While thinking about Dickinson literacy I began to realize that learning to communicate with Dickinsonians is similar to learning a foreign language. For there is quite a wide range of words and historical facts that we are all required to learn in order to be Dickinson literate.
For starters there is the absurd range of colloquialisms which we all know as Dickinson students. At d’son, or simply the d, when we go to lunch with our friends from dawi or kw we meet them at the cushies before going to the Snar, the Quarry, or if we feel like braving the caf, the kove. When it’s time to study we go to the lib where we spend hours in the stacks only to emerge for brief breaks at the biblio. If you live in the Quads and want to meet your friends who live around Morgan Field you have to walk down dwalk to meet them on Britton. But the most crucial thing is to know what flag you’re sitting under in the caf, whether your meeting friends for brunch or going on a caf date and if your friends are low on points be polite, flex them in. To any non-Dickinson student, this last paragraph would be nothing but pure gibberish. However, as Dickinsonians we have gradually learned this complex language and have become, at least partially, Dickinson literate.
Not only are we required to learn this new language but we must also memorize a wide range of facts about Dickinson. We all must know who Benjamin Rush is, how he dreamed of Dickinsonians being ideal citizens, and how it was him, NOT John Dickinson, who founded this school and gave it its sacred mission. Just yesterday a faculty member was talking to a community service group which I participate in and made the grave mistake of saying that John Dickinson founded Dickinson. As Dickinsonians we are all required to know that this is pure blasphemy and can’t be allowed to stand. The speaker quickly apologized and begged for us not to tell the almighty Durden of this grave error.
To be a true Dickinsonian, we must be fluent in all the Dickinson lingo and be properly versed in Dickinson history. However if you do not know who the almighty Durden is, or haven’t seen his beautiful bow ties, then may god have mercy on your soul.