FALL 2004:

A Satisfying Newbury Lunch
When It Felt Like Home

SPRING 2003:

The Big Boys
The Fine Art of Urination and Defecation Al Fresco
The Golden City
Inside Looking Out
The Soup Game

FALL 2002:

All the Hearts

SUMMER 2002:

Being Family

SPRING 2002:

An Alternative to the Common Use of Forks
Memoir Lead
Two Weeks in New Mexico

FALL 2001:

The Anti-Valentine's Girls

SPRING 2001:

Amour de Soi
The Day Music Let Me Go
The Force
Lucky Me, I'm Gifted
My Green Canyon
A Painful Passion
Point of Departure
Sail the Sea
Smile and Nod


FALL 2004:

Lola Takes Us For the Sprint of Our Lives

FALL 2002:

Arlington Road: A Thriller with Thought
A Big Fat Fairytale Wedding
Border Patrol: The War Against Drugs Continues
Not the Stereotypical Shoot 'em Up Gangster Flick
Punch Drunk Love

SPRING 2002:

The Complexity of Artificial Intelligence
Monster's Ball
Monster's Redemption
Royalty Runs in the Family

FALL 2001:

A Hard Day's Night: A Rock 'n' Roll Joyride That Never Runs Out of Steam
Too Many Potholes in Riding in Cars with Boys

SPRING 2001:

Requiem's Melody Lingers
New-and-Improved Horror


FALL 2002:

In The End, Everything is Crystal Clear
A Match for Success
They Will Follow Him
A Very Bostonian Hotel
What's an A?


The CO201 program hosts special Coffee House Readings periodically throughout each semester. These stories have each been selected by 201 professors for reading.

SPRING 2002:

Death and Board Games
Resurrection of a Ghost
The Tool Man

FALL 2001:

Bits of Daylight
Leona's House
This is Spinal Tap: No Need for Painkillers
The Toad and the Giant

SPRING 2001:

The Movies
Solving the Equation: The Trials and Triumphs of International Adoption


FALL 2002:

Her Face is Red
Smoking a Cigarette
Stories and Lies
Sumit Ganguly: He, She & It


Proposals are group projects in which 201 students propose and create an ad for a non-profit organization or cause.

SPRING 2002:

Christian Solidarity International


SPRING 2005:

Colorado Peaks and Iraqi Deserts: A Paramedic's Story
The Consequences of Drunk Driving
America, Open Your Eyes

SPRING 2004:

A Fine Balance: The Life of an Islamic Teenager
A Genetic Link to Identity: Dr. Bruce Jackson and The Roots Project
Rebel With a Cause


FALL 2004:

The Amah’s Revenge
Circle in the Sand
It’s How I Walk
School Bus

SPRING 2002:

Death and Board Games
Resurrection of a Ghost
The Tool Man

FALL 2001:

Bits of Daylight
Leona's House
This is Spinal Tap: No Need for Painkillers
The Toad and the Giant

SPRING 2001:

The Movies
Solving the Equation: The Trials and Triumphs of International Adoption



Thomas possessed that familiar quality: he looked like “Where’s Waldo” but shorter and without the stripes. I never had to look too hard to find Thomas, though.

“I’d rather sleep on the beach. Wouldn’t you, Thomas?”

“Yes, but I’m starving now that you’ve woken me.” He was a whiner. I found it difficult to sleep in the same room with Thomas. His skin was superlatively dry; he scratched himself continuously as he slept.

As we walked to the beach I paused to absorb the beauty of a lone deciduous tree, which had grappled its roots into the edge of a sand dune’s cliff. Its tenacity impressed me since it had no rivals or competitors but still managed to survive in the harsh Portuguese weather.

Val spotted me at the beach and waved a quick “I’m over here” wave. She reminded me of a photograph I had seen of my mother when she was young.

“You getting an early start too?” She smelled like coconut and spoke with an American accent.

“More like a late one. I’m here to nap. We’re all becoming nocturnal now, aren’t we? But how is the sun today?”

“Too many tan lines. Do you mind if I take my top off?” This Dutch beauty asked my permission with unblinking eye contact.

“Of course not,” I replied, without giving it a second thought until a second later when there was little else to think about. “I’m getting a drink. Would you like one?”

“No, thank you. It’s too early for me.”

I found Thomas at a table by the bar with Phil and a stout pitcher of sangria.

“This sangria is terrible—my host family in Spain made it much better. I think I like it sweeter.” Phil had spoken of his Spanish host family often while in Portugal. He was right about the sangria, though. The brandy was too spicy, which made the fruit less palatable.

“How is the sangria, sirs?” the waiter asked as he glanced around the bar looking for someone.

“It’s great. The perfect drink for this weather, wouldn’t you say?” Phil answered. He blushed once the waiter had walked away. I noticed his fleeting discomfort before he buried it under another smile. Thomas scowled.

“Why did you say that, Phil? Did it suddenly get better seconds after you were saying how terrible it was? Hmm? That’s some trick this sangria pulled.” Thomas tended to harp on the inconsequential. It was his most endearing quality.

