Confusion Corner: Trading classes for sunshine

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March 22, 2012

11:29 PM

As the time of warm weather begins, the temptation to skip class and enjoy the outdoors grows ever stronger. This is one of the trappings of the freedom that college offers; yet every freedom seems to be a double-edged sword. You can eat pizza for breakfast, but you will gain the freshman fifteen. You can stay out until 4 a.m., but you will fail that anthropology quiz at 8 a.m. You can skip class, but … well, who knows? It would be irresponsible of me to sit here and advocate abandoning the academic environments we all pay so much for, but, come on — ultimate frisbee and sundresses. So, if I were ever to do something so wildly inappropriate as suggest that you skip class and enjoy the weather instead, here’s what I would suggest you do.

The Sunken Garden on a sunny spring day represents an excellent microcosm of the College of William and Mary. Monroe scholars, emerging from their cave-like dorm, will stand stunned in the sunlight, blinking and gathering their bearings. Hipsters will gather around one of the sets of stairs like the Breakfast Club and enjoy the American Spirit-tinted air, in clothes far too warm for the season, but come on, knit hats are so underground and not getting heat stroke is so mainstream. The Living Wage Coalition will have arranged a circle of organic free-trade tapestries to sit upon and have a dreadlock-growing race. The occasional tour guide will come by, inviting wide-eyed high-schoolers and their worried parents to take a look at an “average day” here at the College. Inevitably, someone will flick them off, and someone else will yell, “Go to U.Va.!”

Another excellent diversion from the whole reason that  you’re here in the first place is Duke of Gloucester Street. Whether you crave 16 bulk pounds of Pop Rocks from the Wythe Candy Store, bread ends dipped in the sweet ambrosia that is house dressing from the Cheese Shop, or something overpriced and mass-produced from the College Bookstore, this little strip of tourist heaven is a good way to kill some time on a nice day. You’re sure to see plenty of sweating tourists wondering why they can’t find the capitol “when it’s right here on the map,” douchey guys running shirtless with their dogs, or a stormtrooper army of fourth graders on an elementary school field trip—we’re still trying to figure out how to keep them out of our dining halls.

The Sadler Center Terrace can also offer an escape from the dark dungeons of academia when the weather is nice. You’re sure to see someone you know and hear someone you know talking shit about someone else you know. You can also catch all of the latest updates on whose Sperrys are more frat-like and who did the walk-of-shame from where, or you can watch whoever is tabling outside feebly beg passersby for attention. The occasional ballistic longboard only serves to season the exciting stew, and broken ankles heal fine, so chill out, brah. Political protests sometimes break out like angry pockets of acne, but it usually ends up being difficult to “Occupy” a town that seems to have a pancake house- and Christmas novelty store-based economy.

In conclusion, it would be irresponsible of me to ever go on public record and state that skipping class makes you cool. I’m not saying skipping class makes you cool. I’m just saying that some pretty cool people have skipped class. Mr. T? You better believe that guy skipped class regularly. Betty White? Women weren’t even allowed in class back then. And Tom Hanks? Well, he once said to me, “Anyone who doesn’t skip class is dead to me.”

Not that I’m with them.

Jason Rogers is a Confusion Corner columnist and can often be found sunbathing on an organic free-trade tapestry on the Sunken Garden.

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  • Jason Rogers