Harvardisms: Harvard for Beginners

ABP: Acronym for the fast-food bakery Au Bon Pain, where croissants, chess enthusiasts and tourists abound just beyond the Yard's wrought-iron-gates.

A Capella Concerts: 1. Sanders Theatre concerts that take place nearly every weekend in the fall and spring, featuring men in tuxedos and women in black dresses who sing songs from the '60s without instrumental accompaniment. 2. You'll be sick of them by December.

Ac Pro: 1. Academic Probation. 2. Your official status in you don't pass the QRR (see QRR)

Adams House: 1. So close to the Yard, you'll roll out of bed and land in class. 2. Adopted dining hall for many Quadlings.

Ad Board: 1. The Administrative Board of Harvard College. 2. It decides your fate if you screw up badly enough for anyone to take notice. 3. A verb: He was ad-boarded for getting really drunk and his pushing his proctor out of a fifth-floor window.

Advising: Hit or miss. If you need hand-holding, head for a small department. But if your true love is economics, you're on your own.

Advocate: 1. The Harvard Advocate, a literary magazine. 2. Party rental space.

All-Nighter: 1. What you pull the evening before the due date of that 20-page paper you haven't started. 2. Store 24 flourishes because of these.

Anal: Uptight. Description for your neat-freak roommate who color-codes his CD collection and complete Expos assignments weeks before they're due.

Bee: Secretive all-female club that meets weekly to talk ballet, opera, Chenl and Ungaro over tea and lace cookies.

Bic Four-Color Clicker Pen: A must for anal pre-meds who like their class notes color-coded (see Premed).

Blocking: Painful process in March by which you have to select seven of your closest friends to spend the rest of your years with at Harvard. Good luck.

Boston: 1. Where you tell people you go to school. 2. The city you claimed made you choose Harvard over Yale--but that you will almost never visit during your four years.

The Bow: Bar made famous in Good Will Hunting that now has gone the way of most of the family-run establishments in the Square. Better enjoy Grafton St. while you can.

Breakfast Sandwich: The Harvard Dining Services' Egg McMuffin wannabe.

Cabot House: Spacious Quad House featuring skylights in some rooms; only a short walk (yeah, right) from Harvard Yard.

Cabot Library: 1. A science library in the Science Center. Humanities concentrators do not feel comfortable here. 2. A second home for anal pre-meds. 3. Where you can watch videotapes of the science lectures you bagged. 4. Open all night during reading period, it's Harvard's version of Store 24--without food.

Cambridge City Council: Much like our own Undergraduate Council (see Undergraduate Council)--but they make $50,000 a year.

Cambridge Commons: 1. Grassy knoll separating the Quad from the rest of civilization. Steer clear at night. 2. Bar on Mass. Ave.

Cantabridgians: The residents of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Central Square: 1. Commerical district one T stop down Mass. Ave. 2. What Harvard Square used to look like (see Gentrification).

Chickwich: A compressed and processed breaded chicken patty that, for some reason, students adore.

Comping: Harvard-speak for joining a student group. Still the only way to get on the staff of The Crimson, the Advocate, or the Lampoon.

Concentration: 1. What every other college in America calls a major. 2. What you have to choose before the end of your first year.

Coop: 1. Where tourists go to buy Harvard sweatshirts and key chains; where you will stand in line for hours at the beginning of each semester to buy overpriced textbooks. 2. Rhymes with "loop" not "blow pop."

Core: 1. Eight required courses that allegedly teach you no facts, figures and ideas but approaches to knowledge. 2. The reason why you won't have time to take courses that are intellectually stimulating, challenging and fun.

The Harvard Crimson: 1. The only thing on campus worth reading. Cambridge's only breakfast table daily, founded in 1873. 2. Almost every athletic team on campus.

Crimson Key: 1. Cheery cult of students cloaked in crimson who organize orientation week and give campus tours to wide-eyed visitors.

Currier House: 1. Ugly house in the Quad where you have to be buzzed to enter.

Date: 1. Rare usage, at least at Harvard. 2. If you do go on one, consider yourself engaged.

DeWolfe: 1. Conveniently located overflow housing for students in various river houses. Comes complete with MTV, dishwasher, refrigerator, bathtub and bay windows. 2. You and everyone else will subsidize these luxury condominiums by suffering in cockroach-infested, cramped doubles when you're sophomores.

Due Date: The day you call your section leader for an extension on a paper (see extention).

Dunster House: Thank God it's not Mather.

Ec10: Introduction to capitalism taught by G.O.P. guru Martin "Marty" S. Feldstein '61 and his legion of teaching fellow disciples. Usually the most popular class at Harvard

Eliot House: 1. Where Theodore J. Kaczynski '62 spent his formative years.

Extenstion: How to prolong writer's block.

Fast Food: Not an option for the hungry Harvard student, unless you're willing to take the hike to Porter Square.

Fenway Park: Home field of the much-maligned Boston Red Sox, perennial also-rans to the New York Yankees. Go now--this baseball landmark might be gone by the time you graduate.

Final clubs: 1. Eight endowed all-male clubs located in their own buildings. The center of some students' social lives, the members partied a little too hard for their graduate boards and many have closed their doors to the hoi polloi of late. 2. Bastions of socioeconomic elitism. Unlike Harvard, intelligence is not a prerequisite for acceptance.

First-Year Student: 1. What you will be in September. 2. Gender-neutral term for "freshman." Synonym: yardling.

Formal: What you called a prom in high school.

Fly-By: 1. A sandwich on the go when chicken parmesan just won't do. 2. The only reason to stop by Loker Commons.

The Game: Probably the only sporting event of the year you will attend. Luckily, this year The Game will be held at Harvard and you won't have to trek to New England's industrial wasteland in Connecticut.

