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ISSUE 117 VOL 13 PUBLISHED 3/12/2004

It's playtime

By Stephen Gunvalson
Contributing Writer


Friday, March 12, 2004

Whoever said that the college years were the best years of peoples' lives is a liar. The best years of peoples' lives were the ones spent playing with G.I. Joes, constructing houses with Lincoln Logs or Popsicle sticks, and running away from girls with cooties. Those days were filled with going to play at the flip of a coin, and the only worry coming home for supper -- no tests or homework to get in the way of the fun.

With a little creativity, the imaginative and light-hearted activities of youth can be incorporated into the drudgery of college life -- breaking the repetition of classes, caf food and committments.

To recover the pace of childhood, the following ideas guarantee a cheap thrill that does not cost anything, except maybe a hint of imagination -- if a rigorous liberal arts education has not sucked it out yet.

Childish tricks: Instead of looking for your backpack after dinner in Stav Hall, why not try hiding underneath all a pile of coats and scaring the next person who approaches to search the mound of down. After exhausting that idea, try hiding a Nalgene bottle in the coats and have a race with friends to see who can find it first.

To make up for lost time spent studying in Rolvaag, sneak up on unsuspecting students engrossed in their studies and give them a good ol' scare. Whether they laugh or scream, make sure to indicate that you are hoping for a game of tag, and tell them that they are "it" before running away. If, by chance, the person reciprocates the action and starts chasing you, change rules to "freeze tag." As soon as one person is "frozen" the game will end, instead of causing uproar in the Rolvaag stacks. Middle school love 101

Rather than asking out that cute honey from your Spanish class for coffee at the Cage, invite them to play Candyland. If you can't decide whom to ask on a date, play the old marriage predictor game, M.A.S.H.; it will save much busywork. Pass a note in class and ask your "target" to go steady. If they say "yes," you are "going out." Make sure to carve your names on a tree stump inside a grandiose heart with an arrow through it.

Baby talk: The next time you get into a debate with someone and the debate turns into a heated argument, cool the tension with the classic line, "I know you are, but what am I." If the opponent takes you seriously, make sure to say, "Psych!" or "Not!" to reaffirm your sarcasm. For the final blow, throw in: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." This activity is a good stress reliever and helps you remember the words that often disappear from mature adults' vocabulary.

Live happily-ever-after:

The skeptical student might say that such behaviors are childish. What's wrong with that? It takes a self-confident individual to know the appropriate times to be immature. The fringe benefit of acting like an adult is having the capacity to turn the childishness on or off at will.

The one downside to adulthood is that grown-ups don't ofen have the law on their side when they're caught pulling childish pranks. Adults simply can't reproduce that cute, pitiful face that was second nature when they were children.

So be careful when you're goofing off. And remember -- it's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.





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