This year (and last), Wesleying celebrated the end of thesis season by interviewing a colorful bunch of cagey senior writers—documenting their carrels, asking about their topics, their progress, their general cracked-out madness.
In spring of 1995, one fledgling Wesleyan journalist—Philip David ’95, are you out there?—had a different idea. He set out to focus on a less public aspect of thesis-writing life—“to write a sensational and lurid investigation into the steamy underside of sex in Olin thesis carrels.” So David came up with an anonymous survey, placed it under every Olin carrel door. “It probed provocative issues such as sexual conduct in carrels, damage to Olin property, and the dangers of getting caught,” he writes. Below, some excerpts from thesis-writers’ responses, as archived in David’s Wespeak:
- “The floor is just the right size—table’s too wobbly/may break.”
- “9:30 one morning, me and my girlfriend were fooling around and one thing led to another, and we boned on the desk.”
- “I have not had sex [in a carrel]. I don’t find it spacious enough to do the kind of things I need to do.”
- “Anyone who says they haven’t touched themselves in their carrels is lying. I mean, it’s impossible for twenty-year-olds to sit by themselves for over five hours.”
- “I’m too lazy to go get coffee, so instead I crank it.”
- “Masturbate? Of course I masturbate—I’m a philosophy major!”
- “When my girlfriend and I were boning she got so excited she grabbed the sprinkler that’s on the side wall and ripped it off. No water came out, and I was able to glue it back on, but I was scared they would find out later.”
Probably the best quote from David’s article, though, is from himself:
Some students who answered the survey harbored suspicions of activity, due to heavy panting that sometimes permeates the stark hallways, but many relate this to frustration.
Riiight, that’s what the noises are. Thanks, guys. Investigation over.