zColumn Contest Entry – vad – mcb

Brighton Fowler

I was musing today on the status of my fellow Lawrentians. How is everyone and are you going to stick around? The reason I ask this is because it seems as though every other person I talk to these days — especially the freshmen — is thinking of transferring.
As someone who is in a constant state of indecision, this series of conversations got me a bit worried. Worried mostly because they made me wonder that if they were transferring, should I? Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Lawrence and I have a stream of nice things to say about it, aside from its mountainless location, pitiful selection of eligible bachelors, and often-undercooked mock chicken. And yet, despite my disappointment in all of the above, is the mock chicken really going to be all that better somewhere else? So I guess simply what I am asking here is this: What exactly is the Lawrence difference? And is it enough to stop me or any other possible transfer tragedy from leaving?
I thought before anyone does anything rash we should make a list. First there’s the small campus size — reminiscent of high school minus the sweater sets and the pep rallies. Then there is Freshman Studies — a unique yet surprisingly unliterary class these days. And of course there is the great faculty — although I hear through my “sources” that the tenure track is as unfair as it is rigorous — and our faithful and inspiring president — I mean at least she looks that way from afar because that is the closest I have ever been to her since the matriculation convocation freshman year.
And we must not overlook the campus — quaint yet collegiate — and the conservatory — no complaints there, I’m just glad I get to enjoy it for free and not take the super hard classes. Believe me, if you think Jazz History is going to be easy you are very wrong. And Bj”rklunden, our estate by the lake that was stupidly handed over to us by our neighbors at St. Norbert — I mean I don’t really mind their sloppy seconds if that includes Bj”rklunden and the Packers. And certainly the London Centre — Lawrence in London, whoa — and a myriad of other interesting study abroad options are enticing. And I would definitely miss the weekend theme parties, although I hear their days may be numbered since the institution of new fire codes. Let’s not forsake the grill and the VR — grease and beer, I mean you can’t really top that.
But does this a difference make? I mean it seems that this list it could go on ad infinitum.
There are positives qualified by negatives everywhere I turn and yet, do I or anyone really want to give that all up? What if outside our LU bubble there lies a world that is not so open, so caring, so inquisitive, or quirky, or musical, or ridiculous as it is here at Lawrence. Are we so blinded by our situational ignorance that we cannot see the forest for the trees, or do we really have something very special and unique here at Lawrence that the whole world has somehow overlooked?
Personally, I would like to believe the latter. Maybe this really is a hidden gem, a collegiate utopia that just has yet to be discovered, or maybe the freshmen are right. We should all leave and transfer to somewhere like sunny UCSB, the acronym here being University of Spoiled Children; or Northwestern perhaps, located in the “quaint” and “diverse” suburb of Evanston; or U of Chicago, where, and I quote, “fun goes to die.” Or, maybe we should save the money on application fees and buy a chicken tender pita and some cheap beer from the VR and enjoy the funny things Lawrence has to offer without putting in any effort into it at all.