MEMOIR:

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
Roxbury
The Soup Game

FALL 2002:

All the Hearts
Footsteps

SUMMER 2002:

Being Family

SPRING 2002:

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

FALL 2001:

The Anti-Valentine's Girls
Play

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

FILM REVIEWS:

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

FEATURES & PROFILES:

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?

READINGS:

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
Luxembourg
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
Yaglafant

ESSAYS:

FALL 2002:

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

PROPOSALS:

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

CONTEST WINNERS:

SPRING: 2007

Riches to Rags... to Riches
Man of the House
A 'Special Education' Defined

SPRING: 2006

#71952
For Never Was There a Story of More Woe, than This of Mr. Thomas A. Marcello
Pei-yeh Tsai finds harmony in opposites at the keyboard

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

COFFEE HOUSE READINGS:

FALL 2004:

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

SPRING 2002:

Death and Board Games
Luxembourg
Resurrection of a Ghost
The Tool Man

FALL 2001:

Bits of Daylight
Leona's House
Nonfiction Story
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
Yaglafant

ESSAYS:

FALL 2002:

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

THE BIG BOYS

BY JULIA BAINBRIDGE

In the summer of 1990 I was seven, George, thirteen; Garrett, twelve; and Clayton, ten. They were all double-digits and I was just the little sister.

“Now Julia,” said George, “Clayton and I are going to hide in the playhouse, so when Garrett and his friends come along, don’t say a word. OK?” In our enormous back yard, with its steep sledding hill, majestic weeping willow trees that sprouted pink cherry blossoms in the spring, and my mother’s fragrant herb garden, the boys played games like tag and war, which “little girls can’t play.”

“Yeah, sure,” I said with a cool ease. I yearned to join their trio and endlessly tried to prove that I could play a part. The information that George gave me was to be yet another test.

I stood in the middle of the yard in my pink and white striped sundress, looking around and waiting for something or someone to involve me. Soon enough, my brother Garrett came along with his friend Jed from a few houses down Ridgewood Road. Garrett’s pale skin and head full of fluffy, golden curls, and Jed’s thick, wavy, dark hair and olive skin made them quite the pair. Their only similarities this afternoon were the black paint smeared underneath their eyes and the red bandanas tied around their puny pre-pubescent biceps.

Lightly treading upon the ground so as not to make their whereabouts obvious to their enemies, they sneaked up to me and pulled me underneath the steps of the back porch. “Hey, Jules,” whispered my middle brother, “you would happen to know where the blue team went, would you?”

“Oh, no. No for sure. What is the blue team?” Holding my blanket in one hand while sucking on that hand’s thumb, I caressed the fringes of the blanket with the other hand. I “worked my night-night,” my dad used to call it. Unlike my usual confident strokes, my right hand trembled as it moved from bottom to top and squeezed the pieces of soft worm fabric between my fingers.

“Julia-a-a-a, I think you know something. The blue team always wins; it’s not fair,” Garrett gave me a puppy look and crossed his arms over his chest. He knew just how to get me. If I told them a little something, then both teams would be happy with me. Garrett and Jed would have a bit more information, and George and Clayton would not lose their cover completely. Good plan.

“Well, they’re not in the playhouse,” I said, nodding with satisfaction. How clever of me. Now that the red team thought they knew something, they would never look in the playhouse, so the blue team was safe. My big baby-blue eyes bore right into them with my confidence. They looked at each other, smirked, and ran off in the direction of the playhouse. Why would they do that? I told them the blue team was not in there. I ran after then yelling, “No, guys! I said they are NOT in the playhouse!”

Garrett swung open the little wooden door with Jed behind him and me behind Jed. “Pow! Pow!” they made fake gun noises with their mouths. They ran away high-fiving each other for their success and giggling about their tricky war tactics. I was left to face the blue team. George and Clayton simply sat in the playhouse, glaring at me still in the doorway. They didn’t need to say anything; once again I proved myself unworthy of their games.

I ran away, up the back steps, and into the kitchen where my mother was cooking dinner. Inside, I was safe from my brothers’ ridicule. They began another game, and I sliced and diced while watching them zoom around the yard through the back kitchen window. The tears in my eyes were not triggered by the onion fumes only; my baby blues eventually turned red.

Two weeks later, Mom and Dad employed George to watch the rest of us while they enjoyed an evening out. Really, this meant that the big boys would have their fun together and I would play with Barbies and Mom’s endless assortment of Clinique products by myself.

