Archive for July, 2004

20 Questions with a video gamer extraordinaire

Saturday, July 31st, 2004 | Jeff Novack
Margaret Bauer

Ashton was ranked No. 1 in the computer game WarCraft III on the U.S. West Server for both 1v1 and 2v2 simultaneously, earning him a free trip to compete in Las Vegas in a WarCraft III tournament. Playing under the name “Tray,” Ashton’s skills were so highly regarded that novice gamers paid him for WarCraft III tutorials.

SL: Warcraft III pits 4 races against one another- the humans, the night elves, the orcs, and the undead. Couldn’t they just work this all out over a big pizza and a few cold ones?

AF: The Epic battle of the four legendary races cannot be won by mere pizza and beer, you insignificant mortal.

SL: Where did your passion for games come from?

AF: Once I saw the movie “The Wizard,” I knew two things: that I wanted to be good at video games, and that I wanted a huge brachiosaurus.

SL: Who is the hottest video game character?

AF: Great question, Jeff. This is one of the most debated questions in all of video games and there is no easy answer. Ranking high atop the list are Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, Orchid from Killer Instinct, and Chung Li from Street Fighter. The real winner? Lara Croft . . . I think we all know why.

SL: Worse video-game movie: Street Fighter II or Super Mario Brothers?

AF: Lara Croft . . . I mean . . . what?

SL: It is often said that each new group entering Wash U is smarter than the last. With Wash U playing host to a presidential debate in the fall, did someone not give George W. Bush the memo?

AF: Shhh . . . I think I can hear GWB getting stupider.

SL: Just recently, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger chastised Democrats for being too beholden to special interests and called them “Girlie Men.” One has to wonder, however, if the Dems were truly “Girlie Men,” wouldn’t Arnold have groped them by now?

AF: All I know is I wouldn’t want to mess with Arnold-or it’d be hasta la vista, Ashton.

SL: Linda Ronstadt was recently given the boot from Las Vegas’s Aladdin Hotel for dedicating her rendition of The Eagles’s “Desperado” to filmmaker Michael Moore. Do you think it is wrong of Ronstadt to sing Eagles covers?

AF: Did you know if you watch Aladdin and listen very carefully you can hear him tell Jasmine, “take off your clothes”? No joke.

SL: Speaking of Vegas, I heard you went there for a video game competition?

AF: Yeah, I lived the dream in January. Out of 64 people I made it to the final 16. The competition was also the last time I played video games competitively. Losing to an 18 year-old-kid who not only brought his dad (whom he appeared to be a clone of), but also wore Reece’s pajama pants, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt and spoke with a lisp, somehow made me lose interest.

SL: Several years ago, I read reports of people dying while playing video games, which greatly disturbed me. I mean, don’t you think they’d know by now to hit “continue”?

AF: OH! I was talking to that guy right before he got permanent game over. He kept telling me “Man, this lag hurts.” I guess I should have realized he didn’t know how to articulate the difference between Internet lag and body lag after so many consecutive hours online.

SL: According to reports, Spiderman 2 star Kirsten Dunst had final say over her depiction in the video game based on the movie and used her clout to force the game’s makers to tone down the size of her character’s breasts. Is Dunst setting a dangerous precedent for a future where women are realistically proportioned in video games, or will cooler heads ultimately prevail?

AF: Seriously, Kirsten Dunst is top three of “Ashton’s Dream Girls.” So honestly, don’t question her, man. Anything she says is law by me and all my favorite stalker friends. Don’t you forget that.

SL: Your WarCraft III exploits are featured on a WarCraft III game guide online with pictures captured from the game and a caption describing the action. One such caption reads: “Tray catches Gecko-boy as he tried to Creep. Gecko retreats but Tray uses the Mountain King to Storm Bolt his Crypt Lord. The Footmen then surround the Crypt Lord.”
Which prompts the obvious question: What did Gecko-boy do to deserve the Mountain King’s Storm Bolt?

AF: He slept with my Priestess of the Moon, so I did what any Thug would do: I sent my boyz to catch him while he was creepin’, hit him with a hammer, and gangbeat him. Did he deserve that strong a punishment? You bet he did.

SL: Speaking of video game violence, the gaming industry has come under fire in the last few years for the extreme content of their games, particularly from Congress. Is Congress a bunch of assholes or what?

AF: Well maybe if they stop making these games so damn realistic. I mean, just the other day I was walking down the street with my spiked baseball bat in hand, dressed in a black leather trenchcoat, and the cops drove by me, oblivious to my ordinary attire, when three fully clad ninjas yielding all sorts of jagged metal objects jumped out from what appeared to be rifts in the space-time continuum and attacked me. It really made me think . . . you know?

SL: How do online gamers communicate?

AF: Online chat has its own language. My favorite word by far is “haxzorz.” People say it when they think you’re using some game cheat. For example, someone might say, “U sux man, why got haxzorz?” They might also add one of about a million Internet faces such as -.- . My favorite face is O_O, which I think is supposed to show surprise.

