By David Robin
April 20, 2008 was not a normal day at Stony Brook. The weather was very nice, it was sunny all day, and there was no class on 4/21 due to Passover. It was so amazing outside that people were making jokes about how they were thanking the Jews for canceling Monday classes the next day. It wasn’t just the weather though. If anyone reading this is confused already, then you probably should stop reading because you will not understand the point of this article. However, if you are nodding your head in agreement right now, the significance of the day does not need to be explained. No, it’s not because it was that famous German dictator’s birthday. It wasn’t because two trench coat wearing outcasts decided that it would be cool to shoot up their school. Any other guesses? Yeah? That paper didn’t taste as bitter as I thought it would.
Ten of my friends and I fully celebrated 4/20, especially because we were able to rest the next day. We started at 10AM and ended up going to sleep at 7AM! We celebrated 4/20 from the second we woke up until 21 insane hours later. No birthday party lasts that long. No bar mitzvah lasts longer than four or five hours. No wedding is held in a room that smells like Glade Air Infusions, Spring Scent. This was not a typical celebration at all.
The first few hours were the worst part of our celebration. Our stomachs were hurting and people were puking. If we had coin operated toilet stalls in my suite, people would have needed change because there was heavy usage of our suite bathroom. The reason was definitely not that we ate spoiled birthday cake. Within two hours, nobody was thinking about their stomachs.
Once the celebration began, we ended up outside because the weather was ridiculously springlike. We walked to the bench outside our building before walking down the path that leads through the forest to West, known affectionately as the rape path. The forest never looked as amazing as it did on that Sunday afternoon. On the way back to our room, which took much longer than usual, we met five people sitting on the bench. They were eating pizza, with more toppings than usual, and our friend completely ruined their meal by knocking over one of their red Rockstars. They weren’t offended.
All day, we passed around a sombrero and at one point, one of our friends went outside shirtless, holding water guns and wearing it. Someone that we don’t know in Sanger is going to read this and know exactly who I am talking about. We also had an awesome water gun fight in our common room, which was cool, except for when everything in our suite was soaked with water. 4/20 experiences lead to definite logic flaws.
We ended up sitting on the grass outside of Sanger, just talking and enjoying the day. People criticize Stony Brook all the time, but the campus is really nice in the Spring. We ended up back inside for a short time and continued to celebrate the meaning of 4/20. After a few more hours, we decided to go feed some geese. This really sounds like a codeword for something illegal, but we actually went to Roth Pond and fed them with geese feed. The geese were so excited because it was probably the most they had eaten in a long time. The fish and turtles in the pond also stole some of the food. The birds were flying around frantically and looked very jealous. It meant something because in our fast paced society of computers and Blackberrys, 11 college students can get together, help out the environment, and have fun doing it. Nobody was thinking about their Facebook or their fantasy baseball teams. Others were also enjoying the day at Roth and definitely noticed what we were doing. It was one of the best parts of the afternoon.
After a few more hours of having fun, we decided to go to the Bamboo Forest. If anyone on campus has not seen the Bamboo Forest, they should go visit it because it is one of the hidden treasures of Stony Brook. We walked through the woods to reach the Bamboo Forest and once we were there, we walked into the darkness, not sure of what we would see next. We ventured into the center of the bamboo forest before lying down and throwing glowsticks. They began to get stuck on the leaves on the branches above us and soon we had all of the glowsticks hanging from the branches. It was almost like the Bamboo Forest was decorated for a Christmas rave.
We travelled farther into the forest and sat down at a spot that we did not realize was only fifteen feet from the LIRR train tracks. We were sitting for only a few minutes when we heard a honk and saw a whole section of the forest become bright from the lights of the train. We then watched as the train crossed, in an amazing spectacle that has to be seen to be believed.
Afterwards, we walked back to my room and just sat around and talked for the rest of the night. It was one of the best days I have ever had at Stony Brook University. We all had midterms and nine page papers coming up. Finals were approaching, and we would all be in class on Tuesday, thinking about all of the work that we had to do. Meanwhile, the United States is falling into a recession, there is a tight democratic election race, and the War in Iraq continues. There is so much to be stressed out about as a Stony Brook student in 2008, but for one day, we sat around and didn’t think about anything stressful. We thought about how nice Stony Brook looked, about how we had so many awesome friends, and how college really is the best four years of your life. We were eleven people with eleven sets of problems, but we were able to relax and have fun. 4/20 led to the creation of bruises, cuts, and memories.