Beware the Ides of March

The soothsayer once warned Caesar, “Beware the ides of March.” We too, must beware, for March brings madness and hopefully some sun. However, before we delve into the madness, let’s give a short recap since our last, far too long ago encounter.

January was. . .(this is where you, as a Williams College student, relive all of the work you put in during Winter Study, more so on the plywood than any other wood, like a desk or something. You are either getting better or you are getting worse; you don’t stay the same.)

As a winter athlete, and in consultation with my friends Jack and Jim, I have decided to take the week(s) of April 7-TBA off. Frankly, I think this should be mandatory for all winter athletes. There will be a table in Baxter to sign up for Fitzgerald term, and if we get 100 signatures, we can also obtain funding from College Council.

One last note on Winter Study: There is nothing quite like sitting at lunch watching the stream of people as they enter the dining hall at roughly 12:30. At least 75 percent of them look as though they were run over by one of those tractors in the Greylock quad, did snow-angels in the mud, and then just woke up from a month-long coma. Man, I am going to miss that. Meanwhile, the other 25 percent are still in bed.

A bit more on the tractors in Greylock – what in the name of Ephraim Williams are they doing besides being the loudest alarm clock in Berkshire county? I have done some solid research, and I found that not only are they doing absolutely nothing, but their work day goes from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. They are always there to wake you up, but never when you go to class to give them a piece of your mind. This is a shame.

At the end of January, we had the debut of Jimmy Kimmel Live. A lot like classes before 11, it seemed like a good idea at the time. And the first few shows, (thanks in large part to Snoop Dog and several references to the “sticky icky icky”) much like the first few classes, weren’t too bad. Then, when you realize that this is more a routine than an aberration, you wonder how you ever thought it was a good idea in the first place. And yet, somehow, I continue to watch, which is where the metaphor with early classes ends. Very strange phenomenon.

Then came February, along with the start of classes. Sweet. So I figured I might want some books, and Water St. seemed to be the place to go. $450 later I wasn’t so sure. $450! For $450, I could buy a plane ticket to Afghanistan, find Osama, bring him back to Water St. and beat him with my books. My favorite part is when you return your $90 textbook and they give you $2.50, looking at you as if they just funded your spring break trip. I can’t even get a grilled cheese for $2.50.

The equivalent to the Winter Study lunch is the spring semester breakfast. The first week, breakfast is the place to be. Everyone wants to get started on the right foot, and what better way than a healthy breakfast? By the third week, people return to their senses and maximize their sleep. The people who do show up are still wearing their plaid flannels, looking as though just getting to breakfast is the toughest thing they are going to do all day. Does anyone else notice these things?

I would be remiss not to mention Valentine’s Day. This is a nice idea, don’t you think? Shower your girlfriend with gifts, flowers, frankincense and myrrh. Meanwhile, this is a month after Christmas, most likely a month before her birthday and Mother’s Day is sometime soon too, right? If you are lucky, she is probably a secretary as well. And they wonder why it takes so long to get a ring. In any event, at least guys have March 20th.

Speaking of March (nice transition by me), it is the pinnacle of college basketball. My predictions, or should I say my divine forecast, will be out shortly, but let me take a minute here to dish out some pointers when filling out your bracket.

Never enter a “friendly” pool with several people who know nothing about college basketball. Invariably one of these people wins and says something to this effect: “Oh yeah, I love the (fill in the annual Cinderella team here) mascot. He’s so cute.” The way I see it, there is losing, and then there is losing to people who have no clue what they are doing. This is like me winning a bake-off with Martha Stewart and Mrs. Campbell.

Never fill out a bracket for anyone other than yourself, namely your mother or any other girl in your life. Much like the previous warning, this bracket automatically wins and doubles your pain in losing. But you can’t outfox the system. If you fill out the bracket thinking that, because of this curse, it will win and maybe you can split the winnings, you are wrong. The basketball gods have been to the dance, pun intended. They frown upon such things.

Dance, pun intended again (I am so good with those puns), with the girl who took you. If you have been watching a team the whole year, rooting for them, then stick to your guns. March is no time to change horses.

And finally, never gamble. Everyone knows that it is a blatant violation of NCAA rules. My pool will be located in Baxter right next to the signup for the Fitzgerald term. $10 entry.