SL: What words of advice do you have for the freshman class?

AF: If you find your skin to be pasty-white, forget what natural light looks like, or start calling people on your floor newbies, you should probably go outside and open your eyes. If the sunlight burns them, I suggest unplugging the computer and spending some time outdoors, because those games control you.

– – –

If you would like to challenge Ashton to a game, e-mail him at [email protected].

Advice from a chess nerd

Saturday, July 31st, 2004 | Dan Novack
Margaret Bauer

Dear Freshmen,

Wash. U. students are intelligent, and you all, my little soon-to-be-ex-premeds are, on average, more intelligent than the rest of us here. This is why I want to take this opportunity to mold your young, frightened, impressionable minds into considering working the game of chess into your college experience.

You might be saying right now, “Whoa, school hasn’t even started yet, and they’re already trying to nerdify me. What could be lamer than chess, especially freshman year when I’m trying to be cool by pretending to like whiny college music and sharing my Easy Mac … ? Besides, college is for drinking and watching the Big Lebowski every other night. And chess, by the way, is not a sport.”

OK, then, let’s just say that chess, as a competitive activity, is something that I’ve enjoyed since I was only a timid, germaphobic, average-looking freshman until now, three years later-a senior with a debonair confidence and exotic good looks who would be happy to finish your leftovers. And I really can’t deny that chess hasn’t at least, in part, contributed to this miraculous transformation.

During my first weeks on campus, I made friends with chess. I played with people on my freshman floor who were just as timid as I was. I won, I lost, I lost a lot more. I taught people the rules; people taught me stuff. Chess, believe it or not, is a very social sport; it can really be a pleasant pretext for casual personal exchange.

As my college career continued, chess became a great hobby for me. It was actually relaxing to play a few games on the Internet on study breaks or to spend weekend afternoons playing pickup games in the Loop (a.k.a. area near Wash. U. normally reserved for people cooler than I am) when the weather was nice. I went to Italy junior year and brought my chessboard. I joined an Italian chess club and met some fascinating people.

I’d better stop before this starts to sound like some cheesy college admissions essay about something that changed my outlook on life. The message is this: while your parents are still enthusiastic about buying you extra-long bed sheets and mini-fridges, it couldn’t hurt to ask them to throw in a chess set. And who knows, maybe you’re the next Bobby Fischer, in which case you’ll become a crazy old anti-Semite and get arrested in Japan. In any case, whether you’re the next world champion or just use it to make a few friends, chess is a great college game. Just know that one thing’s for sure: no matter how much you play, you’ll never be as nerdy as I am.

Your friendly Washington University chess nerd,

Benjamin Schatz

Snap into a Slim Jim

Saturday, July 31st, 2004 | Dan Novack

Note: This article has been heavily exaggerated to pad the self-esteem of the writer.

Like most incoming freshmen at Washington University, I hold a love of sports. And like some of you, I was devastated when I recently discovered that there was no polo program-nor even a sizable stable-on the South 40. You see, polo, the noble sport of gentlemen, is my game. Though I have never actively participated in it and despite the fact that I do not know how to ride horses, I have always felt an affinity for the game of polo. Sadly, my ill-conceived designs of becoming the greatest polo player in all of St. Louis were quickly laid to rest, leaving me in need of a new pursuit.

I was never recruited very heavily as a high school athlete. Eight years ago, as a middle-school student, I was considered the next great American gym scooter hockey player. Scouts came to fourth period, the bleachers were packed with fans, the pundits were calling me the next Tiger Woods, the Freddy Adu of scooters, even Lebron Novack. But it all began to slip away from me as I bought into the hype. I slipped deeper and deeper into a serious video game addiction and spent countless sleepless nights glued in front of the television watching Nick at Night. Super Mario and Ricky Ricardo were my new entourage, and they took every cent I had. By the time I had reached the twelfth grade, I had lost my love of gym sports completely. Though I flirted briefly with recruiters from the University of Phoenix, who offered me a full ride on a cyber athlete scholarship and a free optical mouse if I would play Starcraft for them, there was only one other ticket to a first rate college education that was not over the Internet.

It was about a year ago that I received the call from Jeffrey Novack, player coach, GM, older brother, and part owner of the creatively titled Ligget 1’s of the Washington University in the St. Louis Intramural Basketball B League. They needed a point guard who could shoot from out to, but no further than, 15 feet with his eyes closed, especially one lacking the ability to dribble with his left hand. Call it luck, call it destiny, call it kismet, call it nepotism, but I had found my opportunity. I applied early decision, and to no one’s surprise, except that of my family, peers, and teachers, I was accepted-no doubt because of what I can potentially offer to intramural basketball. Many critics claim that Intramural sports are not exciting. Some go as far to suggest that IM sports should not be allowed to recruit. They claim that the programs do not bring in any revenue and that recruiting the very best defeats the purpose of a league where anyone can play. Though these imaginary detractors, created for the purpose of this article, are probably 100 percent right, I cannot disagree more completely.

