Some people say Ranch House is the most loving cabin on campus (or at least, I say so). Last Thursday was the ultimate display of “R” Love, a day that started, in fact, in the middle of the night at 3 am. It was Charlotte’s birthday, March 4th, and it was the only birthday that our cabin would have this semester, so the 5 of us who aren’t Charlotte decided to go all out. We had made clues for a day-long scavenger hunt that would end in a Ranch birthday card. We originally started the birthday card tradition with Colvin’s birthday last month, and got such positive feedback that we decided to continue it for every student. But of course, Charlotte’s one of us, so hers had to be different. Wednesday night we went around hiding clues in each of her classes, putting the card at the end of the hunt, and generally got pumped for the following day.
Katie, our cabin mother, came and celebrated our communal birthday with some tea, vegan cake, rock-hard vanilla bread, and Oreos. We had a photo shoot to document all the love in the air, and only reluctantly let Katie go back to her house. But the night was far from over—a few days ago Dianne had graciously donated party decorations, so at 3 am, when the birthday girl was sure to be asleep, my alarm went off and the rest of us got up to throw streamers all over the rafters and her bed, trying to keep quiet. We were used to stumbling around in the dark from our recent 5-day power outage, but I guess we weren’t quite stealthy enough, because Charlotte woke up and asked what was going on. Melissa assured her that we were only stoking the fire (yeah, all 5 of us), and we went back to bed as silently as we could.
At 6:20 am, the festivities continued as my alarm went off again and Ali got out her iPod, speakers, and blasted theme music. Josie didn’t need to press her snooze button even once before rising, and we all made to sure to jump on Charlotte before she had a chance to get up. As we headed toward the Hilton to get ready for the day, bringing along our music, Maggie commented on how nice it was to actually be up before the bell, with everyone starting the day together. We had been the first cabin to do farm chores, and for those two weeks our mornings were similar – early alarm, music, hustle out the door to grab the compost on our way to the farm. Maybe we had all been secretly missing getting up before the sun, because as early as it was, we began the day as a unit, just as we end it every night—full of love.
-Delger Erdenesanaa, Milton, MA