Since I can’t always make it back to the Quad for meals in Currier, I tend to bounce around from River House to River House for lunch and dinner. The great thing about being a dining hall wanderer is that since I spend so much time in other upperclassmen houses, I get a pretty strong sense of the culture in each individual house community. Each house has little quirks and traditions that set it apart from the other 11.
I was hanging out with my friends in Lowell House after dinner the other week, when I inadvertently discovered Lowell House Speeches. Basically, for a number of weeks in the spring semester, the Lowell provides the opportunity for residents to sign up and share a 5-minute original speech with their peers following dinner. I’m just an outside observer, but I think that the idea is to give students a space where they can reflect on major life events or lessons learned, and grow from sharing something personal with their housemates.
I didn’t know about the event when I made plans to eat in Lowell that evening. At first I was totally caught off guard when a girl walked up to podium and started speaking into the microphone, but it didn’t take long for my confusion to swing to delight. I can’t get over this tradition. Sure, as students we get to share our academic thoughts on a regular basis in response papers and section discussion. But we don’t always have the opportunity to speak broadly about the life experience (like you would in a college application essay) outside of conversation between friends.
I really enjoyed listening to this speech, so maybe you will too. Here’s the link to the speech that I stumbled upon that night. It was really well done, and I think it’s a great example of why it is so important that students have a platform like this to share their take on things.