OLIN LIBRARY—Panic ensued among patrons of Libe Cafe as what started off as a wimpy high-pitched whine grew into a deafening whistle, its shrill sound piercing ears and shattering phone screens. Searching for a means of sequestering the shrieking, workers rushed to unplug their appliances and knock over anything that might produce such an intense trill.
The workers’ efforts were rewarded with respite as the ringing in their ears receded and the discomforting sound softened. Believing danger to have abated, students stood pondering the source of the disturbance. Realization dawned on the crowd as it recognized the sound starting up again from a dark corner of the cafe, not from a malfunctioning machine but from a frenzied freshman.
Trent Marco ‘27 sat alone at a table, fists clenched and pounding his temples. As a screaming Marco grappled with the harsh reality of his eighteen credit schedule and five consulting club applications, his face flushed fiery red and steam began streaming from his ears and nose.
A self-proclaimed “academic weapon,” Marco spent the first two months of the semester getting settled with the belief that when the going got tough, he’d turn on the gas and conquer any academic adversity. Instead, as prelim season began, Marco developed the habit of generating more steam than a hydrogen combustion engine and expelling it in moments of high stress.
“I can’t help it,” Marco explained, “I tried keeping a lid on it, but if I plug my nose, then the ear steam doubles. And if I plug those too… God, that was terrible…”
Cafe customers had little empathy for the frustrated freshman, going as far as to boo him until he took his whining outside. Marco was observed fleeing across the Arts Quad soon after, the steam from his head condensing into a cloud and raining down on just him.