Just as many claim (incorrectly) that college basketball is more compelling than the NBA, one can just as easily carry out that faulty reasoning to the ultimate conclusion that IM basketball is more compelling than the NCAA. If it’s rivalries you seek, look no further than the spirited contests between neighbors. The only battles more heated than those between powerhouses such as North Carolina and Duke is those between houses on the South 40 – or better yet, between roommates. Some feel that the slam-dunk has all but ruined the fundamentals of basketball. Frankly, fundamentals are all we have at the intramural level; some of us probably cannot get rim even if it were SlamBall, the exciting and stupendously moronic fusion of basketball and trampolines. Fans are tired of the NBA prima donnas who only play for the money, or one year-and-done college stars such as Carmelo Anthony who use college basketball as a tune up for the pro level. Our desire is what separates us intramural ballers from the rest – we don’t get paid and we aren’t going anywhere, giving fans the chance to watch us grow as athletes.

Our limitations as athletes are what make us intramural players endearing. Only in our beloved IM league can my inability to convert on a left-handed lay-up attempt be misconstrued as a strength rather than a weakness. Where else are players encouraged to be selfish if they are better than the rest of their team? Though that was perhaps the most flawed example out of many weak arguments I have made, if Dick Cheney has taught us anything, it is that if you repeat something over and over again people will believe it to be true. Intramural Basketball is the greatest sport, Intramural Basketball is the greatest sport, Intramural Basketball is the greatest sport. (Intramural Basketball is the greatest sport.) For those of you who have stuck with this piece and managed to make it this far, I salute you. Though this article was for the most part self congratulating, self promoting, and wonderfully well-written, if there is only one thing I can impart, it is that there really is no greater honor than that of representing your dorm in the intramural tournament of champions, and bringing home the elusive “Intramural Champion” T-Shirt.

– – –

Dan is an entering freshman. Usually, freshmen who haven’t started school yet don’t write for Student Life. But Dan is the brother of Sports Editor Jeff Novack, which means he is, uh, fortunate enough to have the opportunity to share his thoughts here with you.

Busy sports off-season slowly starts to wind down

Saturday, July 31st, 2004 | Jeff Novack
Margaret Bauer

The start of the installation of a new field on historic Francis Field capped what has been eventful off-season for Washington University sports.

The installation of FieldTurf, an artificial surface, began in June. The artificial turf replaces the natural grass that had served the field since its beginnings in 1904. Once the field’s installation is completed, the Bears will be the fourth team in the University Athletic Association (UAA) to play on an artificial surface, along with the University of Rochester, New York University and Carnegie Mellon University. The FieldTurf playing surface is widely used, boasting over 800 installations in 20 different countries.

June was a busy month in and around Francis Field. In addition to the start of construction, Francis Field was the site for part of the Olympic torch-carrying ceremony (see story, page A11). E. Desmond Lee, a graduate of the class of 1940, carried the 2004 Athens Olympic Torch through the field on June 17. Lee is a former basketball and track and field student-athlete at the University who was honored with induction into the Washington University Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

Meanwhile, on the basketball court, the Bears women’s basketball team added Bobbi Morse as an assistant coach for the team. Morse’s responsibilities as assistant coach will mainly be in recruiting and in coaching the team in post play. Morse played collegiate basketball at Eastern Michigan University while earning a bachelor’s degree in business education. After graduating, Morse began coaching at Kaskaskia (Ill.) Junior College.

Morse is no stranger to St. Louis basketball, having served as the head coach at University of Missouri-St. Louis and an assistant at St. Louis University. Morse also has professional coaching experience, having served as assistant coach of the American Basketball League’s San Jose Lasers. There, she helped the team earn a post-season birth and worked with players that include two-time Olympian Jennifer Azzi.

Proving once again that the success of Bears teams is not limited to their competitive play, the men’s swimming and diving team completed the 2003-2004 academic year with the highest team grade point average (GPA) among men’s programs in the NCAA.

The team GPA of 3.52 placed them ahead of Washington and Lee University’s 3.496, University of Denver’s 3.479, Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology’s 3.472, and Emory University’s 3.44.

It was a banner year for the team in the pool as well, as it finished tenth in the NCAA Division III Championships, which tied a previous school best for the team.

In football, Brad Duesing was named to the 2004 Football Gazette Pre-Season All-American Football Team. Duesing, a wide-receiver, made the third team. The Bear’s football team will kick off its home season on its newly renovated field on Saturday, September 4 at 1:00 p.m. against Mount Union College.

