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ISSUE 119 VOL 11 PUBLISHED 2/24/2006

Ole eye for the Carl guy

By Brenna Bray
Staff Writer

Friday, February 24, 2006

Though St. Olaf and Carleton both call Northfield home, Oles and Carls are notorious for not generally mingling. In fact, the two colleges and their student bodies differ as much as night and day.

On the rare occasion that students from St. Olaf and Carleton find themselves canoodling in one of the same Northfield establishments such as Hogan Brothers or The Rueb-n-stein, they are easily identified as either “Ole” or “Carl.”

Oles say the Carls are “granola eaters,” “hippies,” and sort of “grungy.” Carls are generally stereotyped as the more bookish Northfield counterpart.

Carls say Oles are “loud,” “light-hearted” (if not “light-headed”), and perhaps the better-looking student body.

We decided to explore these stereotypes by conducting the first ever St. Olaf-Carleton Makeover: We “made” a Carl into an Ole and an Ole into a Carl.

The Ole: Sonja Ellingson, junior, biology major.

Why Sonja embodies St. Olaf: You may recognize Sonja from the picture of her studying in the library that is posted on the library's website. Tall and blonde with Scandinavian roots, Sonja runs cross-country and track and field. She has spent a semester studying abroad in Denmark, and like a good Ole, Sonja has sung in both Manitou Singers and Chapel Choir.

The Carl: Colin Olsen, junior, political philosophy major

Why Colin embodies Carleton: Colin plays free safety for the Carleton Knights football team and enjoys debating various political philosophies. His favorite book is Friedrich Nietzsche's “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” He likes foreign films like “Kung Fu Hustle” and enjoys listening to Radiohead, Mars Volta, and the Fugees.

The Makeover: Carl to Ole

We began by “cleaning Colin up” a bit. We shampooed and conditioned his shaggy locks, and shaved off his dubious mustache.

Next, we moisturized Colin's clean-shaven face with Jergens “extra-dry” lotion, to bring out his skin's natural Ole glow.

Afterwards, it was time to cut Colin's hair.

Cleaner-cut, it was time for Colin to update his wardrobe … with our expert Ole help, of course.

The GAP morino wool turtleneck and Banana Republic boot cut jeans we decided on were conservative, comfortable, and professional. These three qualities characterize St. Olaf dress wear.

Jeans are comfortable and casual, good for many experiences abroad or research “in-the-field,” but still clean-cut and cultured, especially when paired with a nice turtleneck top.

We thought about going with a Norwegian sweater, but decided the turtleneck would be more … realistic.

Solid, subtle colors like gray are appropriate for Oles. They exude professionalism, but like good Norwegian Oles, they are not “too loud.”

Black Kenneth Cole shoes completed the outfit. They are practical and professional, and like the turtleneck, are suitable for walking through the winter wind and snow from Old Main to Buntrock Commons, and for meeting parents and grandparents in the Cage after Sunday morning church.

To make up for foregoing the Norwegian sweater, we added a black pea coat for outerwear, effectively completing the ensemble.

The Makeover: Ole to Carl

First, we asked Sonja to remove her makeup. In our expert experience, Carls do not wear cover-up or blush (luckily, Sonja has a naturally becoming complexion).

We kept Sonja's hair in a low-maintenance ponytail and chose a comfortable low-maintenance wardrobe as well.

The Patagonia top is practical and politically active. Patagonia is a sporty, “grass roots” label, notorious for acting out against child labor and sweatshops by manufacturing all of its clothes inside the United States.

A practical zip-up pullover is good for layering to ward off the cold winter winds. Also, it is sporty enough for a pick-up game of ultimate Frisbee or broomball (under a jacket, of course). It almost begs for a ceramic mug of peace coffee or green tea.

Jeans are equally comfortable and durable. The Birkenstock clogs are a must for any Carl (they hide a pair of warm woolen socks).

We completed Sonja's simple Carl ensemble with a few accessories.

The shoulder bag: 100 percent hemp, bought and made in Thailand is great for lugging books to-and-from the library (pictured: Niccolo Machiavelli's “The Prince,” a text on “Religions of the World,” and “The Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Llama.

The pen tucked behind the ear is another important tool for the studious Carl.

The earrings and bracelet: The woman who sells international jewelry in front of the cafeteria stairs in Buntrock also peddles at Carleton. Needless to say, this grass roots, politically conscious source is responsible for supplying the dangly earrings and cuff bracelet.

The Scarf: Although purchased at The Rare Pair, it could easily be substituted for a hand-knitted one.

Since it is winter, we also recommend a hand-made ceramic mug of Peace coffee or green tea.

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