Tag Archives: Keep Wes Weird

Deer Head Spotted in Exley Parking Lot

“I saw some deer on Indian Hill recently. They were cute…and had their heads on.” —Laura Werle ’15

cute deer

Here’s some weird news for you late night workers: This time yesterday, a deer head (no body) was spotted in the parking lot behind Exley. This isn’t the first time a deer head was spotted around Exley. In fact, on December 5, 2012, EXACTLY TWO YEARS AGO (!!!!??) a deer head was found at the bottom of the stop sign outside of Exley.

The 2012 deer head, however, was taxidermic (the origins weren’t found), whereas this one was apparently fresh. We don’t have any pictures (thank goodness…I’d forgotten how cute deer are until I googled the image above), but it really did happen!

Jed Siebert ’16, who witnessed the deer head, explains the scene:

The Myth of the Little Three: Are College Rankings Killing Wesleyan’s Culture?

BADGE!

Do you ever get the feeling Wesleyan is having a little bit of an identity crisis?

There’s a good chance that my ‘ideal’ Wesleyan doesn’t look exactly the same as yours; our concerns and tastes are different, as are our experiences here. But it is likely that the things you love most about Wesleyan are unique to it, are not quantifiable, and are not things that are in step with success as defined by any rankings algorithm. I’m serious about Wesleyan dropping out of college rankings like US News. Reed College president Colin Diver explains in a 2005 Atlantic article that “one-size-fits-all ranking schemes undermine the institutional diversity that characterizes American higher education…(as) The urge to improve one’s ranking creates an irresistible pressure toward homogeneity, and schools that… strive to be different are almost inevitably penalized.” In my opinion, Wesleyan students have been struggling against that subtle pressure in different ways for years now. 

“The Funniest Prank Ever,” Part Two: An Interview With the Guy Who Put a Mummy in his Hallmate’s Bed

Last year I interviewed a guy who found a mummy in his bed. Meet the guy who put it there.

A little more than a year ago, I posted an interview with a guy who returned to his Nics dorm room one night in early 1990 to find a rotting, 3,000-year-old mummy occupying his bed. Both the victim, Tim Abel ’93, and the perpetrator went on to champion the incident as the “funniest prank ever.” But what happened after the prank unexpectedly revealed quite a bit about Wesleyan in the early 1990s, the interconnected campus community, disciplinary confusion, mass media, the stranger side of alumni gift-giving, and perhaps even Egyptology. (Okay, maybe not that.)

For months I’ve wanted to talk with the perpetrators of the prank, who remain unnamed in news accounts and faceless in a TV interview. When one of them posted a comment (since deleted) on the post, I managed to get in touch. Let’s call him Craig Smith ’93. Smith (not his real name) is now a professional musician and a dad. But he’s not sure he’ll ever top the prank he pulled in the Nics 23 years ago this month.

As I wrote in 2012, the Middletown Mummy Mystery was more than just a good prank. I was an intergenerational legend that has “solidified its place in the lore of early 1990s Wesleyan history, providing some semblance of levity during a turbulent academic year characterized by generally unprecedented campus unrest, including a firebombing, a week-long hunger strike, racist graffiti in Malcolm X House, and the fatal shooting of Nicholas Haddad ’92.”

And here’s the other side of it. 

Man in Gorilla Costume Chased Giant Banana Around Foss Today, Claim Eyewitnesses

We didn’t witness this mischief, but our Foss Chill correspondents report from the front lines.

“Man in gorilla costume chases banana across Foss, runs behind Usdan, comes back and three bananas are now chasing him!” wrote an unsuspecting bystander. “It was epic. The bananas tackled the gorilla at the bottom of the hill!”

Adam Johnson ’14 sent in some cellphone-quality photographic evidence. Have pictures or video of your own? Direct them to us at staff(at)wesleying(dot)org.

Welcome to Wesleyan, prefrosh. Have fun, but know your limits.

An Interview with the Guy Who Sleeps in a Different Place on Campus Every Night

“My lifestyle dissolves fake smiles. It can be heartbreaking if you aren’t ready for it.”

Riel, the wandering vagabond, surveys his options at the Usdan grill. Photo by Rachel Pincus '13.

Riel ’14, the wandering vagabond, surveys his options at the Usdan grill. Photo by Rachel Pincus ’13.

Two or three weeks ago, I entered my apartment around midnight to find the couch occupied by a bearded stranger. He was asleep, sprawled sideways and snoring loudly, and none of my housemates appeared within eyesight. As I reached over his torso to adjust the thermostat, I briefly considered dialing Public Safety. Instead, I located one of my housemates, Carey Gilchrist ’13, and whispered my demand: “Who’s that dude on our couch?”

“Oh, that’s Lina’s friend Riel,” Carey explained. “He sleeps in different places every night or something. So she offered him our couch.” “Oh,” I said. “Wait, that’s pretty awesome. Would he be up for an interview?”

Riel ’14, a junior majoring in Film and Computer Science, was gone from the couch by the time I awoke the next morning, but later in the week I ran into him in Weshop, where he was stocking up on eggs (“I gotta eat at least six a day, need the protein”) and canned beans. He explained that he had adopted something of a vagabond lifestyle at the beginning of the semester, crashing at friends’ places and refusing to make use of his assigned room in 1 Vine. “I’m trying to be the change I need to see,” Riel told me. On most days, he carries around a camping backpack and a sleeping bag. His lifestyle is controversial, but his reasoning has an oddly circuitous logic to it: If he’s already paying all this money for room and board, shouldn’t he be free not to use it?

