Damn it, Rochester. I’m sure a great many of you have uttered this phrase at least once during your careers here. If you haven’t, freshman year is almost over, so I’m sure your time will come. Anyway, I had the privilege of one such moment the other day while traversing the tunnels on my way to Russian class. Fortunate enough to have caught some kind of cough-cold love child, I found myself in need of a tissue to blow my nose. Just such an opportunity arose within the tunnel system.

As I was nearing the end of the tunnel under Hoyt Auditorium, my nose flowing like the proud Genesee, I took notice of a door that I had previously only brushed by without regard. This door carried the sign that I desperately needed – the ambiguous standing man. Here I knew I would find relief.

Once inside, I felt a sort of aura about the place, a holy glow within the walls. Only good things could come from a place like this. For those of you unable to enter the confines of this facility (women), allow me to describe it to you. After the initial doorway, there is a small hallway that leads to a door. Once through this door, it is your typical men’s room: a couple of urinals, a stall and a few sinks, complete with soap and the paper towels that those living in dormitories frequently desire.

The easiest way for me to describe this bathroom is, in a word, superb. As you approach the door to the room, the first thing you will notice is hand prints on it. Handprints, you say? Yes, yes I do. Due to its close vicinity to the infamous painted tunnel, this sort of interaction was bound to occur. These prints from the careless tunnel painters are a reminder of those who have graced this promised land, though hopefully many more shall honor this place, taking part in the opportunity to receive a cultural and intellectual renaissance.

My initial reaction to the room was actually slight boredom. I mean, come on now people, not much excitement is generally to be had in the bathroom, unless of course you’re having sex in there, which I don’t generally recommend. As I stood in this bathroom with my disgustingly runny nose, nothing really caught me off guard. However, I was lucky to be in need of some sort of tissue substitute, and it drew me into the stall.

As I entered the one stall in the bathroom to gather myself some toilet paper, my heart jumped with excitement when I noticed a vast array of notes and writing on the inner wall. Victory, I thought. Now I can see who was a slut in 1996 and who I should contact if I ever needed a good time.

Upon closer review, these were not at all the notes I found penned onto the wall. Rather, I saw a vast collection of knowledge, advice and comedy. The first thing I noticed was a long list of names entitled, “Men of Consequence.” Who should be the first man on this list other than Bob Vila. Of course, I thought to myself, Bob Vila. He is a master of his trade who has pleased so many with his beautiful work. This truly makes him of great consequence. The list went on to include others such as Poncho Villa and our very own University president, Joel Seligman. I encourage you to explore it at your own leisure or send in a friend if you’re a woman.

This information was left behind for the generations yet to come. Like this article, much of life isn’t about the detail, it’s about the experience. One final quote from the wall goes as such: the word “Revolution” was written in large letters but was then crossed off. Below the erased word was “Graduation.” Because, in reality, that’s what it comes down to: moving toward this hope but having an epic time getting there and possibly stopping to blow your nose on the way.

Bierasinski is a member of the class of 2010.



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