They had plenty of time to reflect as the afternoon wore on. Talk drifted from their freshman year together in Canaday Hall, to their notorious drag performance in the Miss Pfoho competition, to their next, uncertain years, and even beyond, to children and suburban barbecues.
It was dead week, a ten-day limbo of booze and nostalgia where Harvard Seniors linger between their last finals and Commencement
Stevens and his blocking group took their reminiscence and fun seriously. The game, called Edward 40-Hands after the film, is on “the list,” a compilation of two things each members wanted to do with the whole group before their time at Harvard ended.
From the carnivalesque (post-final celebratory shots)to the cultural (music festivals, soul food in the South End, Italian food in the North) from the crunchy (Bikram yoga and hiking) to the slick (clubbing and craps at Mohegan sun) from the stupid (Edward 40-hands) to the profound (reflection, letter-writing, and long talks on love and time) the list is a plan for last Harvard days, to come together before they depart.
Four Years of Steam
Some of them partied for four years, some of them worked. But during these last days, they all left the stress and academics behind them and came together to let loose.
With the exception of Matthew N. Ableson ’02 , who transfered in their sophomore year from the University of Michigan, the group all knew each other from living on the same floor in Canaday, where they always left their doors open, making it a “totally chill” place to hang out, according to Stevens.
They have always had different priorities.
“Freshman year, I was in search of different people to block with,” says Levin, “I thought these guys were kind of dorky.”
Over the years, the group has often found it difficult to reconcile their different interests.
When Lee punched the Phoenix, his roommates mocked him for joining the finals club scene.
Levin bills himself as “the crazy kid in the blocking group” who forced his roommated to put down the books and go out.
“I’m the crazy kid in the blocking group,” he said. “I’m the motivating force behind expeditions. I’m willing to say, I’m going out, you can come with me or not.”
As soon as finals ended, however, the fun on the list began. When each member completed his last final, the rest of them greeted him at the exit with shots of liquor.