All posts by mroberts13

The rules of the game


Libba Smith

Stick the dealer, no kitty. Always lead with the right. Never trump your partner’s ace. Always take a trick when you can. Score with a six and four of the same suit. If you don’t understand those first few phrases, stop reading immediately — just kidding.

Many will tell you that euchre, the simple Midwestern card game, is one entirely of luck with no skill. But euchre is about playing skillfully with the hand that luck has given you. It’s also about statistics, but I won’t get into that now. More than anything, though, it’s about having fun with your friends and spending hours talking about nothing.

I am well aware that this is already too much of a convoluted cliché for people who have no clue how to even pronounce the word euchre, but I know that when I look back fondly on my time at Wooster I will always think of this game. I have played euchre every day for years. I have played with many partners, from novices to seasoned pros, in many dorms, houses and tables in the library and at all times of the day and night. More often than not, I’ve laughed so hard I’ve cried. As sad as this may sound, I have probably passed more pleasant hours playing a card game most often associated with old people than doing anything else.

You can learn a lot about a person from how he or she plays a hand of euchre. Does he always play with his eyebrow when considering a move? Is he a little reckless with risky calls? Can you always count on her to take one trick? Does he try to be sneaky and steal the deal? Does he often violate the unspoken contract of the game and quit in the middle? Does he always put his card on the table with confidence even if he knows it’s a bad card? Do they always milk the cow in the barn? Does he play as if he already knows he isn’t going to win? Will she always, always offer the cut? Will he just cut it himself?

I know all of my best friends’ playing styles, and even if our philosophies don’t always match up, I can still predict their moves and count on them to know mine. I have learned that it’s fun to play with new people, but I will always prefer a game with the people I’ve already played with in hundreds of games before.

My grandmother always cuts short our phone conversations because she says that these are the best times of my life and I need to go and enjoy them. I have been so fortunate to find wonderful friends here at Wooster who are willing to spend the best times of their lives with me, especially because they also get a little too excited at the sight of a deck of cards.

McKinstry reflects on Voice, root beer

Lee McKinstry

Oh, The Wooster Voice office, home away from dorm, sweet dungeon of my soul. I love you. I adore you, in all of your warm and terrible windowless glory.

No one knows the joy it is to be curled up on the Voice couch until they’ve sat there, lived there, sipping root beer from a Lowry to-go cup while Frank Ocean is blasting out of the News computer, and the copyediting pens are flying at someone’s head, and an editor has finally got all the columns to line up perfectly, and no one is doing homework or can, and your co-editors are also your best friends and your little brothers and your ship mates and your fellow criminals rolled into one.

Someday, when someone asks what me loved about college, what I will remember this.

When I first came down to the office freshman year, I was intimidated and vaguely terrified as I turned the corner into the room, a den of frustrated grunts and screamed edits, the sheer volume of which nearly blew me back into Mom’s. It was my second week of college, and I heard an A&E editorship was open, so I thought I’d give it a shot. That first year was difficult and incredibly stimulating, and topped with a particularly ridiculous episode involving one Marten Dollinger flying a remote-operated plane into Maddie Halstead’s head, and I was hooked.

I learned quickly. This newspaper became the chaos I organized my life around, and I staked my spot here thanks to a group of incredibly loving, dedicated and generous co-editors, photographers and reporters who have come and gone. Jonah Comstock, Andrew Vogel, George Myatt, Maggie Donnelly, Chris Weston, Linda Kuster, Maureen Sill, Maddie Halstead, Kris Fronzak, Jon McGovern, Bob West, Matt Kodner, etc. … all of you helped me understand who I was and what my strengths were in the scary new world of college, dealt with my frenzied deadlines and terrible jokes, and showed me what it meant to be part of a team.

It’s been hard to see each of you go each year, but that’s the nature of the newspaper — we pass the torch, learn from our collective missteps and keep going after each graduate turns in their Voice key. You’re all still here though, your tattered quotes and ridiculous head shots lining the walls. It’s a nice reminder of the tradition we’re all joining, the words I’ll soon leave behind, the terrible sex jokes no future staff will think are funny.