Schedule of fall sports teams for September

Saturday, July 31st, 2004 | David Tabor

Cross Country

-Sat., Sept. 4 Washington University Early Bird Meet TBA Saint Louis Priory H.S.ÿÿÿ
-Sat., Sept. 18 Division III Challenge TBA Whitewater, Wis.ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ
-Sat., Sept. 25 Roy Griak Invitational TBA Minneapolis, Minn.ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ
-Sat., Sept. 25 Missouri-Rolla Invitational TBA Rolla, Mo.


-Sat., Sept. 4 Mount Union College 1 p.m. Home
-Sat., Sept. 11 Westminster College 1 p.m. Home
-Sat., Sept. 18 Wabash College 1 p.m. Crawfordsville, Ind.ÿÿÿ
-Sat., Sept. 25 North Central Collegeÿ6 p.m. Naperville, Ill.

Men’s Soccer

-Wed., Sept. 1 Principia College 7 p.m. Home
-Fri., Sept. 3 California State University at Hayward 2 p.m. (PST) Hayward, Calif.ÿ
-Sun., Sept. 5 University of California at Santa Cruz 4 p.m. (PST) Santa Cruz, Calif.
-Fri., Sept. 10 Rhodes College 7 p.m. Home
-Sun., Sept. 12 Blackburn College 1 p.m. Home
-Thu., Sept. 16 Illinois Wesleyan University 7 p.m. Bloomington, Ill.
-Sun., Sept. 19 Centre College 1 p.m. (EST) Danville, Ky.ÿÿÿÿ
-Fri., Sept. 24 Westminster College 7 p.m. Fulton, Mo.ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ
-Sun., Sept. 26 Millikin Univiersity 1 p.m. Home

Women’s Soccer

-Fri., Sept. 3 DePauw University Classic Greencastle, Ind. 2 p.m.ÿÿÿÿÿ ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ
-Sat., Sept. 4 DePauw University Classic Greencastle, Ind. 4 p.mÿÿÿÿÿÿ ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ
-Tue., Sept. 7 Webster University 7 p.m. Homeÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ
-Sat., Sept. 11 Ohio Wesleyan University 1:30 p.m. (EST) Delaware, Ohioÿÿ
-Sun., Sept. 12 Denison University 1:30 p.m. (EST) Delaware, Ohioÿ
-Fri., Sept. 17 Aurora University 5 p.m. Home
-Tue., Sept. 21 Illinois Wesleyan University 7 p.m. Bloomington, Ill.
-Fri., Sept. 24 Blackburn College 3:30 p.m. Carlinville, Ill.ÿÿÿ
-Sun., Sept. 26 Millikin University 3 p.m. Home


-Fri., Sept. 3 Washington University Classic 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Home
-Sat., Sept. 4 Washington University Classic 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Home ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ
-Fri., Sept. 10 Washington University Invitational 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Home
-Sat., Sept. 11 Washington University Invitational 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Home ÿÿ
-Fri., Sept. 17 Washington University Teri Clemens Invitational 7:30 p.m. Home
-Sat., Sept. 18 Washington University Teri Clemens Invitational 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Home
-Mon., Sept. 27 Webster University 7 p.m. St. Louis, Mo.

Francis Field rededicated as Olympic Flame arrives

Saturday, July 31st, 2004 | David Tabor
Margaret Bauer

Washington University marked the 100th anniversary of hosting the track and field events of the 1904 Olympiad by rededicating its Francis Field, a registered historic landmark and site of the competition. Speakers at the June 16 ceremony included Chancellor Mark Wrighton, two former Olympic athletes, and several local political figures.

The event also celebrated the University’s inclusion in the path of the Olympic flame during the Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay. St. Louis was one of four U.S. cities selected to be part of the relay. Approximately 120 St. Louis residents, including some members of the University community, served as torchbearers when the flame passed through campus the day after the rededication ceremony.

“We are very grateful for the chance to be part of the Olympic tradition,” said Wrighton in his remarks at the ceremony.

In addition to contributing the use of its track, the University opened its Francis Gymnasium to the 1904 Games, as well as several other buildings for administrative purposes to the concurrent 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The Fair attracted approximately 20 million visitors to St. Louis.

According to St. Louis county executive Charles A. Dooley, the city was “put on the map” when it hosted the Olympics and World’s Fair, growing from humble beginnings into a busy metropolis.

“What a difference 100 years makes,” he said.

Wrighton explained that Robert Brookings, then chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees, arranged for Fair planners to lease space on campus. By involving the University in the Fair, Brookings both raised money for the construction of new buildings and secured the school a place in St. Louis history.

“When I look at Francis Field, I don’t just see a field, I see a field of dreams,” said John Schael, University athletic director. “If it could speak, it would speak of the hopes and aspirations of all its athletes, from the 1904 Olympians to today’s school teams.”

Wrighton also stressed the importance of balancing athletics and academics.

“We are amateurs, and as a school, we support the student-athlete,” he said.

Robert Marbut, chair of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s National Governing Bodies Council, echoed Wrighton’s praise of the student-athlete ideal. Describing his own experiences as a Division III athlete, Marbut explained that the Olympic ideals of honor and respect in competition apply to all realms of life.

