Lex Erath | Sugar and Spice
Nine Circles of Tufts, Part One
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 01:10
I’m going to go ahead and assume that the vast majority of you have at least heard of, if not read, Dante’s “Inferno,” the first part of his epic poem “Divine Comedy.” For the clueless, the totally uncultured and those who live under a rock, the Inferno is basically a division of hell into nine different circles where souls are sent to various awful torments in accordance with their specific crimes. While Dante’s breakdown is justly famous, it’s a little outdated and not at all applicable to life here at Tufts. And so, without further ado, I present to you Lex’s Inferno, the Nine Circles of Tufts.
1. Limbo. This isn’t really a punishment; it’s just an afterlife existence for those who really didn’t do anything wrong but were never admitted to Tufts. This includes pre-frosh, tour groups and townies, and they spend the afterlife floating around Tufts in search of an unnamed destination, always failing because the Somerville/Medford split throws off their iPhones.
2. The Glacier-Like. There are few things more irritating in this world than a massive blob of freshmen oozing along, taking up the entire sidewalk, when you’ve got a problem set to hand in by 4:00 p.m. or have class in two minutes. The Glacier-Like also includes those who take more than 10 seconds to decide what additional granola bar they’d like from Hodgdon and the wannabe-chefs who spend upwards of 10 minutes delicately smearing their peanut butter/cream cheese/condiment of choice while everyone else waits impatiently. These students are condemned to an eternity of watching a technologically-challenged professor attempt to set up a projector.
3. The Sleep Thieves. To a college student, there is nothing — nothing! — more precious than sleep. And that is why there is an entire circle of the underworld dedicated to the Sleep Thieves. They are a varied group, including drunken roommates who reappear in the wee hours of the morning, jetlagged foreigners who watch “New Girl” on full volume in the middle of the night and whoever the heck authorized construction outside Latin Way every weekday starting at 7:00 a.m. These fiends are doomed to an unending series of all-nighters in Tisch.
4. The Redshirts. For those who don’t know, in college sports (at the D1 level), it is a common practice to recruit an exceptional high school senior and then bench him completely for his freshman year. This allows the player to stay on at school for a fifth year while still following the league rule of only playing for four years. This fifth year is known as the player’s “redshirt” year.
Here at Tufts, the term “redshirt” applies to a kid who really shouldn’t be in your class, but is anyway and flaunts his superior knowledge. Examples include that boy in your German 0001 class who’s clearly taken at least three years of high school German, or that girl in your introductory economics class who passed the AP Econ exam with flying colors. The Redshirts can often be found sniggering at your terrible pronunciation (hey, you’re trying!) or loudly discussing the easiness of the test that everyone just failed. They’re some of the most annoying people you will ever have the misfortunate to encounter, but you can take solace in the knowledge that they will be spending the afterlife struggling through an advanced chemical engineering final as liberal arts majors.
And here we pause our descent into hell, at least for this week. Check back next time to join me in exploring the lower half of hell, and if you think you fall into one of the circles I’ve discussed above, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Lex Erath is a sophomore who has not yet declared a major. She can be reached at Alexandra.Erath@tufts.edu.