John Harvard Statue in the Snow

You took a photo with it when you were five. You keep your head down as you pass it and push through a tour group. You drunkenly peed on it your first weekend of freshman year. Whoever you are, wherever you go, the John Harvard Statue will always hold a special place in your heart.

Here’s what we overheard at this iconic campus landmark on Wednesday afternoon. How does it compare to your John Harvard experience?

“Don’t touch the foot!” yelled by disgruntled students rushing past. They are sick of their front Yard serving as a tourist destination sunrise to sunset. One even more disgruntled student followed with: “Support the strike!” If a tourist doesn’t know the health threat posed by the foot, how would they know to support the loyal HUDS workers who don’t add meat to our banana bread pudding? But we appreciate the commentary.

“Does it really work if we’re not students here?” They heard the warnings from well-intentioned students. They heard their tour guide say: “This statue is left unguarded on a college campus 24 hours a day”. They even read the Trip Advisor review titled: “Do not rub the foot of the John Harvard statue”. And yet almost every tourist rubbed the foot. We at Flyby just don’t get the appeal. But we get a hint from the old man who proudly rubbed the foot and proclaimed: “Scholar.”

“And that is not John Harvard.” Every time, the tour group erupts into laughter. But seriously, haven’t you all seen The Social Network and memorized the PSK’s punching ritual? One guy shouted: “Is that for real?” A young boy approached the tour guide and called the statue a liar. The omnipotent Crimson Key tour guide responded, “It’s not a lie in itself, it’s more a lie in the words, or maybe it’s a lie in the way you interpret it.” This is a Harvard student at her finest.

“We need another picture, everybody’s in the way.” “Everybody” is the kid late to math lecture who didn’t have time to take a detour around the statue. “Everybody” is the Chinese tour group swarming around the foot. And it’s not just the statue that attracts photos – a student doing her Ancient Greek homework was the subject of a few candids. Little did the photographers know she was watching and reporting on their every move.