On Saturday, April 17, the HRG&SP hosted an event for admitted Harvard students. During the second (and hopefully final) virtual Visitas, several young people came to hang out in a Zoom call with a few of us older and more experienced G&S hands.
I did not go to my own Visitas four years ago, but I have participated in a couple as an organizational leader. In the pre-pandemic system, we had to shout intriguing slogans to passing strangers in order to encourage them to stop at our table and sign up to receive information about our organization. It was a loud, rambunctious, chaotic, and often unsuccessful technique. However, we would get some gems to stop by and write down their name and email address. One of those gems was our very own Clarissa Briasco-Stewart. She is now the Secretary of the HRG&SP and an accomplished cellist, lighting designer, and producer for our little theater troupe. I thank the heavens above that she decided to stop by our table after we, to the consternation of our neighbors, broke out into a rousing rendition of “With Cat-Like Tread.” I hope that the several people on our Visitas Zoom call today turn out to be such beloved and valuable community members as Clarissa.
On that Saturday, we sat in a Zoom room, fumbled with screen sharing, and showed these newly admitted students the trailer (soon to be released to you fine people) for our Spring production, Cox and Box. Then we took some of their questions.
There is one thing to be said about the Zoom call format. It allows us to speak to and get to know those who stop by a little better than we would have if we just snatched them out of line at the activities fair in the SOCH during normal Visitas. We had an accomplished and enthusiastic number of attendees who brightened my day and lightened my heart. I got to learn a little bit about them, and the little I learned impressed me.
I say to you, dear reader and community member, that it was amazing to meet these prefrosh (the affectionate term for people who are not yet first-years). Their energy, excitement, and curiosity was wonderful to see. As a senior on his way out, it did my heart good to see a bunch of people just starting off on the journey I am about to end.
Therefore, I offer them a toast.
To the prefrosh!
May they make the right choice and choose Harvard; become involved in a reasonable but not excessive number of rewarding extra-curricular activities (like the HRG&SP); bring fresh ideas, fresh energy, and fresh faces into our ranks; participate in old traditions and make new ones of their own; make close friends; eat good chocolate mousse; drink fruity drinks; and savor each passing moment of the next four years.
If these promising newbies join our organization, I know that the HRG&SP will be in safe hands. That’s the best one can hope for as one departs.