And this year, these fools, they’re my family too. Those who fall backwards out of office chairs like a wounded swan, the ones who blotted tears during Junior and Senior I.S. and neck injuries, who belted all the words to “Beauty and the Beast” on our Voice field trip, the sassmasters who put me back in my place, the friends who fed my root beer addiction (seriously, is there any better beverage? I should have just changed my acknowledgments section to a picture of Barqs), and dance shamelessly to Swedish pop, who are friends and goddesses and assets to this school — what would I have done without you?

We’ve stirred the shit, shined the spotlight back on Woo’s overlooked issues and did it with finesse and integrity. We’ve made people listen, whether they wanted to or not. We tried to be journalists. We loved each other fiercely and with a fair amount of sass.

We did something great here. I won’t forget it. Thank you Voice.

Schmitz’s suggestions

Kim Schmitz

Here are a few things one can do to make the Wooster experience exceptional.

1. Study abroad. It will teach you some new things! But really, studying abroad is the best thing you can do when you go to Wooster because the best thing to do when you are at Wooster is to not be in Wooster. Studying abroad is an experience that will leave you with suitcases full of knowledge, and another suitcase filled with souvenirs. You can’t lose.

2. Get a cat. Yes, to have your own cat is against the rules, but no one says you can’t borrow a townie’s outdoor cat if it comes to see you. Like Sparky, who visits everyone at Fairlawn but likes my apartment the best (obviously).

3. Play as many games of euchre as you possibly can. It’s called assimilating into the culture, duh. If you don’t play euchre, you’re not milking all you can out of the Ohio experience. Euchre players tickle the nuances of Midwesternness. They cut their boredom into pieces. Plus, they get to say “why send a boy to do a man’s job?”

4. Hang out in the library. It’s best if you think of your own catchy name for the venue, but I like Club CoRE.

5. Volunteer and live in a house with your friends. The fun keeps coming from wall to wall.

6. Go to Gala, and go hungry. That chocolate fountain. The makeshift fondue. This is an event that’s both rare and well done.

7. Play dorm tag. There are few  better ways to keep your hall enemies up at night.

8. Never stop making fart jokes. Any comedic scholar will tell you that they are eternal, relatable and repeatable.

9. Everybody try to take advantage of the Independent Senior Housing Option (ISHO). Did I mention it might come with a cat? You also pay a lot less. ISHO kids have so many more cats and dollars than everyone else.

10. Stop watching so much Netflix and check out some books from the library. There’s one whole wall that’s half-filled with books for pleasure for you to choose from.

11. Explore the town, and not just the restaurants. Pick a direction and go for a stroll off campus. You’ll see a lot of boring houses, but meet some cool people. If you get lost, just commit a small act of vandalism to kick your moral compass into gear and it will guide you home. Bad joke? Let’s end on a good one.

What’s the difference between a cat and a comma? A cat has claws at the ends of its paws, but a comma is a pause at the end of a clause.

Wooster experience exceedingly positive


Dan Grantham

As much as my editorship at the Voice has consisted of downtrodden criticisms of the College’s Administration, tongue-in-cheek critiques of Wooster’s Greek community and pessimistic reviews of the Obama Administration, I swear I am really not all doom-and-gloom. Now that I am leaving Wooster, I can say that I have feel that coming here was the best decision I have my thus far in my short life. I never thought I could find such sustained joy, but I found it here. But this of course makes leaving Wooster one of the toughest things I will ever have to do.

Taking stock of my Wooster memories, it still seems hard to believe that I have been here for most of the past four years, including one awful summer. Unlike that summer, most of the time I spent at the College of Wooster was spent working,  laughing, talking, drinking or partying with the type of friends 14-year-old Dan believed to exist only on television. And though I remain shy to a fault, Wooster made me confident in who I am, who I am not, and convinced me that I am actually not such an awful human being after all.

That is because Wooster students are smart, caring, funny and creative people who do not spend their days congratulating themselves for their own greatness. Unlike the angst-ridden, haughty students I have, on occasion, met at other schools like Kenyon or Oberlin, Wooster students have a real sense of the world in which they are in. We think tangibly, pragmatically and equitably. Sure, it’s never that perfect, but it was here that I first found a group of peers I could hold in high esteem and who, more importantly, respected me and my own eccentricities.

