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Never too old

Megan Doyle | Monday, September 5, 2011

My quad in Lyons Hall is tiny.

My roommates and I slaved over the L-shaped configuration for our furniture to conserve space. We perfected our storage system for maximum efficiency, squeezing an obscene amount of clothing and blankets and pillows and boxes into a very crammed amount of space.

We have no air conditioning. Our dorm’s work-out equipment might actually pose a safety hazard to those trying to exercise. We will blow a fuse if we use a hair dryer in the room, and I have yet to see a fully functional sink in this building.

Despite these pitfalls, we love our room. We can also all agree the glory of 243 Lyons centers on one item — the VCR. A VCR may be considered an antiquated piece of technology. Video tapes are practically ancient. Yet we, college juniors, are the proud owners of a much-loved, much-used VCR.

The VCR surfaced from a grandfather’s basement and was, at first, an object of curiosity. Now, we’ve built a collection straight from the 1990s that now fills an entire shelf in our common room. Our respective basements yielded “Aladdin,” “Snow White,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Anastasia,” “Pocahontas,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Hercules,” “Mulan” and more.

From the first time we popped “The Lion King” into the machine and pressed “Play,” we were hooked. These blast-from-the-past Disney movies became a staple in Lyons Hall. After a particularly rough day, we turned to Jasmine and Genie. When we needed to procrastinate during finals week, we blinked back tears as Mufasa fell under the wildebeests’ hooves. When we needed to energize ourselves, we belted out the words to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” with the handsome Capt. Li Shang.

Maybe we are childish. Maybe we should leave our animated heroes of the past behind and focus on acting our own ages. Maybe we should disregard these films as fond memories from our childhoods.

Yet the ancient artifact will never be too old for our room, and we will never be too old for it. We still root for Hercules as he faces the Hades’ monsters. We still melt just a little bit as the handsome (albeit animated) John Smith falls for Pocahontas. We still cheer when the Beast defeats Gaston and his ego.

We learned to see beyond first impressions and to appreciate the sacrifices our families make for us. We learned the power of friendship. We learned to fight with unfailing resolution for what we believe, to choose between what is right and what is easy.

When I walk into to my perfect quad, I find the VCR sitting on the shelf.

I also find the friends and the memories that made this dorm a home. At the end of the day, that is what makes our tiny quad, with its non-existent air conditioning and its pocket-sized room, absolutely perfect because magic, in the form of fairytales or friendship, exists.