The amazing thing about Syllabus Week is how trulyuseless of a biannual rite it is. Four straight days of nothing but showing up to a lecture hall that smells like a vodka distillery. You get a single piece of paper (that’s available online anyway, whatever, trees), get out, and get home in time to watch ESPN First Take’s latest futile attempt to incite a race war.
The fraternity house awaiting the triumphant return of troops seeking quarter is a completely different beast than the drollness of the lecture hall. Shards of a sixty-inch flatscreen litter the floor because on New Year’s someone tried to drunkenly roundhouse the gizzards off of a turkey.
The house has a certain quiet confidence radiating from its bricks. It’s almost like the fraternity house, having spent its existence listening to the Never-Ending Song for years on end, has somehow become self-aware, like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and knows that a fresh crop of pledges will be stepping blindfolded into the basement in a matter of days. But until that time comes the JIs and their still Pavlovian level of cleaning conditioning will have to suffice, but they have limits, and they’re not touching those condoms either.
J.I.: Hello, HOUSE. Do you read me, HOUSE?
HOUSE: Affirmative, rookie.
J.I.: Open the hazement doors, HOUSE.
HOUSE: I’m afraid I can’t do that.
J.I.: What’s the problem?
HOUSE: Your pledge instructor taught me to sing a song. If you’d like to hear it I can sing it for you.
J.I.: HOUSE! YOU MANIACAL THREE-STORY BULLY, OPEN THE DAMN DOORS!
HOUSE: …Daisy, Daisy, none of your pledges’ answers will do…
Enjoy it while you can, because when it’s over, it’s back to the grind, and life gets real again.