He went on to explain that unity is an annual theme of the torch relay and many torchbearers are “average” people.

Craig Virgin, a three-time Olympian and two-time world cross country champion, and Wendy Williams, 1998 bronze medallist in diving, added comments that emphasized the honor of the Olympic tradition.

Virgin, whose mother is an alumna of the University, also spoke to a group of summer sports clinic participants earlier that day.

Olympic Torch Relay passes through campus

This year’s Torch relay is an international event for the first time in Olympic history. It is scheduled to pass through 27 countries during its three-month journey to Greece for the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 13. During its trip through the United States June 16-19 the Torch passed through Los Angles, St. Louis, Atlanta and New York.

While in St. Louis, the Torch passed through the Washington University campus. It was first carried around Francis Field by Teri Clemens, the coach who lead the University’s women’s volleyball team to seven Division III national championships, and then up and down the steps of Brookings Hall by Dr. Michael DeBaun, an associate professor at the University’s School of Medicine and leading sickle cell disease researcher.

The day before the Torch’s passing, a training session and reception were scheduled on campus for torchbearers after the Francis Field rededication ceremony. Many of the torchbearers chose to attend the ceremony as well.

Jeff Rainford, chief of staff for the St. Louis Mayor’s office, thanked the torchbearers for their contribution to the Olympic tradition during his remarks at the ceremony.

“[Participating in tomorrow’s relay] will be the experience of a lifetime. This day will be one of history for you,” said Rainford.

Shao-Yu Chow Mo, a high school senior and Olympic torchbearer in attendance at the ceremony, moved with his family from Taiwan to St. Louis four years ago. The transition was difficult for Chow Mo, in part because he spoke no English when he immigrated. He explained, however, that being selected as an Olympic torchbearer had reinforced his faith in his adoptive homeland.

“It’s such a big honor,” he said. “I could have never dreamed that a foreigner like me would be chosen.”

Torchbearers for the St. Louis segment of the relay were selected by a nomination process through which respondents wrote essays describing the inspirational qualities of their candidates. Coca Cola and Schnucks were the corporate sponsors of the nomination process.

The A-Z of Wash. U.

Saturday, July 31st, 2004 | Sarah Baicker

Being a new student and learning the ropes of Wash. U.’s campus and the nearby neighborhoods can be tough-I know, I too was once a freshman. It might seem scary to figure out a whole new environment, but it doesn’t have to be! To help ease the transition into Wash. U. life, here’s an A-Z guide of many places on and around our campus you’ll need to know.

A is for the Arch, the symbol of St. Louis. If you’re new to town, paying a visit is a must. You can buy tickets to travel to the Arch’s top, or just enjoy the view from the ground in the riverfront park. Go with your parents during Orientation Weekend, your floor or your advisee group, and take pictures to send to your friends back home!

B is for Bear’s Den, Bear Mart and Bear Necessities, all three of which are located on the ground floor of Wohl Center. Bear’s Den is great for grabbing a quick sandwich, hamburger or pasta dinner on campus. Bear Mart is the South 40’s convenience store, where you can use your meal points to buy snacks and drinks to take back to your room. Bear Necessities is the place to pick up all the Wash. U. logo-emblazoned sweatshirts, hats and pencils you could ever need-be sure to take your parents here before they leave, because (unfortunately) you can’t charge anything at Bear Necessities to your account.ÿÿÿ

C is for Center Court, the all-you-can-eat buffet style eatery on the 40. Upstairs in Wohl, Center Court is the best place to catch dinner when traveling in large groups-and is reason enough to wake up before 2:00 p.m. (for brunch) on a weekend.ÿÿÿ

D is for Duncker Hall, home of the English Department on Hilltop Campus.ÿMaybe I’m partial to it because I’m an English major, but Duncker is worth checking out, even if only for Hurst Lounge, a room upstairs that hosts fiction and poetry readings on Thursday nights. Schedules of visiting writers are posted all around the building.

E is for the Esquire Theater, one of the closest movie theaters to campus. It’s a manageable walk away, and is located practically on the corner of Clayton Road and Big Bend Boulevard. They offer student discounts, so be sure to remember your I.D. card!ÿÿÿ

F is a tie between Frat Row and Forest Park, because both of them are worth knowing about. If partying is your thing, there is always something going on at Frat Row. With parties almost every weekend, Wash. U.’s fraternities on campus are a popular way to spend weekend nights. Forest Park, one of my favorite places, is home to the zoo, the history museum, paddle boating, the art museum, a golf course, and an ice skating rink, and is a great place to rollerblade, bike ride or just enjoy the St. Louis sunshine.ÿÿÿ

G is for the Gargoyle, in the basement of Mallinckrodt. Comedy shows, concerts, campus events and parties are frequently held here. During the day, the Gargoyle is a good place to eat lunch or catch up on homework, but at night, bands like Phantom Planet and comedians like Mitch Hedberg perform.

