Winter Carnival!!

January 26, 2011

OVERHEARD IN GEHRING HALL:  “Hey, Mr. Alford, we should have a Wilderness First Responder class at Gould.  You know, for cool kids!”

Winter Carnaval is coming!!!!!!!!

Gould’s Winter Carnival has evolved over the years, but I have loved in just the same through each iteration.  I thought that I would take a few lines up here to talk about some of the highlights that I remember from Carnivals past, and mention those things that, for me, endure.

Winter Carnival has, over the years, pitted guys against girls, Freshmen against Seniors (can you say “unfair Tug-Of-War?), dorms against each other, and the ever popular “every student is a team-now go out and pummel everyone you see.”

I made up that last one.  For the most part, and as of late, Winter Carnival pits dorms/floors against dorms.  I like this, as it creates a tight bond between dorm communities and allows everyone on campus to hate Holden for a day.

Another thing that has evolved is the concept of “team color”.  We have gone from “gray” and “blue” and “black” to “striped” and “plaid.”  Honestly, I love you Davidson (where I once lived on campus) but plaid is NOT a color.  And 40 boys all wearing different plaids working together looks more like a Dalí painting than a team.

So we take to the field of battle (covered with snow) and compete in many contests of strength, speed, and stupidity (there was a math book-into-the-trashcan component in the obstacle course one year).  But back “in the day” there were other events, and I miss some of them.  Here are a few, to whet your imagination (maybe someone will bring some of them back someday….):

  • Snow sculpture.  Each dorm would create a sculpture, to be judged on creativity and “awesomeness.”  Guess what the boys always “sculpted?”
  • Spink Rink.  Imagine an ice rink the size of a large dining room table.  Now put 10 people on the ice and a little playground ball.  Now give the people hockey sticks.  You write the ending…
  • The hat.  One year we had a red knit hat, and whichever team captured it got 40 points.  Mr. Baker talked me into putting it on at the tug-of-war between Holden and Davidson.  Guess who lost?  ME!
  • We have had kings and queens, huskies, and even an Elvis on a snowmobile.  Anything that sounds like fun eventually makes it into the games.

Winter Carnival has decreased the number of hours dedicated to the contests, from an entire weekend to about 18 hours.  All the same, I love it.  I love the cheering, the makeup, the colors (except for plaid), everything.

So just one question:  Who is going to be the Husky?

You can make one safe bet:  He won’t be wearing a red hat.


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