Thursday, March 23, 2000 is a day that will live in infamy. For one thing, I saw Harvard before 8 a.m. Then again, this was a day unlike other days--the results of the first-year housing lottery would be delivered between 8:15 and 9 a.m.
As I anxiously awaited the envelope which would dictate my fate for the next three years, I chuckled at the thought of the poor slobs who'd be making the trek all the way from the Quad for the rest of their Harvard careers. I, plagued with delusions of grandeur, envisioned myself simply crossing Mass Ave. from Adams House to the Yard. Wait! What? Read it again! It doesn't...no...it can't be...CURRIER! Dreams of champagne and strawberries quickly dissolved into horror at the thought of shuttle schedules.
But amidst the dull roar in front of Memorial Hall on that fateful day, the Quadlings were by far the best represented and most enthusiastic. They attempted to console their future housemates with slogans like "The longer the walk the shorter the class!" as seen on the Cabot House T-shirts, along with an anti-River poster campaign courtesy of the Pforzheimer gang. The warm welcome I received when I identified myself as a constituent of Currier House--namely that I was surrounded, cheered for, slapped on the back, basically all but carried off on the shoulders of seasoned Quad veterans forced me to smile, and even to feel a surge of that infamous Quad pride.
For the rest of the day, whenever I told anyone where I would be living, I was met with the same response: a thinly veiled attempt to conceal a "glad-it's-you-and-not-me" smirk accompanied by a fumbling effort to express condolences. Cue that newfound Quad pride again. I didn't want this River-pity--since when do fireplaces and wood paneling give someone such a superiority complex?
I decided to take the shuttle up to Currier for dinner that night. Although it certainly wasn't traditional Harvard, I liked what I saw. The fountain in the middle of the dining hall surrounded by large plants was vaguely reminiscent of a hotel lobby. I was struck by the very open, bright architecture, as well as the friendly atmosphere--much less stuffy than many River houses I have visited.
On my way back to the Yard, I realized what many before me have, and what many to follow certainly will: that the Quad has a definite personality all its own, replete with the charm of the rest of the University, but lacking the pretensions of that which is characteristically Harvard. I will be proud to call it home.
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