshmen and Sophomores are allowed to pull, every single student was invited; I guess that Juniors and Seniors were wanted for their laughing power...

Just a quick note: after much dust, noise, and general messiness, the work has finally been finished around the library steps. One thing, however, was overlooked. On the steps going from the access road to the library lot, the last step before the first landing is HUGE. Why? I guess that screwed-up steps are part of the WPI tradition... maybe it'll be part of a Homecoming event someday, or at least a trial event, just like they have at the Olympics.

Well, because we love getting mail, and since we are printing your letters without prior permission, we'll make it worth your while. People, plants, and animals, who send us mail, correction, good mail, will receive a "Philler Phan Club Member" Certificate suitable for framing. Hang it in your place of study or business, with pride. We like comments, ideas, and funny photos, too. Keep 'em coming to or WPI Box 2700. We like to learn that other people, not just us, are crazy beyond all human ability...

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