The Eighth Page

Without a Paddle

Now, I realize as most people open the Features Section this week and see that our theme is “Features Gets Hazed,” it may well result in a shudder, a palm to forehead slap, or perhaps even a “Wow, these boys are going to go down in flames for this one.” Well, frankly, I like the challenge that comes with picking a topic such as this. It provides us with the test of being able to get through three articles and a Top Ten, using only our vague language, quasi-analogies, and poor writing to avoid (really) offending anyone. More often than not, we fail. But that’s half the fun! So here it is, folks: my article on hazing. I have been hazed throughout my time here at Andover. These past three years have been a test of my iron will and steadfast dedication, and without them I most certainly would have left the school after the first week, crying for my Great Aunt Gertrude and her puddin’ pie. (No one does puddin’ pie like Great Aunt Gertrude.) Here is a recapitulation (or “recap”, for you damned simpletons) of the history of my hazing experience here at Andover. I remember vividly the first time I was hazed at Andover. It was during Orientation Junior year, and the aggressor was a Senior who shall rename nameless in respect to our pending court hearing. Anyway, it was the day during Orientation when you had to go into the Sanctuary and learn about Search and Rescue and do teambuilding exercises with the other new students. But I didn’t want to do teambuilding exercises! I wanted to go to the Great Lawn and play “Duck Duck Goose” by myself! So I told my Blue Key exactly what I wanted to do – and do you know what he said to me? He said, and I’m quoting here-“No.” I was scarred for life. Here was a Senior using his power over me because I was a younger student. And even as he tried to explain that we had to stick together as a group because it was Orientation policy, and that it really would be fun to get to know all the other students, I cried and I wailed because I was being hazed – and hazing is an awful thing. I remember the next time I was hazed was later that Junior year. I had finally recovered from my Orientation experience, and was ready to reenter the campus community as a brave, well-adjusted young man. I decided in my new role on campus that I would need a girl to help me establish myself. I decided I would talk to Olivia Cockburn ’02, who was a Senior at the time. (Yes, her name was Cockburn. Don’t let the movie posters fool you. She’s as much a Wilde as I am a Viking.) So I went up to Olivia and I said, “How bout you and me find a nice quiet spot in the bushes and make out for awhile?” It was then that my second hazing incident at Andover occurred. Here is the actual conversation that happened next: Olivia- Who on earth are you? Nate- I am a well-adjusted, brave little Junior named Nate Scott. Olivia- Did you just ask me to make out with you in the bushes. Nate- (Blushing and smiling) Maaaaaaaaayyyybeeeeee… Olivia- Get away from me, you creep. Nate- GGGAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH …Horrifying, I know. That hazing incident turned out to be especially damaging, as it broke my heart AND crushed my soul, where the first one just crushed my soul. The Olivia incident left me shattered and alone – a state in which I stayed until just last week. Now that I am back out on campus, I fear that more hazing awaits me right around the corner. With more therapy, maybe one day I can make it through.