Reports filed to Campus Police of paper, markers and games disappearing from the Spontaneous Moments in the Lives of Everyday Students (S.M.i.L.E.S) area in the Clapp Library were all resolved Tuesday, when Officer Carl Carlyle discovered them embedded in the foundation of a student’s thesis fort on the ground floor.
Economics major Ronnie Rahn ’15 has reportedly spent the last eight months building a fort around her thesis carrel. Composed of stale pillows from library couches, layers of blue and yellow banner paper and the occasional stolen board game for architectural posterity, the tent-shaped fort has been growing throughout the school year. Its most recent addition is an exterior of a chain of locker locks stolen from the Dana Hall School.
Rahn currently refuses to let anyone inside. Anonymous sources report that earlier in the month, she occasionally allowed friends to enter to give her coffee, but only after answering a series of enigmatic riddles that hinted at signs of slow mental deterioration, such as the question, “If they demand, what do I supply?” with the answer being “My soul.” According to the anonymous sources, Rahn has decorated the interior of her carrel fort with tapestries and little travel gnomes that supposedly represent “a free life that I shall never lead.” Her abode additionally contains five thermoses of perpetually full coffee. When asked via email how she managed to keep up her caffeine stream and how she keeps up with classes, she responded with “sdfjhjsjkdsfiHAVEedfMYskjfdWAYSSdkfdslkdljs.”
Nobody seems to have any answers on the other details of her life. It is speculated that she does go to class, and many of the library staff have reported strained encounters with her close to closing time.
“She hears me coming to kick people out and almost comes at me in a stupor with a balloon sword, mumbling, ‘I can… no, I can’t… I can?’ This happens every time,” reports student library worker Beatrice Beattie ’17. “I usually tell her that she can. I don’t know what she can or can’t do, but I tell her anyway. Then I give her a hug and walk her out of the library.”
Multiple sources that have walked past her carrel report hearing a faint muttering of, “Do not enter… Must defend. Professors attacking… Must defend.” Closer to 1 a.m. or 2 a.m., students and staff alike have heard her softly singing the “March of the Defenders of Moscow.”
“Yeah, I had to look it up after the fourteenth time because I couldn’t believe it,” Beattie, a political science and Russian double major, said. “That fort, as impressive as it is, it is not soundproof.”
A former friend and colleague of Rahn’s, psychology major and econ minor Leigh Leely ’15, explains her behavior is the result of pressure. “She’s convinced herself that this fort is the proof that everything she’s done in her time at Wellesley is worth it. I guess you might say this is the physical manifestation of the impostor syndrome.”
“It is quite literally a defense mechanism,” her major advisor, economics professor Tim Tinn added with a sigh.
According to Tinn, her defense is Thursday. “She chose everyone on her committee and sent them all balloon swords with handwritten letters saying, ‘You are to attack my fort at 9 a.m., and I WILL DEFEND IT. I have prepared the most and you… will…’ and something illegible,” Tinn explained. “I never thought I’d say this, but she might need to give herself a break.”
At press time, Rahn was found refusing to let in the Wellesley S.M.i.L.E.S team, who had lined up outside her fort in the middle of day, offering hugs and chocolate.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons