by AdvocateSaint and QuickSilver
AdvocateSaint: Idiosyncrasy is one of those fancy-sounding words that I’ve spotted several times in the media, but never really understood. For a long time, I kinda thought it was a synonym for “contradiction,” or maybe “false belief.” I only found out its real meaning last week, when my Eng 30 prof asked the class what our personal idiosyncrasies were (no one else knew what it meant either). Turns out, it’s just another term for a person’s weird quirks and eccentricities.
It’s great that Echoes celebrates our different idiosyncrasies and oddities, because our shared weirdness makes up a lot of who we are, along with our emotions, talents and smarts. The choice of theme is pleasant coincidence, because my friends and I had also planned our own random tribute to being silly for its own sake.
One boring afternoon in the back parking, we joked that all the “cool people” of UPSE had their own tables where they could all meet up and be cool n’ shit, whatever that meant. For some reason, we decided that hey, it would be awesome if we had our own “cool” table, where there would always be some strange quirky thing going on whenever people hung out there. It also helped that we generally had long, overlapping breaks every day of the week.
Like LSD-tripping Marxists awakening their own class-consciousness, we had our idea. The plan was simple: Each week, we would set up some fun activity in the back parking, and hopefully over time it’d be something our friends would look forward to. We brainstormed all the possible side projects, from bringing back MTG and Yu-Gi-Oh to tying balloon animals, street magic, and running a waffle stand. The stranger the concept, the better.
The first weeks of games coincided with the midterm season, so there were some issues about using up valuable study time in exchange for doing useless things. We didn’t really care. The very idea of this whole thing was a fun, creative, distractive outlet to keep impending stress away. Besides, an odd side effect was that I began managing my time even better than before, precisely because I had to fit in all the extra games.
The “weekly weirdness” project is also a spiritual successor to last year’s “Operation Niman,” which was our attempt to be good at many new skills as possible within the span of one year. The idea was borrowed from Star Wars, where there exists a lightsaber style that borrows “just a little bit” of everything to make a reasonably balanced fighting style. The plan partially fell through because we got distracted by laziness and a nightmare parade of acads.
And that last bit about having our own “cool table?” We mean that literally. I had this collapsible table lying around the house, and I do plan on bringing it every day if I have to just so there’s something to use for whatever wacky things that will happen next.
So what did we end up doing exactly?
Quicksilver: As of the time of writing, we have done two “weekly weirdness” activities. We did children’s card games on the first week. Every time our breaks coincided, we would use that time to play MTG or Yu-Gi-Oh. Since the tables in the back parking weren’t really meant for card games, we had to use this folding table for our “duels”. We would have several of these duels over the course of our break. It was kind of nostalgic, really. I haven’t played Yu-Gi-Oh since the anime stopped airing (that was back when I was in elementary, btw).
We played cards, built decks, and even thought of imagined stories about the cards themselves. Heck, we even tried imitating the over-the-top dialogue and dueling styles of the anime. I felt like a kid again. It was quite the departure from my usual stressed-about-acads self. It made my boring-ass three hour break a lot more fun.
Then we thought, how are we going to top this? What other weird thing can we do next week? Then, it hit us. NERF.
We had just recently acquired a small arsenal of Nerf guns. We had several pistols, a 3-shooter, even a rapid firing revolver. We also had a lot of extra ammo. As for targets, we’d use my old set of speed stacking cups (I used to be pretty good at speed stacking back in high school).
On our second week, my morning class was free cut, so there was a lot more time to mess around with the Nerf guns. We set up this obstacle course in the back parking in which we had to shoot at a target from behind a bench, vault over that bench, run behind cover, and then try to hit the next target, and so on. A few non-Ecosocers even joined in the fun.
So there we were, a bunch of twenty something-dudes, shooting at cups, vaulting over benches, and generally just having a damn good time. When we got too tired from our Nerf/Parkour antics, we started doing trick shots. I even got good enough to shoot a thrown bottle cap midair with a nerf gun. We also tried the old cowboy quickdraw showdown cliché and tried to shoot each other before the other could react. We felt like badass action heroes.
Later that afternoon, after all our classes, we set up the targets and brought out the guns again. This time, some Ecosocers decided to let off a few shots. In the end, we lost most of our ammo, but we had a really good time.
What was our takeaway from all this? Well, all of those activities did keep the boredom away. Oddly, they also helped us manage our time a little better. However, the biggest takeaway from all this was that we should show our idiosyncrasies every now and then. They give others a glimpse into our weird and wonderful selves.
And you know, they make life a little more interesting and fun.
When they’re not pretending to study, AdvocateSaint and QuickSilver like to spend their time being “cool n’ shit”.