Here’s a li’l A-Z guide to some Skid vocabulary; know this stuff and you’ve practically got a college degree already. Study up y’all.
A Capella — Skidmore has six a capella groups: the Sonneteers (all-female), the Accents (all-female), the Drastic Measures (co-ed/charity), the Dynamics (co-ed), the Bandersnatchers (all-male) and the Treblemakers (co-ed/all-inclusive). These groups sing without any instruments in the background. They sing all the time. You’re going to leave a capella jams singing things like “dooo be dooo be dooby” and “la la laaaa shoom ba da ba” for the rest of the night.
Burgess — the café in Case Center. They sell coffee and snax. If you have a class before 10:10 am you will absolutely hit up Burgess on the regular, as early classes necessitate replacing at least 60% of your blood with caffeine.
Chicken Finger Fridays — it sounds silly. Or mundane. What’s the big deal about chicken fingers, right? Wait until you hit up D-hall on Friday and see mounds of perfectly golden chicken fingers as far as the eye can see, complete with the dipping sauce of your choice. These aren’t your mushy, super-processed, high school cafeteria-grade chicken fingers either. These are the real deal. When I was a junior I got a modified meal plan just so I could eat at Chicken Finger Friday.
D-hall — the dining hall. I did SCOOP for my Pre-Or (see below) and all of the upperclassmen PAs were talking about “D-hall”. “What is D-hall?” I, the naive first-year, asked. “Uh…the dining hall,” they said. So that’s the great story about how I learned to call the dining hall D-hall.
Elevator (Jonsson Tower) — Jonsson Tower is a residence hall and, at eleven stories, happens to be the tallest building in Saratoga. Thus it is the only res hall with elevators, making it the top choice for lazy people everywhere. Hot tip: take the ‘vator all the way up to the Penthouse and check out the nice mountain view.
Fun Day — on one of the last days of the spring semester, SGA puts on a massive daytime event involving student bands, bouncy castles, “sumo wrestling”, freeze pops, and the longest barbecue grill-line I’ve ever seen. Everyone has gone stir-crazy from staying inside all winter so the ladies put on their bikinis, dudes wear lacrosse pinnies (whether or not they actually play lacrosse), and everyone enjoys the sunshine and eats hot dogs and does other stuff. So Fun Day is…the best day at Skidmore. Hot tip: snag the free sunglasses ASAP.
The Green — the huge stretch of grass closed in by Howe and Rounds Halls, D-hall, and Case Center. Good hangin’ out place. Frisbees everywhere. Occasionally someone will bust out a slackline and that’s when things really get crazy.
Health Services — they’re in the basement of Jonsson Tower. They do a little bit of everything: take care of you if you have swine flu, prescribe meds, do physicals for people about to go abroad, test for STDs, dole out birth control, and generally make sure the Skid population is happy and healthy.
Intramural Sports — people play them. Tennis, softball, basketball, volleyball, whatever. Quidditch practice has started too. Don’t abandon your shin guards and lacrosse sticks just because you’re not playing at the varsity level.
Junior Ring — a semi-formal dance at the end of fall semester. Hot tip: save your prom dresses, ladies.
Keurig Coffeemaker — when you go to the Admissions building for your tours and interviews, the coffee maker uses K-cups! If you don’t drink coffee, might as well start now. Sorry, this was a stretch. I couldn’t think of anything else for K.
Lucy Scribner Library — the source of all student productivity on campus. Come to the library to Get. Stuff. Done. There’s a café, a ton of computers (both Mac and PC), a writing center where you can get help on papers, great librarians, a s*&#load of books, individual and group study rooms, and window seats with cozy chairs. Oh, and the third floor is silent. I’m blogging in the library as we speak.
MB 107 — the intro class you need to take if you’re going to be a Business major. It involves making/presenting business plans and from what I’ve heard, it’s really intense. Not for the faint of heart. When you see girls wearing business casual skirts and boys wearing ties and suit jackets, that’s when you know it’s the presentation day for MB 107.
Off-Campus Study (Office Of) — where you go when you want to study abroad or do an exchange. Here’s a sampling of places you can study: France, England, Spain, China, Australia, the Netherlands, Peru, Ecuador, Ghana, Senegal, Vietnam, Turkey. 59% of the class of ’11 studied abroad. That’s a lot of people. Hot tip: study abroad.
Pre-Or — programs you can do before starting your freshman year. SCOOP is probably the most popular; it’s an outdoorsy camping/hiking/canoeing program with different degrees of outdoorsiness depending on how willing you are to live for three days without an actual toilet. There are on-campus Pre-Ors with the theater (theatre?) department, the Skidmore newspaper, and programs involving volunteering, music writing, and other good things. Great option if you want to leave for college a few days early!
Questions — have more? Ask me! I don’t bite.
RAs — your res hall will have an RA on each floor. You can tell your RA lots of stuff: “I’m homesick,” “I hate my roommate(s),” “My ceiling light isn’t working,” “I’m struggling with an eating disorder,” “The people next door are making too much noise,” “I’m stressed ouuuuutttttt,” and so on. RAs are concerned with your wellbeing and safety; they are not police officers or party poopers. I was an RA in Jonsson Tower my sophomore year and can say with experience that RAs are special people who are there to help. Hot tip: when you meet your RA, give ’em a bear hug.
SGA — Student Government Association. Class presidents, secretaries, treasurers, social chairs, and so on. They plan events, they regulate regulations, they do lots of stuff for the student body. Last weekend we had Oktoberfest — the cats at SGA had games on the green, a dance at Falstaffs, a Dunkin’ Donuts study break, and even a beer tent for us legal folks. SGA has that whole “of the people, by the people, for the people” thing going on.
Thoroughbreds — that’s us. We used to be the Wombats but wombats aren’t very distinguished or intimidating (still charming though). Our mascot goes to games and wears a horse suit and will give you a high-five if you want one.
Uncommon Grounds vs Saratoga Coffee Traders — the ongoing battle of where to go off-campus for coffee. Uncommon Grounds has a crazy selection of bagels and a good, studious/comfy atmosphere but sometimes the service is rough. Coffee Traders has wrap sandwiches named after famous racehorses, not to mention amazing hibiscus iced tea and a miniature candy store in the back, but it doesn’t have as much seating as Uncommon Grounds. I like to split my time between the two. Both of their bacon-egg-cheese bagels are a Saturday morning necessity. Also, don’t you dare go to Starbucks.
Vagina Monologues — the Feminist Action Network puts it on every year, student-acted and student-directed. Great for people who love theater and people who love women.
WSPN — the Skidmore radio station. You can host your own radio show (first-time DJs usually get a time slot at like 4 in the morning) and theme it or just play whatever random songs you want to play, but beware putting your music on shuffle and risk playing “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)” for all the world to hear. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
X-ercize Science — NOT how it’s spelled, but the Exercise Science major is one of the fastest-growing majors at Skidmore. We’ve got some crazy bone density measuring device that’s only at two colleges: Skidmore and Stanford. ‘Nuff said.
Yoga Club — we have one. Join it. Downward-facing-dog your life away. Namaste.
Zankel — our new music building, replacing a sweaty, humid old music building. Zankel looks like the world’s most beautiful hospital. The main performance hall is supa dupa fly. Also it’s another place to bring performers (as if we needed any more); last year we had Jenny & Johnny and Ani DiFranco, plus a bunch of classical concerts I happen to have missed.
There you have it. Any further questions about any of these entities, drop me a line in the comment box or ask me via Formspring.