and it’s for a very specific group of humans that I lived with in college. Some backstory: once upon a time in college, I got paid to blog for Wesleyan’s Office of Admissions (it is possible that if you’ve read my more recent writing, this seems like a strange idea. Um, yeah). Today, Facebook’s On This Day feature (one of my favorite things, tbh) reminded us that three (!) years ago today, I wrote a blog post for that job about my program house (International House) which is where I lived… 2011-2013. However, the Admissions blog has since been shut down, and it makes me sad that this silly list of things I loved about my house no longer exists. So I’m just gonna re-post that, unedited (please understand that this hurts my very soul) and in its entirety. Oh gosh! I know! Vanity and nostalgia and really bad writing all in one place! I have literally zero plans to do this with any of my other Office of Admissions-commissioned writing, because wow. But hey I-House, you still have my heart, and thanks for putting up with me for two years. Our kitchen was indeed the shit. I’ll pass things off to 2013-me, now.
So, some stuff to get out of the way quickly:
1. Hey, I’m Cade, I supposedly blog here except I haven’t been doing my job (because I got caught up in a billion other things, typical WesKid or something). I’m a junior (rising senior now?) Government major, also working on a Writing Certificate, also I do a lot of stuff (a cappella, sketch comedy, stand-up comedy, literary society) on campus.
2. Today was official move-out day for most students at Wes
3. Except those of us who are working for Reunion and Commencement (“R&C”) (holla, Camp Cardinal!)
Anyway. One of the great things about Wes is that we have these housing options called program houses (mostly for sophomores and juniors, though there are some program halls for frosh and seniors can live in program houses/halls if they want to) which are houses that are each themed around a different thing. A few examples: Film Hall, Chinese House, Community Service House, Out House (outdoorsy types), Womanist House, Full House (cooking) etc etc it’s a massive list. Also, the frats and societies are counted as program houses.
For the past two years of my Wes life, I’ve lived in International House (“I-House”). I-House really did become a home, with its own lexicon and culture (“I don’t understand how you all listen to the same set of songs every day” says my boyfriend) and shared dishware and house dinners and singing at each other and dancing and
watching New Girl and talking (fairly constantly) about social justice issues and racism and misogyny and our classes and music and dating and college and grad school plans. Basically, we became a family. [Disclaimer: I’ve been fairly absent this semester due to various stuff, but I still tried to spend at least some time with housemates every day]. And, having moved out my stuff (and I own a ton of stuff!) today for the last time after TWO WHOLE YEARS together, I am kind of grieving. So, I know you guys don’t know me because I haven’t been blogging, but I love lists! So here’s a list! My favorite things about International House. Woo. Here goes.
1. The Four Returners- I’m just gonna be egotistical and list us first. There are four of us (Nicole, Victoria, Michael, and me), all class of 2014, who have lived in the house for both years. I think part of the reason this house was so amazing this year is that the four of us were kind of dissatisfied last year (or, okay, at least me and Michael were) and wanted the house this year to be more of a community. So we made everyone else like us! Or something. But really, we love this house excessively and have inspired some of this year’s sophomores to return next year. Because it’s a wonderful house.
2. Our fairly big kitchen and living room- We have a fairly large kitchen and living room area (also, we have a study room and our own laundry room also on the first floor). Things I have made in this kitchen: lemon bars multiple times, 60 miniature cheesecakes for Dessert Cup last year, pasta and a chocolate peanut butter pie for CT’s local Mormon missionaries, banana cream pie, pecan pie (for my a cappella group’s audition days), pretzel brownies, giant house brunch with Victoria that one time, I think me and Michael made everyone quesadillas once (did I dream this?), when Nicole and I made spinach goat cheese pasta and also sweet potato fries that totally burned, that time Michael and I tried to make fancy crackers with avocado, strawberry and goat cheese but they dried out… oh no, I have entered the land of cooking failures and shall stop there, but really, we cook constantly and everyone makes a ton of different, cool stuff.
3. IHOP- last year, we started a new tradition! And that tradition is IHOP. IHOP (not the restaurant, gosh, it’s a different thing) is when we organize a bunch of the other program houses on campus and all make pancakes! Each house makes a different type of pancake, and then we sell tickets to a giant pancake brunch (everyone gets one of each kind of pancakes) and the proceeds go to charity. It was awesome last year, and even more awesome this year. Mainly because this year, we did it outside and I got to DJ.
4. Beyonce- You might think that this can’t be included on a list of “my favorite things about my house.” And yet, Queen Bey is a totally valid thing to include here. We often joke that we should be called Beyonce House because we all take our love of Beyonce verrrrry seriously. Like, we have spent nights just watching her music videos together. Beyonce, man. Also, we’re big fans of: Frank Ocean, Macklemore, anything hip-hop or R&B from the 90s or early 2000s, Kendrick Lamar, and Childish Gambino. Okay, fine, Childish might just be me, but I make everyone else listen to him. Having a shared music taste with your house is pretty nice.
5. Diversity!– and I don’t just mean the basic oh-gosh-we-all-have-different-backgrounds kind. I mean that we all have very different interests, specialties, and perspectives. I mean the fact that our majors collectively include: Film, Anthropology, Government, Music, Economics, Neuroscience & Behavior, Biology, Theater… and a bunch more. I mean that housemate who lives above me and plays tennis and is a total jock also plays his guitar to Taylor Swift all the time and sings her songs. I mean that the great thing about I-House is that we’re nonspecific enough (what does “International House” mean, anyway?) to attract all kinds of people who maybe speak a different language or have lived in a different country or are from a different country or wish they could visit a different country and maybe don’t have much in common beyond that. Except, like, Beyonce.
Wait, I have been interrupted in my list to go pick up things that I left at I-House whilst attempting to move out. The stuff in question? A baking pan, a pastry cutter, cupcake cups, a neurobiology textbook, and laundry detergent. The usual.
This has kind of killed my nostalgia mood (though I slightly teared up as I walked through the door for the NOW ACTUALLY LAST time, blech) and also this post is really long, so I’m gonna sign off. And also I’m actually going to blog about summer things! But now you know how special Wes program houses are🙂
What’s coming up for summer blogging:
- the basic “oh no it’s summer, I miss school” stuff… oh, do not all schools get that? Hmm, guess Wes is awesome
- my two-week internship in DUBLIN (yeah, Ireland, fancy) working as a program assistant for an MFA program
- I think I’m trying to write a book? So I can write about those struggles… Instead of writing my book.
- I’m going to give a talk at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival with my mom. We’ll be talking about trauma writing. The MFA program at the University of Iowa is one of the grad programs I’ll be applying to next fall! Coincidence? I think not.
- some other soon-to-be-determined adventures. Also I’ll probably talk about food.
PS: This is my emotional support animal, America “States” Beyonce (you can like him on facebook…). He also lived in I-House this year! Also that’s me. Holding him.
PPS: dedicated to I-House [International House of Ratchet] 2012-13: Aiden, Ben, Christian, Elizabeth, Grace, Luis, Michael, Monica, Nicole, Victoria, & Will.