Students usually look forward to a spring break trip as a kind of salvation. However, our idealistic fantasies, fueled by not enough sleep and too many essays, often gloss over the reality of spring break, which can be fraught with disasters – some totally random and unpreventable, others rather more self-inflicted. I caught up with a few Ephs who regaled me with their wild stories of spring breaks gone wrong, much to my amusement and horror.
– Madeline Vuong ’14
Busted in Carolina:Will Weiss ’12 told the legend of the Williams Ultimate Frisbee Organization (WUFO) spring break disaster. Though it took place before his time, it was so awful that everyone still talks about it. “Basically, WUFO always goes down for spring break in one of the Carolinas,” Weiss said. “We try to minimize our footprint, so to speak, but cramming upwards of 50 men and 30 to 40 girls in two houses is bound to attract some attention.” During the year in question, team members were having a wild party of the usual WUFO ilk when they got a call from their landlord, warning them that a complaint had been filed against them with the police. “It is possible that there were some alcoholic beverages on site,” Weiss admitted. “So everyone hustled and got everything packed up and poured any incriminating liquids down the toilet. By the time they heard a knock on the door, the house was completely empty.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t the cops calling but a narcotics squad in SWAT outfits, who demanded that the students start talking. The SWAT team had a number of kids separated out, kneeling on the ground, and they interrogated them individually. “When nobody would talk, they said, ‘Cut the B.S., we know you’re mixing meth in here!’ They then took samples from all over the house, including bagging a piece of grass off a student’s cleat as ‘evidence,’” Weiss said. “It was a total disaster. Not only was the party ruined and the house [placed] under watch by a narc squad, but there was also a rather substantial financial hit from all the booze flushed down the toilets.”Lost in TranslationJackie Pineda ’12 had a very different tale of a spring break snafu. She was traveling around Rome with her boyfriend when things started to go wrong. “At first it seemed so idyllic. I mean, Rome in the spring! But we had so many disasters. That week just did not go well,” Pineda said. “First of all, it was April in Italy, and what happens? It hails. Everyone is freaking out. Then, we get back to our hotel room, and the manager is just turning the key in our door lock. We asked him what he was doing, and he rushed away really suspiciously, as though he had just been caught searching our room. Then, my boyfriend’s camera went missing,” she said. The culmination of the week’s disasters was when Pineda tried to get home and missed her flight. She and her boyfriend had asked for an early wake-up call from the hotel, but the receptionist forgot to wake them up, so they were late in getting ready. “When we finally got to the train station, no one spoke English [so] we couldn’t figure out which train would take us to the airport,” Pineda said. “We got there just in time to miss our flight.”Canine-one-oneMeg O’Connor ’14 also had an unexpectedly disastrous spring break. She was working on a Navajo reservation teaching English when one day, a fellow teacher at the high school asked O’Connor and a friend to take a dog to the vet to be put down. “We were horrified and listened to country music the entire way there with the dog sprawled out lovingly on my lap, licking my face. I’m pretty sure we both cried on and off on the way there,” O’Connor said. Luckily for the dog, they got lost on the way to the vet’s office. “Finally, after driving for about an hour, we found the vet,” O’Connor said. “It turned out that [the dog] wasn’t in fact dying!” The dog in question had really just needed a new set of vaccines, according to O’Connor. “We shared the good news that he had survived with the whole reservation,” she said.