Friday, December 23, 2011


The campus was lined with policeman. Thank goodness.

The University of Connecticut was surrounded by policemen wearing reflective neon yellow stripes. They were ready for chaos, and that's what the students on Spring Weekend provided them.

The campus was a disaster zone. Swarms of drunk people were coming out of the woods raising cain. The air was filled with swear words and clouds of pot. Broken bottles and beer cans carpeted the ground outside the senior housing complex.

Couches were being thrown out windows. Some were on fire. Some had been stolen.

Through it all Jenny Barnett was stoic as all hell. She could have cared less what the college crowd was up to. A college girl herself, Jenny had no time for bullshit.

Just earlier that day I had asked if I could do laundry in her building once I arrived for Spring Weekend. "Hell no," came the reply. No time for that. No time for bullshit.

I had never seen Jenny drink let alone be so nonchalant around those who did. Jenny was singing rap songs to herself as she led me by the hand through the crowd of outlandish partiers. She was simply commenting on how stupid everyone was being.

I had never known Jenny to drink (she could, in fact), and I never knew her to be so nonchalant about the extreme practices of her classmates. She led me by the hand from living room to living room, apartment to apartment like a guide dog: emotionless, unwavering, undeterred.

And then I lost Jenny for a time in the crowd. I caught up with her roommate all right, but I had no idea where she had run off too once we found ourselves outside one of the final stops of the night- some random person's kitchen.

Then I found her. Her pockets were weighed down by Bud Lights, and she held four more in her hands.

I had never known Jenny to steal.

It turns out she could in fact.

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