A week past 2010, I find myself reflecting on the year in Wesleying—the highlights, the controversies, the comment explosions, and, especially, the moments that make this crazy blog more than just a bulletin board for your events. So, in the spirit of rampant year-end top ten list mania (and only slightly tardy—we’ve been, like, away and shit, you know), we’ve consulted as a staff to try and round-up some of our most excellent contributions to the college blogosphere in 2010. The list is by no means exhaustive (yes, I’ve purposefully glossed over some gratuitous bits of controversy; yes, I’ve probably forgotten something important enough for you to go all “Grrrr!” anonymous-style in the comments), but here’s a sorta chronological, 100% homegrown roundup of Wesleying highlights from the vault, 2010 edition. Enjoy, and thanks for the support. Without you, we’d get less 503 errors be nothing.
- WESLEYING: A retrospective/recruitment (February 4): “As I grow increasingly aware of the few short months that lie between now and graduation, I look down at my navel and think about my time at Wesleying.” So begins Sheek in last year’s most prominent Wesleying recruitment post, which doubles as a thoughtful metablogging reflection, tracing back this blog’s beginnings as “a fresh experiment, an increasingly poorly kept secret that the girl down the hall consulted to corral our motley crew of Butts freshmen to weekend destinations.” And even better? The comments thread (d)evolves into a spirited back-and-forth between founding bloggers Holly and Xue (’08). “Gastro 2005 for life,” yo. (More fun with Wesleying recruitment here.)
- Spring Fling 2010!!! (February 25): Big Boi and Dirty Projectors and Back Lips are coming to Wesleyan College, ZOMG!!!!11 Sheek and Whatshername (two of Wesleying’s dearest departed from the class of ’10) confirm the rumors abounding on the ACB and provide basic info on the acts—via Wikipedia, YouTube, and, um, a 3 AM Gchat video analysis between the two bloggers. (Sample comment on Dirty Projectors: “this could totally be on z100 with more references to partying or the club.”) Also, don’t miss our Fling coverage and slideshow after the event: “Like a Million Elephants and Silverback Orangutans.” I only hope next May’s can measure up (that’s you, Social Committee). (More on the Wesleying 2010 concert coverage front: Dan Deacon at Ze Who Must Not Be Named Day, Bear in Heaven at Eclectic (and video), Xiu Xiu at Eclectic (and video), Titus Andronicus at Eclectic, and Už Jsme Doma at Memorial Chapel.)
- “So This Is Wesleyan’s Clothing-Optional Library…” (March 26): The title is a direct quotation from an unsuspecting (or previously warned?—you make the call) tour guide upon entering Olin to find a library full of Wes students stripped to their underwear. I still think it must be one of the best tour guide ad-libbing moments in Wesleyan admission history. I had a handful of photos from the event, but felt sleazy posting half-naked students all over a prominent blog, so I did the logical thing: turned them into dozens of scantily clad Michael Roth clones. “Because really, corny as it sounds, nothing brings the Wesleyan community together quite like messing with unsuspecting prefrosh”—and President Roth. (And speaking of Roth, his birthday greeting was another good time—he even reposted it on his Facebook. Other vintage messing-with-Roth moments from the year include camp photo on Facebook, “Does Michael Roth want to be your BFF?,” brief but life-changing video of Roth getting crunk at Reunion ’10, and the long-awaited Twitter takeover. For more Wesleying adventures with nudity, I like MC Hall‘s titillating post on Wesbreasts and Westacles. [Links NSFW. But probably the only time you’ll see the phrase “also accepting vag” beneath the Wesleyan shield.])
- Wesleying’s MoCon Retrospective: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three (dates vary): MoCon was kind of a big deal on Wesleying (and, well, at Wesleyan) in 2010. The year marked not only the much anticipated demolition of the condemned dining hall, but also the graduation of the last class to have experienced meals in its storied, spaceship-shaped depths. Whatshername lovingly recreates the MoCon experience for those of us hip only to the ways of Usdanistan in a three-parter whose comments threads are especially not to be missed, rife with recollections from alumni and fellow ’10-ers (err, now alumni). Meanwhile, on the 2010 Wesleying-MoCon love affair front, there’s also the brilliant MOCONAUGHGEDDON!! panic, the obligatory MoCon history lesson, the totally random commentary by Matthew Weiner ’87 of Mad Men fame, the awesome (and awesomely short-lived) MoCon Flash Party, the brief ray of hope from one sympathetic MoCon alum who happens to be president of this university, the “just kidding!” Dylan-quoting death sentence, the tear-stained demolition post, the more detailed demolition sequel post, and the attempt to grapple with life after MoCon. RIP, MoCon. It’s been a passionate year of reflection and debate.
