I was abroad second semester of last year, a time during which I looked forward to joining my friends for my final year here on the Hill.
I knew that when I returned some things would be different, but I didn't expect the college to remove the charming, if unorthodox, Presidential Manor and replace it with a legless AT-AT.
Maybe someone considered the old color scheme a little too Playskool, or maybe someone simply hated the sound of children's laughter and the feel of sunshine.
I personally don't know, so I briefly considered inventing an answer, but I then decided to avoid making a mortal enemy of the current occupant of The Bunker, lest he sic some Imperial storm-troopers on me (you know they're in there somewhere).
The other issue was figuring out whose decision it was to disguise the Manor as an aircraft carrier.
Since the college owns the house, I began to wonder if President Anderson actually had any say in the matter or if instead the Board of Regents asked a robot to pick a bright and festive shade.
So, I resolved to get to the bottom of this drab matter. I sent an e-mail to the Master of the Manor, President Anderson himself.
Within an hour of sending it, my room phone rang with an offer to meet the President.
Before long, I found myself walking up to his front door, always watchful, of course, for members of the Thought Police lurking in the bushes.
I learned much in my little conversation, enough to be able to report that the new house color is just the tip of the industrial gray iceberg.
It turns out the house was re-painted as part of a much larger remodeling project.
It is true that the house technically belongs to the college. The President is required to live there, a "condition of employment," and he's required to host big events, at which I'm sure he serves absolutely no wine.
That said, the current occupants of the house are allowed to make the house feel as homelike as possible, and the old color scheme just didn't do it for President Anderson, nor did some aspects of the interior design.
So, he hired an architect, and throughout the course of renovating, a recommendation was made to repaint the house in monotone, named "Briarwood."
It looks strangely green from the backyardmaybe it's like a mood ring, which would mean (according to Wikipedia) that the back of the house is "normal" and the front is "very nervous or anxious".
I like how the interior remodeling job turned out, though I, of course, have nothing with which to compare it.
However, I'm just not crazy about changing a distinctive exterior into something that could at best be called a little dull, and, at worst, a little fascist.
Call me stuck in my ways, but I liked that stupid old color scheme. It clashed with everything (including itself) and it made the house look like Legoland, but at least it didn't make people think of the DMZ.
Of course, at the end of the day, it's not my house, it's not my decision and I have been known to exaggerate on occasion ("fascist" is probably a little much).
I just know that come graduation, I'm going to miss old Fisher-Price a lot more than Battleship Gray.