A weekend with Mudders is always a breath of fresh air. And even though this last weekend was spent with Mudders at a distinctly non-fresh-air locale, i.e. Harvey Mudd College itself, it was spectacular.
It’s still funny that I graduated from Mudd two years ago. It’s also odd to be attending a graduate school that is decidedly less demanding than Mudd was (much to Jorge Cham’s chagrin, no doubt!). But the weirdest thing about alumni weekend was knowing people in the Class of 2005 (they were seniors my freshman year celebrating their five year reunion), and knowing people who are current juniors and seniors, but having those two groups not know each other.
All “holy crap time does crazy things” Mudd-esque moments aside, it was a super fun weekend. Seeing people ranks #1 on my list of awesome, and could only be improved by even MORE people I know attending! That said, highlights of the weekend included, but were not limited to…
- Free Donut Man (Foster’s) donuts – I had actually never had one before, and I was missing out
- Ridiculous amounts of wine at every social gathering and/or meal
- Remote controlled flying pterodactyl
- Truck of free food sponsored by Yelp
- 5-Class competition (seniors always win, alumni always cheat!)
- “Twelfth Night” performed in the Thomas-Garrett courtyard
- Half off all food for those graduating in the last 10(?) years
- Crashing Baja with a horde of Southie alums
- Free T-shirt
- Lamkin’s last concert as conductor of the CCO
- Eating at Patty’s and Bombay Bistro
- Amazing talk by Lesley Ward, who taught me Math 11 frosh year but is now a professor in her native Australia
There was also a genuine feeling of most people being passionately devoted to or interested in something important, and of subsequently working hard and thinking big to actually get sh*t done. The world needs more people like that. I was also reminded at how small and convenient Mudd’s campus is. Our modern day “real world” somehow has evolved(?) to consider a 15 or even 30 minute commute (by car!) to be convenient. So many large universities are commuter schools that lack any kind of campus culture, or at least lack 100% student involvement in campus culture. At Mudd, you live right there and your neighbors are your best friends are your classmates are your family. As my favorite South Dorm t-shirt proclaims, “Five minutes is plenty of time to get a smoothie on the way to class.” I was reminded of how special all this is, and how I feel obligated – in a good way! – to go out and help foster communities that are as close-knit and supportive as Mudd is. The classes of 2010 and 2005 may not know each other, but they are all Mudders, and that is enough.
So see, if you’re a Mudder and you didn’t make the trip this year, you really missed out. We’ll probably be back next year since it’ll be Mike’s five year reunion (wow!). So you all get a second chance… and another after that, when it’s my five year reunion in 2013.