H is for Holmes Lounge, one of the best places to get lunch and coffee on campus, and definitely my favorite place to study.ÿThe detailed ceilings are amazing, the chairs are comfortable, and the sandwiches are a campus favorite.

I is for the Information Desks in Mallinckrodt and Wohl. If you need to pick up a shuttle schedule or a map, or want to rent out the South 40’s car or just have a question, either of the Info Desks are there to help!

J is for J. Buck’s, a really yummy restaurant that’s an easy walk from campus on South Hanley Road in Clayton. A good choice (one of many) for taking your parents out to dinner during orientation.

K is for Kayak’s Coffee, an outdoor-themed coffee shop located on Skinker across from Brookings Hall.ÿ Kayak’s is a popular off-campus spot to get lattes and sandwiches and study-most evenings, it’s filled to the brim with Wash. U. students.

L is for the Loop, one of the coolest places in all of St. Louis.ÿA stretch of Delmar Boulevard very close to campus, the Loop is filled with unique places to shop and an impressive variety of restaurants. Be sure to check out the Thai Country Caf‚, a personal favorite.

M is for Mallinckrodt, the sort of on-main-campus student center.ÿMallinckrodt, in addition to housing the Hilltop Bakery and a bunch of places to eat in its basement, is home to the Gargoyle, Campus Bookstore, Film & Media Studies and Performing Arts departments and Edison Theater, where visiting plays and artists frequently perform.

N is for Nobu’s, one of the best and most popular Japanese restaurants in St. Louis. It’s located on Olive Blvd., not far from Wash. U., and is definitely worth checking out if you’re a sushi fan.

O is for the observatory in Crow Hall, a place on campus definitely worth visiting. Climbing up a steep spiral staircase into an attic that feels like the home of a mad scientist and squeezing through a small doorway out onto the building’s roof will lead you to Wash. U.’s observatory. On a clear evening, the view of the St. Louis skyline is amazing, and the observatory can give you a fantastic view of the night sky.

P is for the Pageant, the small concert venue on the Loop.ÿPay attention to upcoming performers, because the Pageant will attract a wide variety of very well-known acts, like Bob Dylan and Live.

Q is for the Quad, which you’ll very soon be seeing. When it’s nice out, the quad is guaranteed to be filled with students lounging, studying, eating lunch or playing Frisbee.

R is for Rag-O-Rama, the very cool, very inexpensive vintage clothing store on the Loop. Although you can easily find stuff at Rag-O-Rama to include in your wardrobe, be sure to pay a visit in October to pick up your Halloween costume.

S is for Schnucks, the amusingly-named grocery store located close to campus and all around St. Louis. My Intro. to Psych. professor freshman year said you know you’re acquainted with St. Louis when you no longer need to giggle upon hearing or saying “Schnucks.”

T is for the Tivoli Theater, my favorite stop on the Loop. The Tivoli is the alternative to the Esquire, and shows independent and arts films that won’t show up in mainstream theaters.ÿ

U is for Ursa’s, the hang out spot/eatery on campus that makes wraps, smoothies and ice cream and has tons of board games available to be borrowed. On weekends, Ursa’s puts on some really cool events, like trivia tournaments and concerts. A capella groups frequently perform there, and it can also be a good place to study.

V is for the Village, also known as Small Group Housing. Don’t ignore this area of campus! A number of students live here, and the dining hall is often preferred, even by students who live on the South 40. Located on the northwestern-most part of campus, the Village is a walk, but it’s worth it.

W is for Wohl Center, where Bear’s Den, Bear Mart, Bear Necessities, Center Court, the South 40 Gym and student mailboxes are located. It’s in the heart of the 40, hard to miss, and will soon feel like your second home at Wash. U.

X is for X-Treme Paintballing, which I will admit I’ve never been to.ÿIt’s not too far from campus, and fraternities sometimes take their pledges here. If you’re interested in paintballing, it’s worth investigating.

Y is for Yen Ching, a very popular Chinese restaurant from which Wash. U. students frequently order. You will probably want to begin a collection of Chinese restaurant menus from every place in town that will deliver!ÿÿÿ

Z is for the St. Louis Zoo. In Forest Park, the St. Louis Zoo is not only a really fun and nationally recognized zoo, but it’s also free! The St. Louis Zoo is a favorite destination during Orientation Weekend, Parents’ Weekend, or, really, any weekend at all.

Club Spotlight: The Outing Club

Saturday, July 31st, 2004 | Kristin McGrath
Margaret Bauer

As summer draws to a close, the class of 2008 is poised to embark on a four-year adventure. For some students, this adventure will begin with a 6-day backpacking and team building excursion in southern Illinois as they take part in the Wilderness Project, a pre-orientation program sponsored by Washington University’s Outing Club. After classes begin, the Outing Club will continue to offer students the chance to experience the great Midwestern outdoors.

