Tag Archives: Calvin College

One of the reasons why I don’t have a job

Every time, every single damn time I start actively job hunting my alma mater does something utterly retarded and gets on the news. Last year it was Memogate and a few months ago there was a fiasco over the name of a band.

When I first heard that Calvin had invited and then cancelled on a band called The New Pornographers my first thought was, “Oh good, somebody is doing the music scene there a solid and taking a stand against all that indie shit.” Because that’s what the band is, an indie scum band with a faux-clever name.

Because it was a slow news day, the story spread like wildfire and hit all the major news’ networks websites.

A day or two later the administration declared that they had canceled it because they take porn addiction seriously.

Let me break that down for you: “Shit, we just realized that what we do has consequences and people are looking at us so what are we gonna do? Oh yeah, let’s blame a fictional addiction!”

This blaming of a make-believe addiction, of course, made everyone laugh harder and me wish even harder that I had gone to a normal school that I wouldn’t be ashamed of putting on my resume.

And let me break it down further for you: I have been in a relationship where porn was an issue and maybe even the other person involved was “addicted”. It was terrible for the relationship and left me with a lot of shit I had to work through. But you know what? None of that background makes the band name a trigger for me. It doesn’t do anything for me on an emotional level. It’s bollocks and it cost me, and probably many others, opportunities.

So, moral of the story. Stupid, ridiculous moral panics cost more than they are worth. Hopefully this third round of resume sending and interviewing doesn’t get marred by my alma mater being retarded.

And now I really enjoy The New Pornographers, thanks Gay Byker. I may have to turn in my hardcore badge in now.

This guy is not in The New Pornographers, thank the gods


The administration is stepping up its game this year

Firstly, I apologize for sucking at life and not updating. My summer has been quite full since I am a quasi-alumni now looking for a job. But my last paper was handed in at the beginning of the month and I am now officially done with Calvin forever!

…That was, until the “Memo”.

Some background: The administration is always finding ways to fuck with the college, some years they focus on the students (note the “controversy” over every issue of the spoof and even going so far as to try to shut it down or threatening the writers with expulsion) and others they like to focus on the professors (the booting out of Dr Isom last year). These shenanigans usually occur right before the end of spring semester, probably with the intent then that they would soon be forgotten.

This year, the administration decided to up its game and mess with the college early…way early, during the summer. Towards the end of this summer all staff received a memo telling them that it is “unacceptable” to advocate for gay marriage in any way. The board claims that it is only a clarification of previous decisions, but we can safely say that judging by the “WTF?” responses by most of the faculty that this is not so.

It appears that some faculty actually attempt to think for themselves and form their own opinions outside of what the synod says. Gay marriage joins the long list of things that the board is very passionate about, including:

  • believing that the Belgic Confession, Hiedleburg Catachism and Canons of Dordt are way rad
  • attending a CRC church (a list of acceptable churches is available upon request)
  • putting their kids into Christian schools
  • make the college look good
  • be all that they can be in regards to being decent human beings
  • [source:http://www.calvin.edu/admin/provost/fac_hb/chap_3/3_6.htm]

As you can see from the list, the Calvin board is all about addressing all sorts of controversial topics, just like the synod is (the issue of women clergy/women participating in synod not included).

The board is clearly wistfully looking back on the days (circa 1920, the board members must be ancient) that they had control over the minute details of student and faculty life. Gone are the days when you could simply order a professor to stand outside the movie theater to catch students coming out of The Covered Wagon. Now everybody wants academic freedoms and shit like that.

And the fact that professors quit after the Isom incident and others might surely think twice about staying at Calvin after this is just icing on the cake to the board! And, if it stirs up all sorts of outrage amongst the student body then that’s cool too!

I think that everyone still at the college should be on their guard this year, after such a strong start so early surely they have a big surprise for the college in the winter/spring.

The Covered Wagon was one of the greatest films of 1923

"The Covered Wagon" was one of the greatest films of 1923

Apparently I will feel rejected if I am not included in the Senior Scramble

Have I mentioned yet how fantastic it is that I am spending my last semester of Calvin off campus? This is because of something called the senior scramble, in which all seniors that have even a slight semblance  of a serious relationship get engaged in a hurry before graduation. This is because there are no CRC Christian people outside of Calvin college (if we ignore the Pella, Iowa area, all of Grand Rapids and all the other feeder areas/schools around the country). But the boy who makes me food is bravely enduring all the questions involving our relationship. I swear, questions are buzzing more around our relationship than anything else I have ever done in my life (which may mean I need to start pole dancing or swollowing swords). Why people are so concerned with my relationship status I shall never know, I never thought we were too terribly interesting as a couple (more fun than your typical high-stress Calvin relationship though).

