January 29, 2013
I do not generally consider myself a socialite or “the life of the party” among my peers. I am often quiet and reserved in large social occasions; I am truly best at being an individual. But on the Hill, I have been taken into a larger circle of fiercely loyal friends. It is rare to find a group of people whose presence is almost instantly gratifying.
I have a few friends from high school who are so valued, but they are a small handful and spread across the country. At Hamilton, I have happily added a few new faces to the ranks. The cross country and track teams comprise most of my social interaction. We form a group of kindred spirits.
This notion of inclusion, of kinship, struck me this past weekend while on a run. I saw a pair of runners coming the other way. One of these two was our XC captain Hashem Zikry ’13. He called loudly, “Pfander-Bender!”—my nickname among Hamilton’s runners.
Zikry is perhaps the ring-leader of our bad of runners. He organizes team dinners of wings and pizza. He honors those athletes who ran particularly impressive races with a coveted “runner of the week” title. In the beginning of the year, when all first-years were incredibly awkward and quiet – unsure of our social standing – he broke many barriers; he reassured us that first-year runners stood on equal ground within the team.
Zikry has also commented that our class remains incredibly close—that we are almost a fraternity of running nerds.
I would like to think so. We eat dinner together constantly. We go to movies together. I even discovered that one of my fellow first-years on the team, Evan Abelson, reads these blog-posts as a way to avoid school work.
People are loyal to one another on the Hill—my story is just one among many. I was struck when I first came to college how open and friendly people were. Students love Hamilton because it is a place where they are unconditionally accepted.
Majors: Government and Economics (intended)
Activities: Cross Country, Debate Society
Favorite Pastimes: Late-night Diner breakfast, reading the paper in KJ through the morning, wandering the Root Glen and sipping a latte from Cafe Opus.
Hometown: Newfane, Vt.
High School: Concord Academy