Gretchen Kellough, Willard Residential College assistant master, was less than enthusiastic about the Residential College Board Field Day on Saturday.
“I got dragged into going,” she said. Behind her was a shopping cart, decorated with plastic rainbow Hawaiian grass and paper fish, in which she would soon ride around the lakefill.
“I’ve heard some horror stories,” she said of the Master’s Mile, an event in which teams race to push their masters and assistant masters in shopping carts as fast as they can around the lakefill. Last year Willard’s cart hit a pothole, she said.
“Master [Gary] Morson said he almost landed in the lake,” Kellough said, “although that might have been an exaggeration.”
The Master’s Mile was one of many events at the RCB Field Day. Under the warm sunlight, residential college residents socialized with faculty members, participating in games like a hula hoop contest, tug-of-war and a pie-eating contest.
The rubbery donk of shoe against ball rang out as a kickball tournament took place on the lawn outside of Norris. Josie Menkin, a Weinberg sophomore in Willard, cheered on her friends and discussed the upcoming Master’s Mile.
“It’s a really long way around the lakefill,” said Menkin, who helped push Willard’s cart last year. “I’d recommend tag-teaming it.”
By the lake, Communication freshman Dan Wilson sat on top of Jones Residential College’s cart, which looked like a wooden chair. Some of Jones’ engineering students attached wood panels to their shopping cart “so we could have a throne for our master to sit on,” said Wilson, Jones’ artistic director.
Wilson said he wished that more people had attended the event, but he was excited nonetheless, particularly about a giant inflatable obstacle course.
“I’ve done it twice already,” he said.
Across the grass, people slid down the enormous slide at the end of the course, shrieking with joy.
“It’s spring, and [the event] gives people a chance to come out and socialize with other residential colleges and with their own,” said Weinberg sohpmore Rita Biagioli, the RCB vice president for social affairs. Residential college residents could also interact with masters and faculty fellows and their families.
Some small children ran around the grass. To the dull thud of bass from the DJ, a couple of kids struggled to slam into each other with inflatable sticks twice their size.
Menkin said last year, she and her friends competed against some children on the inflatable obstacle course.
“Except it was embarrassing because they were so much better than us!” she said, laughing.
As the festivities started to wind down, it turned out that Kellough didn’t win the Master’s Mile – CCI came in first – but she made good time, just short of 4 minutes. And the experience wasn’t at all emotionally or physically scarring.
“It was fun,” she said good-naturedly. “It’s my new preferred method of transportation.”