As I smeared on the reddest lipstick I could find, George knocked on the door of Mom’s dressing room, startling me. “If you wanna watch a movie, we are going to put in Animal House. You just can’t tell Mom and Dad; this is R-rated,” he said. After those few nonchalant words he went back to the “green room” where the other boys waited anxiously for him to start the naughty movie. For three minutes I sat frozen on Mom’s dresser stool, with lipstick in hand and mouth one quarter painted, still staring at the spot where George has just stood. Coming to my senses, I vigorously rubbed the red off my lips and ran over to the “green room.”

Right before the door, I stopped, and walked in as if I had taken my time down the hallway. I spotted a chair, slowly walked over to it, and plopped down. Garrett and Clayton turned their heads around from the screen and looked at me as if there was something wrong with the situation, and that thing was my presence. I focused straight on the screen, although it displayed nothing but black and white fuzz.

“Remember, Jules, don’t tell Mom and Dad or it’s my ass.” George’s warning reinforced Garrett and Clayton’s glares, which bore into me even deeper than before. I shook my head in understanding, still staring at the fuzz.

George’s finger pressed play, and suddenly the screen was filled with images and sounds that I had never heard before. Bluto, Pinto, and the other frat guys from Animal House drank beer, swore, and played tricks on their dean. They stole girls’ underwear and crashed their university’s parade. When it was all over, the boys ran around the house playing hide-and-go-seek, and I went into my room and shut the door. I sat on my bed with a huge smile on my face, elated that my brothers let me in on this little secret.

I heard Mom and Dad walk in the front door and I ran down to them, almost tripping over the front steps because of my high speed. I jumped up into Dad’s arms and Mom asked, “So, how was your night? Where are the boys?”

“Well, I played with my Barbies and the boys let me watch Animal House.” As soon as I saw the look on my parents’ faces, I registered the words that had just come out of my mouth. My excitement let George’s secret slip out, and he would be grounded for my mistake. He didn’t talk to me for three weeks.

The painful silence was broken when one Saturday in September, my best friend, Meredith, came over to spend the night. Meredith and I were inseparable; we were either at the Forbes or the Bainbridge household every weekend.

Sunday morning, Mom cooked us bacon, eggs, and toast with marmalade. The smell awoke Clayton and lured him to the kitchen. We stuffed ourselves and then the three of us went up to the “green room” to lounge around (we couldn’t do much else with our full tummies). Meredith had a crush on my brother, and they flirted ever since I first brought her to our house. That Sunday morning she decided to put his hair in little pigtails all over his head. “Come on, Clayton, it will be fun. Let me play with your beautiful blond hair,” she begged with a wink.

“Oh, OK.” He acted as if it were a burden to have Meredith play with him. HE would have never let me do something like that alone, but since it was her idea, he conceded. I retrieved the assorted multi-colored pack of Goody sparkle hair ties from my bathroom, and Meredith and I went to work.

Clayton’s hair was so soft and thin, it took a long time to “style” his whole head. After about an hour, we completed our task. Meredith tied a big, pink bow around one of the pigtails in the middle of his head as the finishing touch. “And…there! Like the angel on a Christmas tree!” she exclaimed.

At that moment, George and Garrett walked by. They could not help making fun of Clayton’s porcupine-esque hairstyle. Garrett pointed his finger and yelled, “You look like a girl!” as George pulled on each tiny pigtail. Clayton didn’t really mind; he laughed along with everyone else.

“Jules, did you do this?” asked George. Meredith looked at me; her kind eyes told me that it was okay to take the credit.

“Yeah,” I said. “Meredith helped, too.”

“He looks like, I don’t know what! Just so ridiculous!” George could not stop laughing. For the first time in a month, not only did he talk to me, but he laughed at my joke.

The next weekend I was out in the back yard, in my pink and white striped sundress, playing tag with the boys.

Freshman year of college, I received a B on every paper for my core humanities class. Professor Eckel returned my papers to me with hardly any red marks on them, except for that big, fat B. I tried changing the way I set up my thesis, the kinds of quotes I used, my conclusions, and my overall style, but each effort ended in a B.

After many failed attempts at a better grade, I wrote my final essay a week in advance and worked on polishing it with one of the editors at the core writing center. A week later, Eckel returned the paper to me. I skipped over the comments throughout the paper, and flipped immediately to the fifth page. The white space between my conclusion and the list of works cited was marked with one red letter – an A.

When I got back to my dorm, I called George in Baltimore to brag about my accomplishment. “An A, Jules? Good work,” he said.