(Hoop) Rolling in the deep.

Though I resent when outsiders compare me to characters in Mona Lisa Smile–  a film loosely based on Wellesley in the Fifties, there is one sequence in the film I value and identify with: hoop rolling. Wellesley, as a college steeped in tradition, takes pride in indulging in what may otherwise be deemed absurd.

One such absurdity is rolling a wooden hoop down a small hill near Lake Waban early Saturday morning. This tradition involves spending $15 on the aforementioned hoop and then decorating it accordingly.

I, myself, determined to cover my hoop in coffee quotes– including my personal favorite: “Behind every great woman is a substantial amount of coffee.” Others opt to keep it simple, decorating their hoops in their class colors.

Regardless of the extent to which we view our hoops as pieces of art, we all engage in the same process on the second to last Saturday of the academic year. Navigating our hoops down a winding road, we clamor to be the first to cross the finish line.

The logic is simple– the winner is guaranteed to succeed “in however she defines success.” Now I should note that when the infamous hoop rolling tradition began in 1899, the winner was guaranteed something entirely different. She would be the first to get married. (If my grandmother had gone to Wellesley, she would have loved playing that game.)

However, as Second Wave feminism and post-feminism began to influence the campus, the prize shifted from first to wed to first to become CEO to first to be successful. And while I appreciate the commitment to vernacular modernization, I would have been content to play the marriage game as well.

Call me old school, but the rather vague prize was not a motivating factor to speed ahead. I lost my competitive edge, and when the Beloved Roommate fell behind, I patiently waited for her to gather her hoop before continuing the less than mad dash to the finish line. Also, the winner gets thrown into the lake– an extraordinarily contaminated body of water– certain to curtail one’s life span by a year or two:

Friends don't let friends roll hoops before caffeinating.

Pre-rolling love.

And we're off.

Inching towards the finish line.

We're all about the venn diagrams.

{photos courtesy of the Awesomest Sophomore}


3 responses to “(Hoop) Rolling in the deep.

  1. I like that in the second to last picture you can actually see me losing my hoop!


  3. Pingback: Tripping on a baby shoe. | Living on a Latte and a Prayer

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