Students, Clocks Become One During 48 Hours
NEWPORT, RI — Nestled among the scenic shops and mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, freshmen and senior mentors recently spent 48 Hours becoming one with the passage of time. The two-day retreat opened with the first hour, reported students. Then the next few hours passed. Students noted they initially felt lost and confused with the entire concept of time, sometimes counting a minute as 59 or 61 seconds. However, under the rhythmic guidance of their leaders, students began to identify more closely with the age-old construct of time.
Leader Ben London, CSOM ‘16, told the story of when his hammer spring came into conflict with his intermediate wheel for the first time his freshman year: “It felt as though my click screw had been jammed,” he confessed, leaking tears of oil and adjusting his gears. “But it’s all thanks to my strong hammer pins and intelligent design that I can keep accurate time today.”
On the morning of the second day, students commented after breakfast that their hearts had begun to beat at a rate of 60 beats per minute—or exactly one beat per second. With their inner machinations entirely in sync, the morning’s large group countdown went smoother than usual.
The morning’s first talk, which focused on lubricating your canon’s pinion, touched student Rose Quartz, MCAS ‘19, on a deep level. “I never had these problems in high school,” she confessed, “but here, it just feels like I am the only one whose rack hook is out of balance.” After sharing with her group, she began to feel more like a cog in the larger machine, embracing her analog destiny and openly sharing her mechanical problems with other human-clock hybrids that she might never talk to again.
During quiet reflection time the final night, students laid in a circle on the large wooden floor. They rotated slowly around a center pivot, reflecting the passage of time at a standard rate determined by the transition between two electron spin energy levels of the ground state of the Cesium-133 atom. “Tick, tick, tick,” said Quartz, when asked about her overall experience on the retreat, “tick, tick, tick, tick, tick tick.”
At press time, these students were physically and mentally changed by 48 Hours, and First Year Experience was looking to capitalize on this metamorphosis in their next promotional video.