The exchanges typically go something like this:

Typical Calvin person: I haven’t seen Katie in awhile…are you two still together?
Boy: Yes, but she is in the UK right now.
Calvie: Oh, ok, you engaged yet?
Boy: No
Calvie: Are you going to fly over?
Boy: No
Calvie: You have a ring, right?
Boy: No
Calvie: So she is not the one.
Boy: I never said that
Calvie: So you are getting a ring and going to propose right before graduation?
Boy: No
Calvie: Kinda a risk taker then?
Boy: What??
Calvie: What if she thinks you don’t want her?
[boy walks away]

Why I shall feel rejected if I do not recieve a shiny rock before graduation (which I won’t even be around for) is beyond me.

But if I were planning a wedding here is how it would go:

This, with the headpiece below, a veil and some gloves would guarentee that I would be like a white ninja at my wedding

This, with the headpiece below, a veil and some gloves would guarentee that I would be like a white ninja at my wedding

the headpiece

the headpiece

Oh, and did I mention that they make dresses with LED lights in them? I will work those into the entire ensemble.

Dear Bridesmaids, do you hate me yet?

Dear Bridesmaids, do you hate me yet?

Alernative dress idea

Alernative dress idea

And since every event needs a soundtrack, here is the list for the dinosaur/boy-who-makes-food wedding of doom (soundtrack also available as the table favor):

Crazy Daisy- Neon Horse
Its so cold in the D-Tbaby
Low-Flo Rida
I Still got you Ice Cream-Pissed Jeans
I can never be your lover-Still Remains (for the RA and myself)

This is why I can never have a proper wedding

You know you go to Calvin when you experience academic whiplash at least 4 times a week

Sorry for the looooooong departure from the blog, I had a three week Easter Holiday which I spent travelling around England and Wales (jealous yet? Have I mentioned that I only have one written final this semester too?).

After I got back Sunday night I threw myself into a paper on Shamanism in the Archaeological Record that I was working on. It’s a first year class at York St. John and the lecturer asked that we use at least 4 academic sources and, because I am something of a bastard (more on that later, I promised), I decided to be over the top academic. I admit that slogging through a journal article on Cognitive Evolution in The Cambridge Archaeological Review after three weeks of doing nothing but looking at pretty sunsets and playing hide and seek in old Roman Forts was a bit of a brain gang-bang, but I got through it and properly cited it and everything.

What will I be working on this evening for the two Calvin courses I am taking this semester? Why, I shall be writing a letter to Charles I of England summarizing the Grand Remonstrance. I shall be writing a letter to a dead guy summarizing something that he read in his own lifetime and disregarded. I could deal with answering a query like “Could the civil war have been avoided if Charles had made the changes Parliament wanted?” but I just cannot bring myself to write a letter to a dead historical figure like I’m in grade school again.

But if you go to Calvin College you are quite used to jumping from wading through dense journal articles and other way hard stuff and then that same day doing something similar to what your nephew is struggling with in second grade. My freshman year I went from my five credit greek class (which had myself and the rest of my class balancing the pros and cons of becoming biochem majors) and wrestling with the subleties of the Genetive case to going to Prelude and discussing the all important questions in modern Christianity: chief among them, “If Christianity were a parking garage where would you be parked?” and “What if your career is not your vocation?”

I almost failed Prelude because I admitted that I care little for parking garages and that I would rather be going back to what I am at college to learn (mainly the Genetive case), thank you very much random ass bank employee who teaches this class and wonders aloud whether his watching “American Chopper” will cause his three year old to grow up to be a felon.

Its maddening, frustrating beyond words and I really haven’t found a way to cope with it during my four years, other than being overly snarky.

Dear Charles, stop being a douche. Love, Kaydon

Dear Charles, stop being a douche. Love, Kaydon

The Knollcrest East Apartments: Where RAs go to Die

Being an RA in the dorms is a coveted position, unlike at a lot of other colleges/universities where the administration has to plead and bribe potential Resident Assistants, at Calvin the process of becoming an RA is a grueling 3 month long marathon of hundreds of interviews, essays and intense prayer sessions. As the number of candidates gets winnowed down from hundreds (literally!) many grow weary of being dragged through the process. The friends/floormates of the candidates especially get sick and tired of the process, as before the application period even began they had to sit through their friends debating whether or not they were called to the demanding life of an RA and now that the interviews and whatnot are underway they have to listen to their friends/floormates overanalyze every interview question and compare themselves to other people positioning themselves to become an RA.

