Community Voices: Hotchkiss Collaborative Story

Community Voices is a section started and run by the Features section that gives community members the opportunity to submit personal vlogs, blogs, journal entries, poems, etc., relating to their lives off of the main campus. On April 29, the Olympians & Pythians Committee introduced a creative writing opportunity for students and faculty. The committee shared a document on which community members were able to create a collaborative story with a catch: each participant earns 100 points for the team that they are affiliated with (Pythians graduate in even years and Olympians graduate in odd years). People built off of one another’s sentences with complete freedom to contribute to the story as they pleased, ultimately creating the following story:


Hotchkiss Collaborative Story 


It was the last day of October; the snow hadn’t come yet, but the wind was sure chilling to the bone. I threw on my coat and headed over to the snack bar. As I was walking over to the snack bar, I was amazed to hear a whistling scream from across Bissell Commons. I zipped up my coat and ran into Main Building as fast as I could. I felt a chill run through my body as I entered the familiar environment I had come into just a year ago. The only difference, now: Main Building felt desolate, and I was alone. Where had everyone gone? 

Sitting alone, eating a plate of slightly-cold fries with lukewarm tea, I wondered what would happen. Come to think of it, the scream from Bissell was probably just a faculty kid. I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I wasn’t actually alone… no I felt watched. A shiver ran through my body. Was I really even here, was any of this REAL….because where did the fries and tea come from!?! 

That’s when I saw it. A real, live bearcat was coming straight at me! My first instinct was to run, but after seeing the bearcat’s sweet, innocent, and hungry for fries eyes, I asked the bearcat, “ketchup or mayo?” 

The Bearcat replied, “Depends, hot dogs or nuggets?” 

“You can speak?” I thought.

“Yes, indeed I can,” said the bearcat, responding to thoughts I had never uttered, and leading me back toward the snack bar in search of what Mark was whippin’ up on the grill.” 

The plot thickened: as I walked in with the Bearcat, I thought to myself, how on earth could such an animal speak; perhaps the unique environment of lake Wononscopomac permitted just the right evolutionary conditions for intelligent life to manifest itself. But it wasn’t just that the beast could speak; It was the intelligence revealed by his words that piqued my curiosity.  Just who was this bearcat, and had he once been human, perhaps a Hotchkiss alum from long ago? Could this be Forrest Mars Jr. Class of 49 coming back to check on all of us? But no one is here. 

The sudden ringing of the bell pulled me back to reality; yet when I looked in front of me again, the bearcat has vanished without a trace. “Had,” the Bearcat corrected from the distance, and his parting word has never left my mind since.

I now realize as I reflect on this experience all those many years ago that the whistling scream and the surreal chat in the Snack Bar both emanated from that true Bearcat that lives in all Hotchkiss people of all generations or rather from that true Bearcat spirit that lives on in all Hotchkiss people of all generations, a sweet and innocent spirit that forever moves us to run toward the campus, to listen, to share, and to learn.

Olympian Students
Felix Bao 21
William Wildish 21
AJ Zaccareo 21
Danaya Geer 21
Alexander Repikov 23
Maccoy Barry 23
Ayman Lone 21
Benjamin Weiss 21
Jared Napier 21
Amber Bretz 23
Paige Dzenutis 23
Tina Deng 21
Eric Yin 21

Pythian Students
Lucy Haswell 20
Izhaar Rosa 22
Alexandre Akhavein 20
Samarth Rastogi 22
Lydia Bullock 22
Zoe London 22
Kelly Zuo 20
Diana Reiss 20
Billy Burns 20
David Lloyd George 20

Nora Yasumura (Olympian)
Erikka Adams (Olympian)
Carolyn Corrado (Pythian)
Sarinda Wilson (Olympian)
Clark Eddy (Olympian)
Christina Cooper (Pythian)
Linda Palano-Schilling (Olympian)
Craig Bradley (Pythian)