Cherubs bond during floor hours
As midnight approaches, Meryl Hayes, of Massachusetts, goes from respectable, hard-working journalism cherub to something different. Her nightly transformations have given her the nickname, “Midnight Meryl.”
“Apparently I turn into a crazy person,” Hayes said.
Hayes wishes each of her peers a good night several times while running nonstop around the second floor. It is an act that only cherubs on the second floor have the privilege of watching.
In the cherub program, each of the three floors has its own nightly rituals.
Hayes is not the only second-floor cherub who acts differently at night. Erica Hendry, of California, turns into “Evening Erica.” Lisa Kaehler, of Illinois, made a blanket statement about Hendry and her floor mates’ radical night personas.
“Girls are crazy,” Kaehler said.
The second-floor cherubs are a unified bunch. They hang out together, exchange stories, and eat, Kaehler said, and wonder what the guys are up to on the floor below.
The third-floor cherubs are split into four separate groups.
“We all stick to our groups, but not in a malicious way,” Alexandra Tashman, of California, said. “I like all the other groups.”
Tashman is in one of the smaller squads. Tashman and five or six friends usually hang out in one of the dorm rooms. They talk and play Apples to Apples and Bananagrams.
An even smaller group hangs out in one of the common rooms. Sara Garner, of Florida, and four friends watch movies, from “Hannah Montana: The Movie” to “The Hangover.”
The biggest group watches movies in a common room, too, but a different sort of flick. Inspired by their Indian friend, Nandini Ruparel, of California, 15 to 20 cherubs gather to watch Bollywood movies every night.
The Bollywood pack does more than watch foreign films, though. They do sit and talk about “really nerdy stuff,” Nina Goldman, of New York, said, as well as play music.
About eight or nine cherubs make up the final third-floor group. Located in the central common room, they have parties where they dance and straighten each others’ hair, and watch TV online. They also play the computer game, Snood.
The first floor is the domain of the bros. Every night, all 22 guys gather in the central common room for their nightly “press conferences.” They call one person to the stand at a time, and question him about “important male gossip,” Jeffery Eisenband, of New York, said.
On a typical night, the guys let out slow claps and bouts of cheers when finding out about their peers’ exploits, and the sound reverberates to the other floors. Illinois cherub Thomas Carroll’s story about going to blind space camp had the boys laughing for several straight minutes.
The press conference usually starts shortly after 11 p.m. and ends at about 1 a.m. Instructor Paul Takahashi leads the boys in a shout of “Bros,” and then most of the guys go to bed.
A few holdouts remain, and start their late night activities playing the FIFA World Cup iPod game. Sometimes, Takahashi will stay up and chat with them.
The final activity of the first-floor night is Chatroulette. Several guys can spend a few hours talking to people from around the world via webcam.
“Chatroulette is a very interesting program,” Eisenband said. “It’s a great way to meet new friends, and practice interviewing.”
It’s also a good place for a bunch of 17-year-old guys to have a good laugh.
Eisenband said he tries to go to bed by 3 a.m., but some of the boys stay up until 4:30 a.m. or later.
By the time all the guys are asleep, the next class is only a few hours away.