Lawrence Abbey: Aristocrat or serf?

Emily Nordin

If you’ve ever watched Downton Abbey, you’ve probably had the longing to live on an English country estate. (I know I have, preferably as an aristocrat…) So, it is with great pleasure that I point out here at Lawrence, we do kind of live in our own little Downton Abbey.

Think about it: we’re a relatively self-supporting community-just like Downton! We have food, shelter, health providers on hand, etc.

Okay, maybe your imagination doesn’t stretch that far, but humor me. As it is highly unlikely that I will be marrying into the English gentry or coming into a huge sum of money, Lawrence is the closest thing I have and will ever have to Downton Abbey. How sad.

The following is a test I designed to determine whether you live like an aristocrat or servant at Lawrence. Keep track of your score and find out.

1) Where do you live on campus? If you live anywhere but Hiett, one point for being a servant. If you live in Hiett, one point for being an aristocrat.

2) Do you have a campus job? If so, one point for being a servant. If not, one point for being an aristocrat. Moreover, if you work on a weekend, award yourself another two points for being a servant. After all, if you were truly of nobility like the Dowager Countess, you would currently be asking yourself, “What is a weekend?”

3) Are you in charge of any campus organization to the extent that if you died, the whole organization would be on the brink of collapse? If so, two points for being an aristocrat. If not, one point for being a servant.

4) Assuming you are of age, do you go to the Viking Room more than twice a week? If so, one point for being an aristocrat. You have an inordinate amount of time to mingle over drinks. If not, one point for being a servant.

5) Do you change your clothes more than once a day? If yes, one point for being an aristocrat. If no, one point for being a servant. With this, do you throw your clothes on the floor (in the vain hope that someone else will pick them up)? If yes, one point for having the attitude of an aristocrat. If no, one point for being a servant.

6) Do you agree with the statement that “nothing exceeds like excess?” If yes, two points for being an aristocrat. If no, one point for being a servant.

Congratulations, you have just completed the test to determine whether you live like an aristocrat or servant at Lawrence! Whatever category you scored a majority of points in, then that is what you are.

To my dismay, I scored as a servant. After moping around for a while, certain that my future was without prospects, I realized that I forgot one important thing. I forgot that I go to Lawrence, which is strikingly dissimilar to Downton Abbey in one respect.

Lawrence University is just that, a university, an educational institution. Though I may be a servant here, I am becoming educated, and becoming educated is the first step to socioeconomic mobility. Watch out Lord Grantham, here I come!

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