- THESISCRAZY: The Final Stretch, Adventures in Carrel City, Voyage to the Quiet Room, There’s Light at the End of the Tunnel, and The Big Olin Climax (dates vary). This is one of my favorite Wesleying features ever, and I’m psyched for a second edition this spring (that’s you, class of ’11). The premise is simple: MC Hall and Sheek (can you tell they didn’t write theses?) wander through Olin thesis carrels with a camera and notepad, photographing and interviewing cagey, caffeinated thesis writers in the final days before the due date. The result is a fascinating if chilling glimpse into the life and mind of a thesis writer in the last hours of hir ordeal.
- Activism or Terrorism?: The Chace Firebombing, Twenty Years On (April 20): I’m always more than thrilled at an opportunity to pull out the Wes history tag. This is no exception: a twenty-year glimpse back at what is, to me, one of the most fascinating and under-discussed (particularly given its relative recentness) episodes in the annals of this institution’s history. Included is a summary, brief timeline, and links to pertinent articles from the vault relating to the 1990 firebombing of President Chace’s office, and other incident’s from Wesleyan’s turbulent “activist spring” of 1990.
- Espwesso Pweview Night! (October 4): Big news in ’10: thanks to a generous contribution by Robert Allbritton ’92 and wife Elena ’93, Allbritton’s basement is now home to a late-night, student-run cafe, with cheap drinks and free drip coffee. And thanks to a student naming contest (which, by the way, produced some brilliant suggestions on the ACB—I’m still quite partial to “Expressonormative,” though I would have gladly settled for “Genderfuckachino”), said cafe now has a name that in some households could get you sent to a speech therapist. With that context in mind, I don’t think A-Batte‘s brilliant pweview post needs any further introduction. It just . . . is. (Other A-Batte creations deserving of attention on this list include “Happy Monday Morning, WesKids,” “Shoutbox Roundup,” and a recent analysis of crazy happenings on the Wesleyan Last.fm charts.)
- Beards of Glory: A No-Shave Roundup (December 7): I took No-Shave November (also known as Novembeard) pretty seriously this year. That is to say, instead of growing a beard myself, I decided to document other Wespeople’s. First came the call for submissions, alternately titled “Wake Me Up When Novembeard Ends.” Then, after a week of sludging through the massive file of submissions (okay, so there were, like, 11), there was the photo journal and superlatives post. Next time you get the old “Hey, isn’t Wesleyan an all-girls school?” standby, just send off that link. It’ll speak for itself.
- Doonesbury Loves Wesleyan: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six (and an epilogue) (dates vary): If anyone reopens the debate on Zonker Harris Day (more recently titled Ze Who Must Not Be Named Day), it might as well be Garry Trudeau himself and the Doonesbury strip from which Westco’s annual music festival of 30 years takes its name. For six consecutive strips in late November/early December Doonesbury did just that—poking smart fun at Wesleyan, Zonker Harris Day, and even President Roth, as Wesleying’s Fofang dutifully reported on each update. Special thanks to Westco president Jason Katzenstein ’13, who sent Trudeau the letter (0n behalf of Westco) that brought about the comic strip’s Wes attention.
- Procrastination Destinations Du Jour (dates vary): At Wesleyan, finals week can bring about some intense commitment—to studying for some, to procrastination for many. This semester, Wesleying took a stand: each day, from December 8 until the semester’s end, a new procrastinatory site guaranteed to help you reach your distraction potential. Just call us the anti-Peer Advisor. (Also, thanks for everyone who sent in links, and sorry we didn’t have room to use them all—more are on the way for next semester.)
What else made waves in The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Blog last semester? Administrative clashes and related drama remained a surefire way to cash in comments and exclamation marks galore (see: Thomas Kannam lawsuit, Tour de Franzia Disciplinary Aftermath, Open Container Policy in Effect, Beta vs. administration + sexual assault allegations), whose impassioned reader responses seem second only to lengthy examinations of Argus business practices (rebuttal one, rebuttal two). Meanwhile, somewhere along the way, campus conservative darling Mytheos Holt ’10 came out as a troll (say wha!?), Giant Joint continued livin’ the high life off and on the WSA ballot, and one international student’s unique attempt to raise desperately needed funds for tuition nearly overwhelmed our comment server with both sympathy and vitriol.
Oh, yeah, and Jason Reitman hung out with us that one time and then tweeted about it. Thanks, Jason!
What a year it’s been. Let’s have another.