I asked Riel if he would like to be interviewed for this blog. Sure, he said, just so long as I didn’t publish his last name or a picture of his face. And could he boil some eggs in my stove while we did the interview? I consented to his demands, as he did to mine. This is the conversation that took place.

Music and Public Life Class Produces Video Supporting “Equal Access To Higher Education”

Remember when Antonin Scalia Ross Gormley ’13 asked you to send in pictures and videos that communicated your perspective of the Wesleyan campus? If you sent any in, you just might see them below.  The following video was produced as a final project for the class Music Movements in a Capitalist Democracy, which you might know as Music and Public Life, or perhaps the class Dar Williams ’89 teaches when she’s not busy tearing up Wesleyan Thinks Big. Edit: Actually it’s for Music and Public Life, which is its own course and was taught by Mark Slobin. Sorry for the error.

Marissa Schnitman ’14 explains the video’s motivations:

For their final project, Wesleyan’s Music and Public Life class has produced a video to express their support of equal access to higher education. In response to the confusion, controversy, and divisiveness surrounding the shift in need blind policy on campus and in the media, the class created this video to remind alumni to preserve a commitment to support the Wesleyan community unconditionally. The video encourages us to set aside politics and perspectives about University decisions. This is about helping the Wesleyan community move forward. This is about our shared dedication to equal access to higher education. Help keep Wesleyan accessible to everyone. Help “Keep Wesleyan Weird.”

Sage’s Class: A Non-Credit Experience

Sage Ryza ’15, creator of People Watching Club, One Day Marriage, and “Social Experiment Club Society Thingy,” invites you to take her non-credit class next semester:

From the creator of People Watching Club, One Day Marriage, and Social Experiment Club Society Thingy

I am going to have a class. It will meet next semester, once every two weeks for two hours. The first hour will be a lecture and the second will be structured art making based on the concepts discussed in the lecture.

In the art making portion of the class we will think of art as experimentation, as invention, and as a cognitive vehicle for awareness.

Highlights from the WSA Write-Ins

First, a disclaimer. The results from this year’s WSA Winter At-Large Election are not nearly as exciting as those from last year, when, in addition to Giant Joint’s victory, Wesleying’s A-Batte unexpectedly won a spot on the Assembly as a write-in candidate (he took his seat and served honorably before resigning at the close of the semester). Nor is it as scandalous as 2009, when longtime write-in champion Giant Joint ‘420 came within centimeters of garnering 420 votes but was not permitted to serve.

Nonetheless, you voted early, you voted often, democracy prevailed, and the results are viewable here (you’ll have to log in and click “View Results of This Election”). In order of votes received, the winning WSA representatives-elect are Aobo “Austin” Dong ’15, Christian Hosam ’15, Bruno Machiavelo ’16, Chase Knowles ’16, deer whisperer Samuel Usdan ’15, Glenn Cantave ’15Angus McLean ’16, and Kara Linn ’15. Congrats—hope you guys weren’t too attached to Sunday nights or anything.

As usual, though, I’m more interested in the vast, colorful array of write-in votes (and not just because I received two of them). In the land before Wes Compliments, WSA write-in votes offered the best, fuzziest glimpse into Wesleyan’s well-wishing subconscious. This year Giant Joint received a disappointing 68 votes, A-Batte scored 20 (excluding the countless variations on his name), and Ron Paul received three. The rest of the write-in votes ranged from President Roth to serial killers to major U.S. cities to Mytheos Holt ’10 to—

Okay, my favorite write-in choices are listed after the jump. 

Spotted: Deer Head on a Stop Sign

Just another casual night at Wesleyan.

I really have no idea what is happening, but it appears that a deer head was found at the bottom of the stop sign between Exley and Clark. Between last month’s sheep carcasses and all the squirrel violence, Middletown seems to be overrun with bizarre animal happenings as of late. A quick interview with witness Sam Usdan ’15 appears above.

Miranda Haymon ’16 explains the scene: “I saw four police cars outside of Clark and I thought, hmm, who’s going to the hospital on a Wednesday night? RATCHET! But then, I realized that they were taking an empty bag out of one of the police car trunks and then SHIT GOT REAL!”

A picture of the deer head appears past the jump. (It’s somewhat graphic, though there’s no blood or anything.)

Wiebe ’14 Confirms Balls of Steel, Raises Dialogue Through Performative Sculpture

For those of you who think that walking to Usdan without a parka and boots is ‘braving’ the [pseudo] snowstorm, try spending your next couple days and nights in the wooden structure pictured above. Well, you don’t have to, because Will Wiebe 14′ has already taken on the task. If you happen to walk by Russell House in the next couple days, you might notice a conspicuous, wooden tent on the front lawn, and you might see Will Wiebe all cozied up inside. Wiebe built the tent for his sculpture class, but the project was not complete until yesterday afternoon when he moved in for the remainder of the week and the weekend.

This performative sculpture raises dialogue surrounding the ideas of land ownership, privilege, independence, and property ownership. The independence exercised in the execution of this piece—the fact that Wiebe built the tent himself and set it down without consulting the university—raises interesting questions about our relationship with physical space.

Ben Doernberg ’13, like a true WesKid, emphatically identified a controversial aspect of this project: how it violates the code of non-academic conduct, which states that “Symbolic structures (e.g., displays, statues, booths, banners, shanties, tents) must be approved by the dean of students according to standard procedures.” This controversy brings one to ask, are we no longer allowed to inhabit homes that we have built with our own hands? Can we not choose where we live? Do modern societal notions contradict basic notions of freedom and independence?