Why We Have Class

During the blizzard of 2010 many area schools shut down for a week or more.  Delivery trucks couldn’t get to the cafeterias, and, by the end of the week, the food was running so low people were rationing the General Tso’s chicken.  Because students were trapped on campus many hung out in lounges and cafeterias, generating a great deal of dialogue.  The following story is a short conversation I overheard in the upperclassman cafeteria, midway through Snow Week.      – Benjamin Nelson

Why We Have Class

“Dude, I don’t know what to do with myself, I actually miss having class.  I don’t really want the work, but it’s almost worse just being bored.”

Most of the group nodded in agreement.  The five young men, all upperclassmen at the Johns Hopkins University, were sitting in Nolan’s Cafeteria on the evening of the second blizzard of 2010.  They had come for smoothies but, due to a lack of supplies, they now sat around with cups of soft-serve chocolate, vanilla, and chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream.

“Nah, class sucks, I hope we can get Friday off, too,” one student said, smirking.  “This “snow week” has been awesome.”

“Well, anyways, what do you want to do tonight?”

“I don’t know,”  Another said. “We should prank someone.”

“Yeah.  But how and who?”

“Let’s build a snowman outside Kenny’s room.”

“Let’s build a giant block of snow that covers his entire door.”

The group’s creative juices started flowing, and all five students huddled closer around the table.  One student dumped his ice cream on top of his brownie, instantly creating a brownie a-la-mode.  The four others commented on his ingenuity before getting back to their clandestine task.

“Man, if only there was some way to get into Kenny’s room. We could flip over all his furniture.”

“Or make a giant snow penis right next to his bed.”

“That would be great.”  One student laughed as he leaned back in his chair.

“Or how about leaving him an ‘Upper Decker’?” asked another student.

“What’s that?”  The other four furrowed their brows.

“It’s when you drop a deuce in the upper part of the person’s toilet, so when they flush, it all comes out as dirty water.”

Four of the students laughed hysterically and rocked back in their chairs.  One student in the group, however, had finished his ice cream and tried to pass off his cookies to the others around the table.  He began to shift uncomfortably in his chair.  He looked around the cafeteria to make sure no one was listening.

“I think I’m going to head out, I’m getting tired,” he said as he stood up.

“Dude, we’re not actually going to do any of these things,” said the creator of the brownie a-la-mode.  Yet the rest of the group looked at each other. Eyes hinted the contrary.

“I know, but I think I’m going to take off,” he mumbled. He checked his phone and started to leave, giving a dramatic yawn.

The group resumed the debate. Finally, one said: “How about we call Lindsey’s room every 10 minutes and just hang up. That would really freak her out.”

The four friends contemplated the prospect of a few more days without school. Then, after a break in the conversation, one of the students rocked back slowly in his chair and said, with a wide grin, “I guess this is why we have class.”


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