A Doc Marten boot and a Birkenstock sandal side by side with some spring flowers. Illustration by Míceal Munroe-Allsup.

LC Molting Ceremony Welcomes Springtime

The Backdoor is a work of fiction and humor.

THE FIRST RAYS of the spring sun peeked over Palatine Hill last Saturday. S.A.D. therapy lamps that once presided over the dark dorm rooms dimmed their light in reverence. Heaters wheezed out their last winter huffs. Bright flowers broke through the once-frozen ground like a severe case of adult acne.

As per custom, a lone bagpiper stood on the Memorial Glade and sounded a mournful cry. The drone of bagpipes alerted the entire campus that it was time for the annual Lewis & Clark Spring Molting Ceremony.

Individuals who stepped onto the grass immediately abandoned their footwear in favor of bare feet and the accompanying earthy brown tinge — referred to by many as BioCouture. In fact, Campus Safety has launched its annual “Lost and Found Doc Martens and Columbia hiking boots” giveaway. Disclaimer: this event is not sponsored by the Backdoor.

Professors, determined to maintain focus this semester, reveled in the opportunity to take their lectures into the great outdoors. E&D classes formed ritual circles and chanted ancient neoliberal text:

We pledge complacency, inaction, and constant fears of real-world evils. May the thoughts and prayers from the iCloud rise unto the heavens. Guilt, on guilt, on guilt.

Sallow seniors tore themselves away from their menthol cigs and hopelessly incomplete theses. Dwellers of Forest Hall strung up their hammocks. Legend says that if you listen carefully in the still of night, you can hear the hammockers stirring, nubile butterflies ready to emerge from their cocoons.

All the gentlefolk of Lewis and Clark — athletes and artists, bio-chem majors and ethnic studies minors — gathered before the American flag for the Annual Reflecting Pool Séance. Under the watchful eye of Mama Mt. Hood, the students looked into the shallow waters and exorcised their winter demons.

Primavera Papillon ’19 passionately proclaimed the joys of the molting ceremony.

“A pivotal point in the year, stands before us,” Papillon said. “We shed not just our Patagonia jackets and worn footwear. We shed our past romantic endeavors. We shave limbs that hath dwelt in darkness for months. We temper our teachers’ ascending academic expectations. When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d, and the great star early droop’d in the Pacific Northwestern sky, we vaped and yet shall vape with ever-returning spring.”

The ceremony does have some occult roots. Anonymous sources have informed us that PubCom has an annual secret meeting. They congregate with student witches in the Templeton basement. It takes one Yerba Mate leaf reading, a single Birkenstock and half a squirrel sacrifice to summon the springtime sun. Filming equipment is dug out of secret rooms in McAfee, just in time to take brochure pictures. These pictures will be used for ages to come. Prospective students are invited to gaze upon the clear skies, lush fields and relative mental stability of the students.

“Dude, the ceremony sucks,” Basant Singh ’21 said. “Hedonism? Couples copulating? Dandelion blowing? Crystal showcasing? Who cares!  Why is there a ritual of putting MacBooks dangerously close to Ultimate Frisbee circles? Worst of all, no one is talking about the real problems. 0.001 percent of students overdose on allergy meds every year during the molting ceremony.

#pollenpiopower, #sneezersarepeopletoo, #makeLCgreyagain.”

Well, at least our enrolled students might finally get the aesthetic experience that had been falsely advertised to them.

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