Gentrification: What happened to Cambridge when rent control ends and the yuppie invasion began.

Gov Jock: 1. The obnoxious people in your sections who won't let anyone else get a word in edgewise. 2. Senators in training.

Grapes: A small, round fruit. Debate over whether to serve grapes in the dining halls was the biggest political controversy at Harvard since the '60s. Enjoy your brunch delicacy, capitalist pig.

The Grille: The most popular bar among first-years in Cambridge.

Grille Order: 1. What to ask for when Spicy Broccoli-Tofu Peanut Stir Fry simply won't do. 2. A "last resort" dinner.

Guts: 1. Course in which no one does any work and everyone gets at least a B+. 2. The most popular courses at Harvard.

Harvard Shuttle Bus: Your lifeline to academic and student life if you live in the Quad (see Quad).

Head of the Charles: 1. Weekend in October devoted to a big crew race, when college and prep school students descend on Cambridge to get drunk. Your roommates will invite total strangers to drink beer, heave and pass out in your room. 2. A good weekend to skip town.

Hilles Library: One of the few advantages of living in the Quad; the best place to study on Saturdays.

House Tutors: 1. "Proctors" for upperclass students. 2. Parasites or upperclass resources.

Independent: 1. Weekly news magazine used as a doormat every Thursday. 2. What to read if you get excited about old news. 3. What you will be in college.

Interhouse: What you will do to avoid eating in Annenberg. 2. Best way to get to know upperclass students or at least observe their childish eating habits.

Kirkland House: 1. A hop and a skip from the Kennedy School, the ideal breeding ground for gov jocks.

Kong: The Hong Kong restaurant on Mass. Ave., last stop on the weekend party train.

Lamont Library: 1. Great place to meet your friends for a trip to Baskin-Robbins. 2. The most social place to study.

Lampoon: 1. A semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization that used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine. 2. Gang of emaciated white males who amuse themselves writing penis jokes and starting fires inside their castle.

Leverett House: 1. The towers just as scary for their appearance as their elevators.

Loker Commons: Deserted hinterlands masquerading as student center in the bowels of Memorial Hall.

Lowell House: 1. House most often shown on admissions tours. 2. Tea anyone?

MAC: The Malkin Athletic Center, second home for campus jocks.

Madonna: At Harvard, the Queen of Pop. At all other colleges, a musical pariah.

Mather House: 1. The riot-proof monstrosity designed by a prison architect. 2. The box Dunster came in.

Noch's: Pinnociho's, a great place for a midnight slice of pizza and cramped dining. Rhymes with "hoax."

Office hours: The chance to interact with famous professors that you will never attend, but should.

Orientation week: The seven days when you'll meet hundreds of your classmates and promptly forget their names once classes begin.

Pforzheimer House: Best dining hall on campus; a nice place to visit but you wouldn't want to walk there.

Pre-Med: 1. Subspecies of Harvard student known for aggressive competitive behavior. 2. Frequenter of Cabot Library who goes into fits when organic chemistry text and four-color clicker pen misplaced.

Proctor: Friendly graduate student who dispenses milk, cookies and advice on a weekly basis.

PSLM: 1. The Progressive Student Labor Movement. They bring us Matt Damon, Class of 1992. They bring us Ben Affleck. And in their spare time, they fight for social justice.

Punch: Process by which sophomore and junior males are inducted into final clubs.

Quad: 1. The Radcliffe Quadrangle. 2. A Cambridge suburb that is home of three of the upperclass houses: Cabot, Currier and Pforzheimer.

Quadded: 1. What happend to unluck first-years in march. 2. Exiled.

Quincy House: 1. Convenient location, hideous architecture.

QRR: The Quantitative Reasoning Requirement, which tests your ability to memorize statistical formulas that you will never need to use again.

Radcliffe: An administrative fundraising body named after a former women's college in Cambridge.

Randomization: 1. The lottery process that assigns you to a house where you will find lots of "diverse" people who share nothing in common. 2. A Harvard event that has ruined many a first-year's spring break (see Blocking).

Reading Period: 1. Two weeks to read a semester's worth of text and write three 30-page papers. 2. When the rest of campus goes skiing.

Salient: Conservative biweekly staffed by a hearty clique of right-wingers who attack Gallileo, gays and, if you're lucky, you.

Sections: 1. Weekly meeting with graduate students of varying teaching abilities and intelligence (see TF). 2. Meant to complement courses taught by big-name professors too busy to teach the important details that will appear on the final.

Seneca: 1. A final club. 2. No, wait, not a final club. 3. Feminism in those trendy black plants.

Shuttle: How to get to the Quad--if for some reason you want to get there.

Shopping Period: 1. The first week of the semester. 2. The only time all semester you'll be excited about your courses.

Sick-Out: What to do when you are totally unprepared for an exam.

Softball: Traditional spring diversion of Harvard student groups. The Crimson dominated on the diamond last spring, and is riding a 113-year winning streak over the Lampoon.

Student Center: What they have at other colleges. Don't get your hopes up.

Tommy's Famous New York Pizza: Home of the sesame seed crust, your greasy late-night standby now that the Tasty is gone.

T.F.: 1. Teaching Fellow. 2. Person in control of your academic fate.

Undergraduate Council: Self-important but incompetent band of campus politicos whose Sunday night meetings provide comic relief for the Monday morning Crimson.

UHS: 1. University Health Services. 2. Not a good place to go when you're healthy. 3. Not a good place to go when you're sick.

Widener Library: 1. Mammoth library built in memory of a Titanic drowning victim. 2. Where students go to pore over books and sometimes, each other.

Winthrop House: 1. A place to swim on rainy days.

Yale: 1. New Haven lock factory. 2. Where you would have had to go if you didn't get into Harvard.