Taylor and tradition both start with the letter T for a reason. From the odd game of watermelon tag known as Melon and Gourd to the ESPN-featured basketball game christened "Silent Night," we have more tradition than a "Fiddler on the Roof" performance.
When entering any hall on campus, one cannot escape the crazy customs from the school in the middle of a cornfield. The following offers a taste of traditions freshmen will experience in their living spaces:
According to senior Rachel Pfeiffer, her favorite Bergwall Hall tradition literally breaks the ice. The third floor pick-a-date, a sort of hall-wide group date, visits an ice rink in Fort Wayne. Similar to a blind date, the other members of the floor choose the prospective plus-one for each girl.
"Trust the upperclassmen and participate," Pfeiffer advises. "We promise we'll get a great date."
Breuninger, nicknamed "Breu," features an open house which bleeds red, white and blue months after the Fourth of July.
Every hall features various open houses in which students spruce up the floor based on a theme, but this particular patriotic party has earned full marks for its decorations and originality in years past.
Junior Lizzy Doty has mentioned one decoration which stood out to her the most last year: a world map where participants signed their names by where they came from. "I loved looking at it after (the open house finished) to see the different states, cities, and even countries represented at Taylor!" Doty says.
On select Saturdays, senior Jaylin Gadel, along with several of English Hall's 200-some members, pack the lobby in pajamas with steaming cups of tea in one hand and a plate of pancakes in the other.
English Breakfast Tea offers a time to connect with English residents and a chance to hear Hall Director Julia Hurlow discuss topics such as transition. Gadel encourages freshmen to take up any chance to glean advice from Hurlow's personal experiences, which are reflected in these talks.
"The final exams are coming!"
The Paul Revere-like proclamation could send students racing for the library to study and cram a semester's worth of notes. But the statement also brings out a tradition known as Java Haus, a hall-wide talent show packed in Gerig's lobby.
Ranging from trivial to talented, senior Cameron Eckman says previous years' talent shows have included acts such as slam poetry, relay races, whistling and Jimmy Fallon thank-you notes.
Food fights never end in middle school, at least, not for Third Center Olson (3CO).
On a tarp outside the hall, the wing-mates fling spaghetti and sauce at each other. Sophomore Mallory Tyree advises not to expect anything when heading into the pasta battle: "There might be literally a cup of pasta." However, she does assert how much fun her floor has with the tradition.
The traveling dance party known as "Swallow Robin Open House" belongs to the second floor of this hall. Junior Chris Arpin says this impromptu music party ventures from dorm to dorm, slowly gathering students, until they reach the Swallow Robin lobby. For Sammy and non-Sammy students alike, Arpin says, "Jump in, and just have fun."
Two months into the school year, this small hall at the edge of campus transforms into what sophomore Ben Bethel calls "a fully functioning Halloween experience" known as Swalloween.
Last year, Swalloween garnered itself in dead leaves, cobwebs and spooky music tracks, with each floor exhibiting a different theme, including the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
That was all the advice sophomore Steven Mantel could give for Third Center's running of the bulls tradition. For this event, members of the wing adorn themselves with white shirts and mustaches and sprint through each hall away from "raging (inflatable) bulls." Music often accompanies this stampede through nearly every dorm at Taylor.