Sunday, August 8, 2010

Let's Get Silly

By Frances Richburg (Bronx, NY)

Silly bands are a physical representation of the band of silly students and counselors the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program has essentially “banded” together.

Somewhat of an East Coast phenomenon, silly bands are the ridiculously colorful bands you can catch people wearing on their wrists. Don’t be fooled, however, because these seemingly ordinary rubber bands transform into various objects, animals, characters, and who knows what else.

The East Coast students have successfully allowed the West Coast students to obtain a part of the East Coast flavor by introducing them to the ever popular silly bands. Counselor Ben Crair purchased a ton of silly bands and now everyone has several colorful bands on their wrists. Sometimes they coincidentally match someone’s outfit, and sometimes they just add a splash of life to the moment.

They have allowed the students to get closer to one another, and closer to the counselors. These items have sparked the interest of those unfamiliar with them and have reignited the interest of those who have long had them.

Their physical meaning is undermined by their emotional meaning. When people take them from you and never give them back, the silly band they have of yours will always remain yours and maybe when they look at it, they’ll think of you or they’ll think of what happened the moment they took it from you. Or, when people trade silly bands with one another, they’ll remember the person they traded silly bands with and the time and place they did so. They also spark furious debate over which ones are the nicest and who has what.

Such a simple entity has become quite the conversational piece amongst those who are meeting one another for the first time. I remember the first time I spoke to someone from California, I asked them if they knew what silly bands are, and when they said no, I instantly knew it had to be an East Coast thing which would eventually allow the entire group of students to form closer bonds, or bands.

Our silly bands embody the relationships we have built and the difficulty we will have in DIS-banding.

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