This post is a student contribution from Claudia Moser’s class ARCH 1764: 25 Things! 250 Years of Brown’s Material Pastlangberg langberg2

I went to the cake and firework ceremony Friday night, and it was a lot of fun!  My friends and I arrived just before 6:30 and at first we were waiting just outside of Sayles, hoping to meet up with a few other people.  We couldn’t see or hear from there, so after a few minutes we decided to make our way closer to Faunce.  The main green was incredibly muddy and icy, but we managed to make our way through the crowd in order to be close enough where we could at least see the stage.  The cake looked amazing, and President Paxon was talking about something that we couldn’t understand.  Surprisingly, we found a few other friends and all huddled together for warmth.  By this point, a few students were up on stage speaking.  We couldn’t really tell wheat they were saying, but every now and then one of them would get really loud and emotional.  I thought they were trying to get the crowd riled up and excited about something, but apparently it was spoken-word poetry.  I really wish we could have heard them better, because I’ve been to poetry slams at Brown before and everyone there was super talented!  Sadly, I couldn’t hear anything from where I was so my friends and I just watched the people dancing in the windows of Faunce and joked about how cold it was.  Finally, the band started playing and Paxon cut the cake.  My group of friends burst out into “Happy Birthday,” but it didn’t catch on with the rest of the crowd.  Then it was time for fireworks!  That display was amazing.  The colors were great and there was a nice variety of style.  The giant 250 on the side of University Hall was super cool, and it was hilarious to see all the phones and cameras immediately go up over people’s heads to get pictures.  Most people dispersed pretty quickly after the finale, but two of my roommates and I decided we needed cake.  Again, we worked our way through the crowd toward the stage.  A few scattered people around us were holding plates of red velvet cake and it looked delicious.  We also hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so we were determined to succeed in our adventure.  And it was such an adventure.  Every time one of the waiters came down off the stage with another tray of servings, the crowd would cheer and wave to get them to bring the cake to their section.  It was clear the caterers were having a great time watching us push and scramble for a tiny piece of mass-produced cake.  At one point, one of my roommates tried to give up.  She declared that it wasn’t worth the wait and she was going to leave.  She turned around and saw a wall of hungry students behind her with absolutely no path to the back of the crowd.  My roommate and I started laughing because we knew she was stuck with us.  After about thirty or forty minutes we got to the front and grabbed some cake.  Getting out of the crowd was fun, because we had to convince people to make a path while trying not to drop the cake, the fork, or the entire plate.  We enjoyed our victory on the steps of Sayles.  It was surprisingly tasty for what it was!  As we finished up we noticed Bruno taking pictures with students, and we realized none of us had ever gotten pictures with him.  Naturally, this was the perfect opportunity.  We threw out our plates and forks and entered yet another crowd of excited students waiting to get a picture.  Luckily, we didn’t have to wait too long for our turn.  As we left the main green, we discussed how strange it is to be seniors at such an old school.  We also talked about how lucky we are that during our time at Brown we got to experience both the changing of the presidency and a milestone birthday.  All around it was a great event!