As such, I will miss everything about this place long after I have left — even past the point when my Wooster bill is finally paid off. I will miss the way the four seasons changed the beauty of campus. I will miss walking into Kenarden everyday. I will miss glory edging and singing the wrong lyrics of songs. I will miss going to class and I will miss running out of Flex Dollars before mid-terms. But most of all, I will miss all of you — my friends, my professors, the people who feed me and take care of me. I am leaving Wooster happy I came, but that makes leaving all the more difficult.

Wooster, je t’aime.

Keep Wooster weird

Julie Kendall

Wooster is a weird place. It has always seemed to me as if somebody decided to drop two thousand young and confused individuals on one-square-mile of land as part of some sort of bizarre social experiment in which we are forced to live, work, study and socialize together for four years. We are provided sustenance in the form of quesadillas and coffee, we read academic journals for our daily activity and we venerate a particular day in late March.

It’s a weird place, indeed, but I could not be more grateful to have had the opportunity to come here. If there is one thing that I have learned from my time at Wooster, it is that, in the grand scheme of things, we are all incredibly privileged. Perhaps I learned this because I majored in Sociology and nearly every course in the department is a lesson in structural inequality. Accordingly, the point has been reinforced in my mind — college students make up a very small fraction of the population that gets to engage in lofty intellectual pursuits while somebody cooks us food and cleans our bathrooms.

That is not to say that students and their families don’t make sacrifices to get a Wooster education. But no matter how you got here, I urge you to never ever take this experience for granted.

In addition to receiving some of the best education money can buy, we are given a lot of freedom to decide how to spend four years in rural Ohio with two thousand other smart and fortunate individuals. Although our workload regularly demands that we hole up in our carrels and not interact with other humans for long stretches of time, it’s important to use this exceptional time to explore more fulfilling pursuits. My best experiences have been doing the things I never thought I would do, and may never have the chance to do again.

A year and a half ago, I was recruited to become a sports editor for the Voice. And although this job requires tediously decoding box scores and sitting in a windowless basement office for eight hours every Tuesday night, being part of this publication has truly been a fulfilling pursuit.

To cover the Scots’ athletic achievements and publish columns about sporting culture has been a small privilege within the larger privilege of attending Wooster.

To sign off, I want to publicly thank everybody who helped make my Wooster experience incredible. Thanks to all faculty, staff, bosses, co-workers, family, classmates, friends, co-editors, the people who read my columns and whoever decided to include me in this crazy social experiment. I am truly grateful.

Cartoonist, Pot editor on Wooster


Gus Fuguitt

As the staff cartoonist for the Voice for most of the last four years, I have forced myself to pay close attention to the issues and events that have made the biggest impact on the student body. From overcrowding on Admitted Student Days to the infamous arrival of the Scot Dog cart in the fall of 2010, I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to offer my perspective on the topics that affect Wooster students, and hopefully, generated some laughs in the process.

One recurring issue year after year around this time of the semester is the announcement regarding the increase in tuition. As we all know, tuition is going to top fifty-two thousand dollars next year; a substantial increase from what the Class of 2013 paid when we first arrived in the fall of 2009. While I still believe that Wooster’s raising tuition is pretty unreasonable (and that students need to continue working with the administration in order to reach realistic solutions to stem rising costs), when I look back at my time here it feels like Wooster’s tuition requires a more thorough examination.

While we pay for a lot of things at Wooster that I’m sure many of us don’t necessarily need, or at least could give up (the Lowry soft-serve machine, perhaps?), we need to recognize what we are actually paying for.

Every Wooster student almost certainly had options to go to less expensive or more specialized schools. And yet somehow we all wound up here, at a very unique institution that affords its students a multitude of academic and extracurricular opportunities, but at a high financial cost.

I think all students should be appreciative of these specific benefits of Wooster and embrace them whenever possible. I consider myself a pretty solid example of someone who tried to get the most possible out of Wooster, either in the classroom or by getting involved in athletics or campus organizations like W.A.C., SGA, Greenhouse and, of course, the Voice.

At other schools I probably would have only had the chance to explore one of these areas, but here I was able to try or participate in almost anything I wanted to. In the process, I made some of my best friends and memories here at the College. Perhaps more importantly, as I prepare to leave for the real world I have almost no regrets about the academic and extracurricular decisions I made while I attended Wooster. I can’t say for sure I wouldn’t have had a totally different experience at another school, but here I’m sure that I won’t graduate unfulfilled or unhappy. Personally, it seems hard to put a price on that.