Carving a niche

Steve Schnorr

If there’s anything difficult about first term at Lawrence, it’s carving out your niche for the proceeding academic year. For those of us struggling to make a name in the Op-Ed section of The Lawrentian, it can be especially tricky.
Ideally, intelligent, witty articles would flow from our fingers about important issues that have a real impact on your life; like frat parties, or the elections in Iranistan – however, being hopelessly self-centered, it’s easier just to talk about the things I like.
Diversity is what makes this place great. Saturday night I was reminded of how baller the con is after attending a stunning senior recital involving a marimba, African vocals and baby water buffalo getting gnawed on by lions.
Later that night at a party in the Sage Hall basement, guess who was the first Lawrence niche to show up in earnest? Not the ORC, the group throwing the party, but the much-maligned “jocks” of Lawrence.
As the night progressed I realized that the information flowing between everyone there as was almost as filling as the cheap beer. Who knew the hockey team loves sharing their knowledge of drinking games as much as I like to play them?
This is the kind of diversity that makes Lawrence awesome. For me, Lawrence is being able to bum a cigarette off Sig-Ep’s porch, on my way to an orchestra concert, or playing pool with two Betas in the VR after playing folk tunes on the co-op porch over a Rich Jones soliloquy. The diversity of this place makes it sweet. Who cares if you play bassoon or baseball, are a Minnesotan or a Mennonite.
Lawrence is great because of all the niches, not in spite of them. So, as we start in on the 2009-10 school year, I say enjoy your niche and your friends, but remember, cool people are doing cool stuff everywhere.
Writing them off before you know them is stupid. If you’ve never been to a hockey game, check it out: watching Mark Howe blow people up is fun. If you’ve never been to a choir concert, get out there! The soprano section in concert choir is not something you want to miss.
Don’t be stupid, this place has more to offer than any of us realize, but staying in your niche, no matter how intricately carved, isn’t the path to Lawrence enlightenment.