Most of these candidates are gearing up for a full year of hard, rewarding service. It starts in the middle of the summer with activities, ice-breakers w/ fellow RAs and sessions of pointers. Then the day when the Barnabi move in they have to re-do all those ice-breaker games. Then, move-in day for the freshman and a week later the rest of the floor. Once the year starts, they have a full schedule of symbolicly leading their floor by doing God-only-knows-what and helping freshman figure out where The Cave Cafe is and what distinguishes it from the Fishhouse. They also must submit to patrolling the floors each night to catch those brazen underclassmen who would dare to play sports in the dorms or to invite a member of the opposite sex over at 4 am to watch “The Matrix” and to discipline those who are making others in the lobby sick with their PDA (that is, if the deskie doesn’t kill the couple first). And, after their official duties are over, the non-RA enthusiast who will not try to be an RA three straight years in a row, are retired to living in the KE apartments where they will continuously relive their glory days whenever a former floormate or other RA encounters them in the hall or in the library.

But there is one particular breed of RA that does none of those things and, in fact, does nothing at all. This is the RAs in the Knollcrest East Apartments. They start the year by organizing a mandatory apartment building meeting, during which they try really hard to achieve that perfect “laid back but still an authority figure” vibe and announce the plans they have for the year. These plans are then promptly thrown out the window as residents quickly learn that their RA (who probably got burned out being an RA in the dorms last year) is mostly doing this for the perks, notably the pay that makes living on campus close to free and the mealplan.

In fact, these RAs will go pretty far in order to escape the responsibilities of being an RA. This year they have gone so far as to organize an RA retreat the week that many students (everyone’s favourite dinosaur included) are leaving for semesters abroad, which is quite a few KE dwellers as most off campus semesters favor juniors and seniors. This means that these students are scrambling for the few precious hours this week that the RAs will not be on retreat, and many RAs haven’t even told their buildings nor have they posted sign-up sheets.

Occasionally though, if they are an RA in Theta-Epsilon where Cooke, the director of KE lives, they may catch of few drunks coming back in after a night of fun. But that’s about all they do.

How to nearly lose your life at an Anberlin Show

Each year Calvin brings at least one popular Christian act to the FAC, just so the SAO  can claim that they bring diverse concerts and to attract those at Calvin who listen solely to Christian music (much to the chagrine of their dorm’s CDs).  So tonight was the Anberlin show.

I was explaining this to someone at my door who was questioninh why Calvin, indie epicenter of West Michigan, was hosting Anberlin. Except I made the mistake of mentioning CCM. If you value your life you must never, ever tell a fan of Christian rock (even if its the extremely bland, generic stuff) that they listen to CCM. This hurts their street cred, because then everyone around them will think that they are fans of Amy Grant and Todd Agnew,  so they will lash out in order to prove to others around them that they really are cool.

I got lectured by an Anberlin fan standing near that Anberlin wasn’t CCM because he only listened to Christian alternative and Christian metal bands that nobody has ever heard of, like Spoken. Yes, Spoken is so metal. Which brings up another important part of the Christian rocker identity, they listen to bands you have never heard of or they were fans of the flavor of the week Christian rock band looooooong before anyone else had ever heard of them. They are like lower level indie scum that way.

I, unimpressed by the collection of bands nobody had ever heard of that he was fans of (mostly because I had heard of all of them and had been a fan waaaaaaay back in the day), declared that they were under the wider CCM umbrella and shered him through the door. He looked like he wanted to kill me.

And then some people, according to the very concerned looking Campus Safety officer, almost died crowd surfing and a friend lost her shoe in the mosh (if anyone has an extra shoe, would you mind bringing it to the lost and found?).

According to a t-shirt I saw all night, these guys throw axes, not grenades

According to a t-shirt I saw all night, these guys throw axes, not grenades

The Official Sport of Interim

Each season has a sport at Calvin. Well, ok, all the other three season’s sports are jogging. Jogging like the world is running out of pavement.

But winter has a sport all its own that doesn’t involve running (well, ok, everyone at Calvin still jogs in the winter…if they aren’t indie scum wearing inappropriate seasonal clothing), Broomball.

What is broomball? The greatest college sport of all time that involves broken broom handles, a ball and some ice. And it is played exactly like hockey, except for the fierceness…the Dutch fail when it comes to being fierce (which is why there are few Dutch last names on the rugby roster, or few Dutch girls winning “America’s Next Top Model”).

It’s cheap and extremely awkward, which means it is a perfect sport for winter at Calvin. Additionally, during the dorm tourtaments you can meet lots of cute singles from other dorms simply by falling down and seeing who helps you up.