Fine House

If you're a first-year, the clock is ticking. Monday marks the first day of the notorious housing lottery. And while you desperately debate architecture vs. location, ponder relative room sizes and compare dining hall decor, you still might not have any idea what life outside the Yard is really like. You know how the houses look, but you don't know their souls. We're here to help you out.

Adams House

A recent Crimson article compared Adams House spirit, somewhat predictably, to the artwork in its tunnels--fun wacky and creative.

A better analogy might be the curvy blue fiber-glass sculpture in the house's courtyard. No one can quite identity it, but some people think it is really cool and others resent it.

Fither way, house residents agree that the big blue "denture bench" is just one of the things typifying Adams which makes it, well, different from other houses.

The house has a swimming pool where you can't and an Explosives B that doesn't. It has co-ed quint rooms and a gender-conscious dining hall staff. Its students include liberal activists, beer-drinking jocks, theatre mavens and even the odd Crimson type.

Some people in the house spend time worrying about who's "in" and "out." (If they lose track, they are automatically "out" and are sent to the near end of the dining ball.) The rest are too busy to care. As long as Jane the dining hall checker is on your side, you're probably okay.

Adams also has a fine tradition of house-sponsored decadence: fun events like S&M; bingo, "secret S&M; buddies" in December, erotica night and over $1,000 worth of chocolate genitalia purchased for Valentine's Day.

If you didn't know better, you might think the fall of Rome was scheduled for June.

What's remarkable is not so much that students enjoy this sort of prurience but that house officials and faculty affiliates wink (or leer?) at it. So much for in loco parents.

If you, like some people, feel alienated by this, that's okay. Alienation is what Adams House is all about. --Maggie S. Tucker

Cabot House

Two years ago this March when my rooming group received that fateful envelope, I wouldn't have told you that Cabot was my favorite house on campus. In fact, it was approximately our group's last choice, somewhere between living at home (it might've been closer, for some of us) and underground in the Harvard T station.

I'm still not in love with Cabot. But I'm over the fear of a 15-minute walk. It's nice to actually live in a neighborhood, with real people and away from the annoying, prep-school bustle of the Square.

A healthy dose of almost fifty percent randomization this past housing lottery, and almost the same percentage my first year, has injected a new spirit, if not some cohesion.