Words to watch out for in Williamsburg

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August 18, 2011

10:42 PM

Override
Perhaps more succinctly referred to as begging, asking for an override is something every student at the College of William and Mary will do at least once in their college career. For some, it is the intense desire to take Tudor England while for others it is senior year oh-crap-how-is-this-happening-what-am-I-going-to-do realization that you still need to fulfill the performing arts GER, but no matter what, everyone comes to know the plaintive email sent to a professor asking to be granted a seat in their already over-capacity class.

The Caf
Nothing makes you feel more grown up than eating in a caf, right? For some reason this rather high schoolish name for the Commons Dining Hall remains the only thing that any student ever calls it. For the multitudes of freshmen who live nearby, it becomes a home away from home, especially for those weekend morning brunches.

Swemming
You certainly know by now that the College’s library is officially called Earl Gregg Swem Library. You might not know that students here are so dedicated to going to the library they’ve invented a very specific verb to cover that activity, which lends itself to lots of swimming and drowning puns. A long night of swemming can be just the thing to make sure that you get the desired grade on a test or it can result in a soul-sucking loss of humanity, take your pick. Come finals though, make sure you get in early, as everyone seems to suddenly enter training for academic Olympics. To slightly alter what a wise fish once said “Just keep swemming, swemming, swemming.”

CW
The College probably has Colonial Williamsburg to thank for preserving its existence in the 1930s, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. The abbreviation, which is much older than the television network playing Gossip Girl, generally refers Merchant’s Square as well as the historic area, suggesting that students find the two grouped together as one tourist trap. But within you can find some of Williamsburg’s hidden delights, like the Governor’s Palace Gardens and cider. Plus, you know, history, if that’s your thing.

Bread Ends
Bread ends might be the best thing about Williamsburg. When the Cheese Shop cuts its sandwiches there are leftover ends of loaves, which they but in a bag and sell for a dollar. Pair that with some house dressing or cheese and you have the perfect snack, lunch, dinner, afourthmeal, study break or early morning treat.

The Units
Ah, the Units. The Units are much more than the dorm where fraternities live. For members of a fraternity they can be a home away from home, for unlucky sophomores and juniors they can be a last ditch attempt to stay on campus, but for many freshmen they are where dignity goes to die.

Blowout
Twice a year, on a very special day, the College becomes a place of magical wonder. Not only do classes end for the semester, but students tend to go all out, enjoying themselves in ways generally considered very un-William and Mary. Whether you participate in a marathon of drinking or just watch the mayhem, it is the opportunity for everyone to enjoy themselves before devoting their lives to finals for the next week and a half.

TWAMP
The pinnacle of William and Mary slang words, TWAMP stands for Typical William and Mary Person. An insult to some and a badge of honor to others, the term has come to summarize what it means to be the very essence of a William and Mary student, whether that means studying too much, being involved in dozens of extracurriculars, or lacking any recognizable social skills. Everyone has their own definition of what it means to be a TWAMP, so find yours and own it. Or scorn it.

Fishbowl
Located a bit elusively in the Campus Center, the Fishbowl serves as a dispenser of information on all matters of health courtesy of Health Outreach Peer Educators. Its major claim to fame though is free condoms, which you can pick up any time they are open.
Confusion Corner
Some would say that five streets is too many to meet at once place, but not the genius who designed Williamsburg. Sure, it confounds almost every driver and results in many possible pedestrian accidents, but that never stopped the City of Williamsburg. At the very end of the College, where Ancient Campus meets Colonial Williamsburg you will find this urban planning gem, whose only good qualities are its excellence for giving directions (“Once you get around the really terrible confusing corner it is about a mile up”) and lending its name to a column in this paper.

Echo Wall
Many discover the echo wall stumbling back from Wawa late at night, but the Tyler Family garden, located on the Sadler Center side of James Blair Hall, deserves your attention. It is hands down the most adorable spot on campus.

Add/Drop
Add/Drop makes the world go round. Every year people students find themselves stuck with one, or half a dozen, classes they never wanted to take. During Add/Drop this can all be remedied, as you have the chance to stalk banner, searching for that perfect class to make your semester.

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