From Conner 2
Burton Conner hosts an annual Apple Bake, where dorm residents are encouraged to submit all manner of apple pies, cobblers, sculptures, mac and cheese, and whatever creative, original apple recipes they can think of. The BC housemasters and some of the GRTs get to taste all the food and award prizes in different categories (such as dessert, entrée, appetizer, and so on). The home floor of the contest winners is awarded a cash prize for their general floor fund. Conner 2 does Apple Bake hardcore. In fact, our floor shirts sport a "Varsity Apple Bake" logo. We're often responsible for a ridiculously disproportionate percentage of Apple Bake entries. And then we win an equally disproportionate percentage.
Someone bakes you a cake, and then someone else has to stuff a piece of it down your throat. Everyone leaves their work to sing a rousingly dis-harmonic "Happy Birthday" at the stroke of midnight. A good time is had by all.
Conner 2 is commonly known as "English House." Hence the British flags painted on the walls and all. But why?
Back in the fall of '74 (before there was a New House for all the cultural houses), the western half of the floor was separated by the eastern half by a locked door and was called "Russian House." (Only the eastern half was officially considered "Conner 2.") The floor tutor's suite was part of Russian House and was occupied by the faculty director of Russian House. As is probably obvious, Russian House was established to give students an immersive environment in which to become fluent in Russian. The Russian House students placed Russian labels on many common objects on the floor to assist them in learning conversational Russian quickly.
Russian House moved out of Burton-Conner after the Spring 1975 semester, but left their Russian labels all over the place. The residents of Conner 2, in turn, began calling the floor English House. Inspired one night, they placed English labels on the common objects around the floor. Rather than removing the Russian labels (which didn't really work well since they were quite attached to the walls), they just labeled over them in English. Some people got so into the spirit that British flags began to appear decorating the walls.
In order that the descendants of those first "Founders" might never forget their history, Conner 2 became commonly known as English House. To this day, the fire extinguisher between the 23 and 24 suites still bears an original Russian label.
Special thanks goes to Keith Blanton '78, English House "Founder," for clearing up the origins of English House.
Sometime after the end of an academic year, the floor historian selects photos and momentos to display on a large piece of cardboard. Generally, they are embarrassing or unflattering shots, but we put them up anyway. Many floorboards from years past line the hallways of Conner 2. About 5 years ago, the floor unanimously decided that these were stupid, so we haven't seen any since then, which might be a good thing.
On most floors, the freshmen dinner occurs when the upperclassmen of the floor take the freshmen out to eat to welcome them to the group. On Conner 2, the freshmen dinner is a bonding experience when all of the freshmen are forced to cook dinner for the upperclassmen instead.
The Old Can of Tomato Soup
An old can of tomato soup from 1984 is ceremoniously passed from a senior to the male freshman with the first birthday of the school year. He must keep the can until he is a senior and may pass it on to another freshman. This can of soup is so old that it doesn't have nutrition information on its label. The current bearer of this noble can is Snively.
Secret Santa Poems
Sometime during the last week of the fall semester before finals, Conner 2 throws its annual "Conner 2 non-denominational politically correct winter festivities dinner," which is so named really just for the fun of it, since it comes complete with its very own "Secret Santa" tradition that no one ever complains is politically incorrect. Go figure.
Anyway, the holiday dinner is just a chance for C2 residents to unwind, eat good food, and exchange gifts just before finals. Dress is "whatever you feel like five minutes before dinner starts," which means it varies from underwear to full formal attire. No joke.
There's an additional tradition related to our Secret Santa exchange. You see, instead of just writing the recipient's name on the gift (how boring would that be?!), the Secret Santa is responsible for writing a poem about the recipient. That way, when the entire floor is assembled, someone picks up a gift, reads the poem with dramatic flair, and presents it to the appropriate floor resident, usually after much laughter/embarrassment/floor bonding. The recipient opens the gift (which is often followed by even more laughter, embarrassment, and bonding) and then chooses the next poem to read. And so on.
As you can imagine, these poems can get…creative? Amusing? Inappropriate for reposting on the Internet? Luckily for you, dear reader, some of this year's Secret Santa poems have actually been approved for just that. You can read them on our resident's page.
A semi-formal affair including a nice meal, held near the end of the Spring term. The seniors are given humorous gifts to commemorate their four years on Conner 2 and, in turn, make out Last Wills and Testaments to bequeath knowledge and experiences onto the younger generations.
For one day and one day only, seniors cater to the rest of the floor by cooking everyone breakfast. In 2007, a team consisting of Sam, Mitra, and Ruth prepared a breakfast consisting of salmon benedict, homemade sour cream coffee cake, hash browns, maple glazed bacon, frittata, fresh fruit smoothies, and fruit salad served in decoratively-cut hollowed out and portable melons. Future graduating classes may attempt to achieve this impossibly high standard of breakfast excellence, but will probably fail miserably.
This is a common trait among residents. It manifests for each birthday on the floor.
Other songs frequently performed on the floor include:
- Queen - Don't Stop Me Now
- Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
- Zach Bailey - Why Are You Being Conciliatory?
- Don McLean - American Pie
- Billy Joel - Piano Man
- Andrew Pants - Shoot the Zombies
- Thomas Arne - Rule, Britannia!
Super Smash Bros.
Read the full article at Super Smash Bros. on Conner 2
So when Sam came back for IAP in January 2007, he decided to bring his Nintendo 64 with him, to facilitate the playing of classics such as Mario Kart 64, Waverace 64, and, inevitably, Super Smash Bros., which Mason brought from home. Unfortunately, it stopped being fun after about two weeks because Sam just kept throwing people off the stage and edgeguarding them with Pikachu, because he's a jerk like that. After some debate, and the realization that the Wii could be used to play Gamecube games, Mason spent more than $100 buying a Gamecube and four Wavebird controllers off of eBay, while Sam bought a new copy of Super Smash Bros. Melee off of Amazon. Although Sam was initially disappointed that he couldn't edgeguard people to death in Melee, he eventually got the hang of the control scheme, and Melee became the single most popular videogame ever to be played on Conner 2. Much to the consternation of floor residents such as Laura and Zach, Conner 2 residents--mostly the male ones--have logged hundreds of man-hours on Melee in the Spring 2007 term alone, and show no sign of slowing down in the future. Laura, however, maintains that she would refrain from eye-rolling and actually partake in the video game festivities if a real game were chosen, like Halo.