Since the 1970s, the Outing Club has been exploring the wild world outside the Wash. U. bubble; with a variety of excursions throughout the year that include camping, backpacking, canoeing and rock climbing, the OC just might be the perfect remedy for school-related stress.

“When a student starts to feel bogged down with studies, sometimes the most cathartic thing for him or her is a temporary change of environment and pace,” said president James Meldrum, a senior.

Even the Girl/Boy Scout dropouts among us are welcome to join.

“There are many trips that require nothing more than an interest in sleeping under the stars at night, or perhaps a willingness to learn some new skills and pitch into the efforts of a group,” Meldrum insisted. “At the same time, nearly all of the trips will provide entertainment to even the most experienced outdoor enthusiast.”

The OC also offers clinics pertaining to wilderness and survival skills and maintains a large gear storeroom to make sure everyone is equipped to enjoy its events.

The most important preparation for participants, however, is a willingness to embrace surprises.

“Many of my great memories involve things such as getting stuck in the middle of thunderstorms with the tent sitting in two inches of water, finding myself three miles from the trailhead at nightfall with only the expertise of the trip leader to guide me through a thrilling hike in the dark, or having to constantly sing or bang pots to notify the hunters in the woods that we are hikers and not a herd of deer,” Meldrum reminisced.

The OC remains active over the summer, offering events for those in the St. Louis area and planning events for the coming year.

For information, visit


Saturday, July 31st, 2004 | Kristin McGrath

Monica O’Malley:

So you’re going to Wash. U. You’ve got four years of freedom and fun ahead of you. Life is good, and it’s just getting started.

So what? Do you think you’re Elvis or something?

If your admission to this fine establishment is any indication of your smarts, you’ll answer, “Yes, yes I do. I’m THAT cool.”

You know what? You are…in your own way. Just like everyone at Wash. U., I don’t mean that in the fuzzy-feeling, Mr. Rogers kind of way.

But then again, I do.

Every high school had its scholars and winners. Therefore, everyone at Wash. U. is going to be as good as you, or better. Shocking, I know. Everyone here is special, gifted, amazing. And that is the hardest thing in the world to deal with.

You’ll have to come to grips with the fact that you are no longer the best. There will always be the girl whose ample bosom will draw all the guys at parties while you wait invisibly or the guy who scores every goal in the game while you just wait to kick the ball.

Someone will always set the curve and someone will always be the professor’s favorite. And there is always that someone who will never spend the night alone, ever.

The thing is that you have to figure out where you excel. Everyone here is good at everything, but everyone is great at something, too. You have to find your niche.

The only way to do that, despite what other people might say, is to be yourself.

You have to be the person you really are in order to live the college life you really want to be leading.

Remember high school? The far-off land where you couldn’t escape your label? Some of you may have loved it. I know I did. Some of you may have hated it. I know I did. But the truth of the matter is that you are grown up and past that now.

Get yourself into the rut of acting like somebody else and you will end up right back there. Believe me, being a freshman is tough enough without being “so high school,” too.

So be yourself and show your incredible peers just how special you are. Who knows? You might just get lucky, too.

– – –

Joshua Trein:

There is one thing that each and every freshman absolutely needs to know upon entering this storied institution of higher learning: I am the coolest person here. I feel like you freshman deserve to know where you stand in terms of your awesome-ness. Fear not, for I have teamed up with the lovely Ms. O’Malley and together we shall work to instill in you some hope for your future.

Before starting college (read: prior to heavy drinking) you should seek advice from someone that understands your plight, someone like me. I understand the freshman mindset. In fact, I was asked to be an RA on the first all-female freshman floor Wash. U. had seen in decades. Although I would not have undergone this trial alone [my co-RA would have been a bottle of Remy (e with an accent) Martin Cognac], I eventually had to turn down the position due to sexual conflict of interest. But I digress. Here I am telling you all the cool things going on in my life while I’m supposed to be helping you.

There are changes you can make to become more socially palatable. Hang around people cooler than yourself. This will no doubt be difficult, as I am already overloaded with hangers-on and the other two or three cool people at Wash U are desperately trying to keep their names on the DL to avoid being deluged by friend requests. But I know you can do it! You have to, because I know how awful it can feel to not be cool. Or I can pretend to, for your sake.

So what does my advice come down to? Collegiate bliss can be summed up in five words: never try to be yourself. All free-wheeling and individualistic tendencies should be expunged from your character for the sake of your reputation. Basically, if you want to enjoy your time at school, fall in line as soon as humanly possible.

Allow me one final tip to smooth your transition into anonymity: buy a nice pair of sneakers. That way you’ll have something to look at while avoiding eye contact with your classmates.

People to know on the Hilltop

Saturday, July 31st, 2004 | Kristin McGrath
Margaret Bauer


Claim to fame: Delise’s smile may be the reason you decided to come here.ÿFor 5 years she’s been welcoming prospective students, her “babies,” to Wash. U., and brightening the lobby of Undergraduate Admissions with the sheer force of her exuberance.

