No, a guy at Eastman will not attempt to pick you up at a party by leaning casually against your shoulder and saying “I know more hand positions than Paganini. Come back to my place and I’ll play you like a violin.”
However, I’ve heard from several sources that an Eastman guy may charm you, hook up with you after a party and leave you in the lurch simply because there are more fish in the sea.
A string player’s recent AOL Instant Messenger away message, less about thirty exclamation points and capitalizations, captures the frustration often felt by lovelorn Eastman females ? “I hate men. Well, not all men, but the gross disgusting jerks at this school who hurt my friends. Not all the men at this school are jerks ? I can name a bunch that aren’t ? but it seems that all assholes are single ? obviously ? and they will stay that way.”
If you happen to be an Eastman guy ? especially one who uses pick-up lines like the one mentioned above ? I hope I haven’t hurt your feelings. Males who live in the Student Living Center have told me that there are just as many shady ladies at Eastman as there are immature one-night wonders.
The main reason that Eastman relationships usually last closer to five minutes than eternity isn’t that musicians are flaky and bizarre ? it’s that there are too many musicians living in too small a space for normal romance to easily blossom.
In just a year and a half here, sophomore Mike Pascaretti has seen a good number of Eastman quasi-relationships end before they begin. Most of the problems stem from the fact that “everybody knows everybody,” he said. “The gossip is ridiculous.”
“Most relationships have some strings attached, but a relationship at Eastman has more strings than the RPO,” Pascaretti continued.
“It’s like you have seven hundred people living in five cubic feet of space,” commented a male vocalist who wishes to remain anonymous. “Tons of them have desperation sunglasses on and are pretty much willing to shag the next available being.”
Factors like space and horniness yield shoddy relationships between the two people involved and juicy gossip for everybody else.
These days, some 350 undergraduate and graduate students call Eastman’s Student Living Center and Cominsky Tower home. The four-story quadrangle and 14-story tower surround a beautifully landscaped inner courtyard. When two people start dating, the news generally travels from one hallway to another like a bad smell.
For those of us who live on River Campus, we can’t quite grasp the concept of the SLC.
On River Campus, you can date three guys in one semester and still have a buffer of 4,000 undergraduates milling around a large campus to prevent you from running into your exes on a daily basis. Because freshmen and sophomores, for the most part, must live and eat in the SLC, the student unlucky enough to have three exes in one semester may feel like he or she is playing tic-tac-toe at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
What’s the key to having a relationship with a lifespan longer than that of a snail? It seems to be simply taking it slow and making sure you’re on the same wavelength as your partner.
“At Eastman, drunken hookups are key,” said an anonymous female instrumentalist. “Just because you kiss a person at a party doesn’t mean you should take them out to dinner tomorrow,” she said. “We are, after all, in college.”
However, finding love and longevity at Eastman isn’t impossible. Senior Rebecca Levy tends to have a somewhat sunnier outlook on the entire situation.
“Musicians are going to gravitate towards each other and it is possible to have a successful relationship ? even if you are at Eastman,” Levy said.
The fact that her parents, David and Kathryn Levy, met at Eastman when they were students in the ’60s, attests to the fact that Cupid’s arrow can strike in places other than the head and below-belt regions normally targeted with vengeful intent.
Kathryn slipped on a patch of ice outside the Eastman dorm building, which was then located on University Avenue, David helped her up, and they’ve been married for over thirty years.
Now that I’ve sent you running for that box of Kleenex, keep in mind that not everyone meets his or her true love during college.
If you haven’t found that special someone yet, hang in there and keep in mind that there’s always graduate school.
Weiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.