How to rock first block
by Chelsea Schmidt, staff writer; illustration by Brittin Alfred, guest artist
Every year, on the first day of school, a highly anticipated, well-constructed publication requiring months of careful planning is finally released: the First Block Senior Party Calendar. The Calendar plans every night of the CC socialite’s first block by providing an address, a ridiculous theme, costume guidance, and the promise of free beer. Enthusiasm is high as everyone prepares to party with friends they haven’t seen all summer, dress in silly outfits they couldn’t wear to the unpaid internships they just finished, and witness the awkward swarms of freshmen as they roll up to the chosen house. And regardless of the quality of costumes and decorations, every party ends by the stroke of midnight with a “good night” from the cops.
As seniors this year, my housemates and I decided to opt out of hosting since our house just got wall-to-wall all-white carpet installed (which I’ve just realized was probably not an accident on Sunflower Management’s part.) But this didn’t mean that I wasn’t ready to check out the scene as I have in first blocks past and enjoy the belligerence that starts off the year.
The first rager I went to was “SophistiFUNK.” It was a great theme, but the party was way too crowded despite it being a Tuesday night, which is often the case at a school whose social scene centers on house parties. It’s no secret that the Calendar, which is only meant to be distributed to the senior class, somehow leaks its way to the freshmen and sophomores; this year has been no exception. This made for some tight standing room and minimal opportunity for quality dancing (which I define as the option to move freely without having to simulate sex). I was impressed to see the campus-wide revival of costumes, though, something that had declined in the past year.
At the party I squeezed myself out of a tiny window and onto the roof of a garage with lots of other upperclassmen. Below us was a sea of socialites, strapped into their spandex with Solo cups in hand. It wasn’t until twenty minutes of watching neon under-agers had passed that I heard someone casually ask, “Didn’t they say this roof was really old?” I was suddenly reminded of my great fear of heights and even greater fear of dying. As more kids piled out the window, I managed to crawl through it and was out of that party in seconds. I’d had enough of the crowds anyway, which can be a little overwhelming after just returning to school.
This year, as in all years past, there are also parties with themes that are better left unattended (see September 5, “CEOs and Secretary Hoes”). When some houses are creative enough to come up with hilarious, witty themes (see September 6, “Segway on Over to Jackie and Dick; Take Your Pick!”), tactless parties like the “CEOs” party are particularly upsetting. CC students can be politically correct to a fault, but when it comes to the party scene, social sensitivity often goes out the window. Trying to uphold my ideals even in the face of free beer and boobies, I decided to avoid any sort of event with a synonym for “slut” in the title. Why would I want to spend my Saturday night in any environment that suggests working in a cubicle—and in high heels, no less? I didn’t drop forty grand a year on my private undergrad experience to hang out with America’s future chauvinists. I know it’s fun to dress up and look sexy, by why not theme your event something more like “Dress to Get Lei’d” and leave the degradation of women out of it?
I chose “Scrabble” as the next rager on my list, and this one was a hit. Not only did it last until 11:15 without the police showing up, it had some great energy and people kept flowing in. The idea was to wear a white t-shirt to the party and receive a big letter on it in permanent marker at the door. Groups of friends then had to spell out words at the keg to receive their beer. I heard jokes about giving all the hot girls the vowels, but a lot of guys were sporting A’s and E’s, too. Inside, black lights were on in all three dancing rooms, which played up the white t-shirt dress code. And of course, by the end of the night I did see some misspelled words.
We’re already halfway through first block, and from what you may (or may not) remember, it’s been a pretty good one. And freshmen, if you’re sad about the end of the planned partying, don’t despair. There’s still an Eighth Block Senior Party Calendar to come, and there’s no doubt in my mind that it will end up taped to half the Microfridges in Loomis. Let’s just hope the eighth block Calendar keeps up with the creativity and nixes the bigotry. And just remember: there are fun parties, there are neon parties, and there are sexist parties, but none can escape the CSPD. ~