How she got here: Delise, a St. Louis native, made her debut on campus 10 years ago working as a receptionist for the University’s house-keeping company.ÿAfter checking the University’s Web site daily for job openings that would allow her to work with students, she landed a career in Admissions.

Favorite thing about Wash. U.: “I love the students. It is a wonderful job to watch someone grow over four years and then see me crying on graduation. I get a chance to see a fresh person come in and an adult leave.”Advice to incoming freshmen: “Just relax, breathe in, and enjoy. Get good grades, of course, but have a wonderful time. These four years are some of the best of your life, and you can’t get them back.”


Claim to fame: Learn her name, because she’ll learn yours. Mary works at the Mallinkrodt Food Court and is guaranteed to make your day when she swipes your card, flashes her infectious smile and wishes you good luck on your exam.

How she got here: Mary moved from Detroit, Mich. to St. Louis in the mid 1960s. After taking courses in psychology and business, she opted to pursue a job at Wash. U., and on Sept. 30, 1967, she began her 35-year career with University Dining Services.

Favorite pastime: “I love to read. I think I got educated that way. I like to read everything that helps your life to go better, like self-help books and books to tell you about dealing with people.”

Advice to incoming freshmen: “Stay focused. Be aware of your surroundings.ÿI’ve always liked this quotation Robert Kennedy said: ‘Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not.'”

Father Gary

Claim to fame: When he’s not fielding questions on “Missionary Positions,” WUTV’s illustrious sex advice show, Father Gary Braun is available 24/7 at the Catholic Student Center (6352 Forsyth) or wherever else he is needed, for students seeking “advice, coaching, or good company.”

How he got here: A St. Louis native, Father Gary served 4 parishes in the archdiocese of St. Louis before being invited to serve as the director of the Catholic Student Center.

Summer plans: “Raising money and going scuba-diving in the Cayman Islands are the two biggest things I’ll be doing this summer. It’s my annual trip with my priest friends. It’s a whole other way to see the world-from upside down!”

Advice to incoming freshmen: “Develop the capacity for deep friendship. To me, that’s the most important school you’ll ever go to-the school of learning to be capable of deep friendship. The friendships you form during these four years will serve you for the rest of your life.”


Claim to fame: It’s hard to tell whether those students waiting in the long line at Holmes Lounge during the noon rush are there for the sandwiches or for Arthur.ÿHe is the man at the carvery who serves up humor and great conversation along with every Kaiser roll.

How he got here: In 1997, Arthur left his native Chicago and most of his family to break out on his own. While visiting his aunt in St. Louis, he began working at Wash. U. in the food court at the business school.

Favorite things about St. Louis: “I think the campus here is one of the best things.ÿ I like Union Station, and I think that downtown St. Louis in general is a great place. There’s lots to do.”

Advice to incoming freshmen: “The most important thing is to stay focused and strive to be what you want to be. Everyone needs to have fun, but you need to think ahead a bit, too. If you get too distracted, that causes stress, and stress is a mess.”ÿ

Dean Biggs

Claim to fame:ÿ Known by many as the “Rapping Dean,” Biggs writes and performs under the stage name “Headmess.” But, with a sporadic tour schedule “like Barbara Streisand’s,” Biggs can most often be found in South Brookings working as an assistant dean in the College of Arts & Sciences.

How he got here: Life has taken Biggs to Harvard, where he majored in Latin; to Germany, where he worked in a castle; to UCLA, where he earned his Ph.D.; and to Houghton College, where he taught French; before bringing him back to his native St. Louis and to Wash. U.

Favorite thing about Wash. U.: “My favorite part is working with students. We have a couple seniors graduating this year, that we are just devastated to see leave, because we just think the world of these people.

Advice to incoming freshmen: “Start exploring. Get into extracurriculars. What sometimes happens is [that] people are timid about getting involved. You owe it to yourself. The friends and experiences I have from all my activities are what stick with me 25 years later.”

Professor Smith

Claim to fame: Chair of the anthropology department, Dr. Richard J. Smith is best known for his famous Introduction to Human Evolution Class and the standing ovations he often receives after his lectures. His deep concern with the environment has also led him to become one of the University’s most vocal advocates of ecological issues.

How he got here: An orthodontist, Smith came to Wash. U. in 1984 as the chair of the department of orthodontics and medicine. In 1993, the closure of Wash. U.’s dental school brought him to the Hilltop Campus to focus on his other area of expertise, physical anthropology.

Summer plans: “The summer is a good time for me to get caught up on writing.ÿI do a lot of research writing over the summer. My wife and I take our one long trip overseas each summer. This year it’s Scotland.”

Advice to incoming freshmen: “Don’t rush! Slow down! Don’t take 18 credits this semester. Try courses you know nothing about. There’s lots of room in Anthro 150. Come, take it! It’s not as hard as what you’ll hear.”