“I wasn’t about to tell him it was awful,” Phil countered as he shifted in his seat. “Let’s go for a walk, Brian.”

Phil and I left Thomas with half a pitcher of sangria. We walked past tall, dark sand dunes and rows of naked sun bathers; exotic shells and crabs stabbed our feet as we made our way toward an impressive rock formation, which I decided we should climb. From the topmost crag Phil mentioned that Marisa had been on his mind.

“She’s all I think about. I wish we weren’t such good friends; it’d be so much easier if we weren’t. It’s like you and Lucy. Wouldn’t that be weird if you guys were together?”

“Phil, if she’s all you think about, then tell her that. You are your thoughts. The Phil I am talking to right now is content except for the lack of Marisa in his life. By not expressing this Phil to the world, you are killing him. This is it, man. Two weeks and we all split up. Sangria and rocks are all good and fine, Phil, but take advantage of the moment. She’s yours if you want her. I guarantee you.”

“I can’t.”

Phil frustrated me. He realized what he wanted. He knew he could achieve it, but for once he did nothing.

I leapt to the sand below and he followed. The walk back to the chairs was quiet as we mulled the Marisa situation over. When we arrived Thomas solicited another walk from me. I could not deny Thomas what I had just granted Phil, despite my growing need for sleep.

Thomas was a technical type. He had precision. His stones skipped an exponentially greater number of times than mine did.

“Lucy has been acting strange around me since the dance,” Thomas stated while digging for another flat stone.

“How do you mean?” This was a curious statement though I could understand how Luce had given him this impression. Thomas was always around me, and Luce had been acting strangely around me.

“I think she likes me,” he said seconds after he skipped a piece of flint seventeen times.

“How do you feel about that? Are you into her too?” I did not think Thomas truly thought Luce felt that way. She had held his hand at the dance, a rare thrill for Thomas.

“It’s weird. I don’t know. Don’t say anything to her.”

* * *

The full moon illuminated the sand as deep shadows followed us to our chosen spot. I spread out our soft, cotton blanket as we plopped to the ground—not from a lack of energy but for the feeling of that cotton on our bare arms and legs.

“It’s sad to think I am going to forget this. These little moments or the way your eyebrows are shaped will be lost to me some day.” Luce touched my face without smiling as she said this.

“Well, ‘mad-cow’ will soon turn us all into ‘moosh-brains.’” The smile returned. Diseased meat had been plaguing Europe for some time, and most of us had eaten a good amount of it without realizing the danger of “bovine spongiform encephalopathy.”

“That’s not what I meant.” She laughed like a little kid—quickly and lightly. Because of her father’s assignments at US embassies, Luce spent her childhood frolicking in the forests of Africa and befriending the homeless of Tokyo. At the age of nineteen, she had attained more life experience than most do in a lifetime. She lacked one part of the human experience, though: Lucy had never coughed. If she had coughed, I am certain Luce would have attained enlightenment.

“Thomas thinks you like him.”

Her face reddened despite the pale moonlight. Before she spoke she turned to face me and the black ocean at my back.

“I’m going to tell Kelly tomorrow at the villa. I think you should tell Thomas.”

* * *

Later that night Thomas’s baking soda toothpaste felt dry and gritty in my mouth as I brushed it against my teeth. He brushed without stopping for a good ten minutes. I tried to keep the chalky substance in motion for an equal amount of time, but I failed.

“Are you sleeping in our room tonight, Brian?” He looked at me with eyes wide; he did not understand what he did to deserve my extended hiatus from our cozy twin bedroom.

“No, I’m staying out in the living room with Luce.”

“What? Again?” His eyes were tense with sharp, acute angles and parabolic eyebrows.

“Thomas, Luce and I are together now…”

“Wha…” The angles stretched and snapped as the parabolas sharpened and flattened. His face smoothed into curves and amorphous shapes as tears trespassed his parched skin. Those were shapes I had never seen on Thomas’s face. “I can’t talk right now….”

As he shut the door to his room, a heavy tear fell from my right eye and spattered on the hardwood floor. I lay down next to Luce and put my arms around her. I had no more tears for Thomas, but I worried about him. Why had he reacted so dramatically?

* * *

Three days later all thirty-seven of us were on a bus headed for the airport—to catch a plane headed for Belgium—to attend a graduation ceremony in our honor. Thomas had never brought up the incident in the bathroom.

“And then… after all that complaining he told the waiter it was the best sangria he had ever had!” exclaimed Thomas as he leaned into the aisle and told the story. Marisa laughed as she noted Phil’s embarrassment. He blushed bright red and kept his arms folded across his chest. I smiled as Thomas continued to fictionalize the story with swooping gesticulations and weird voices. He had his back to me. I smiled when I heard Lucy’s laugh from the front of the bus pierce through the droning conversations of my fellow classmates. Thomas inched closer to Marisa as the story grew taller. I pulled my visor down across my eyes and smiled as I fell asleep.