The Winston Room carries many student stories.
If the Winston Room could talk, it might tell you that the few stains on the carpet are not from clumsy students, or, at least, not students who planned to stain the carpet. But, rather, those dark spots are from the likes of Connor, who was laughing so hard he knocked over his soda; or from Anna, who was reaching for her physics notebook when she pushed the ketchup off the table; or Elizabeth, whose giant laptop took up too much space and sent her salad tumbling to the floor. The Winston Room would tell you that those few stains are signs of affection from good times gone awry.
If the Winston Room could talk, it would tell you that the lights bordering the wall are not controlled by the switches behind the couch. It would tell you that they’re actually controlled from the screen in the back of the room, next to the big, red curtain that hides the brown folding tables. But the Winston Room would only tell you this after watching you mess with all of the light switches with slight embarrassment as everyone else in the room stares at you. It likes to play tricks in that way.
If the Winston Room could talk, it would tell you not to hastily plop yourself onto the orange and red couches because they are not as cushy as they look. It would tell you that if you decided to plop onto them anyway, you would be met with a much more solid landing than anticipated, and you would hear the air slowly seep from the cushions under your body. It would tell you that the couches are very cozy, but only for slow, gentle seaters.
If the Winston Room could talk, it would tell you that the far corner table to the left of the light screen is right next to the sensor that tells the movie screen when it’s been lowered far enough. It would tell you that the noise you hear while sitting at that table is the sensor, clicking each time someone passes in front of it, and in order to stop the noise, you must move the curtain in front of it, or just endure a constant click, click, click.
If the Winston Room could talk, it would tell you that the second floor is closed for now, but under normal circumstances, it is the best place to eat lunch. It would add that, in addition to the fun high-top tables, the second floor offers the best people-watching views, allowing you a first-class seat to all the life-long friend making through laughter, studying, movie-watching, and the occasional food spilling and stain making.
If the Winston Room could talk, it would say that it loves its regulars—the boy who sits on the couch every day after dinner, the girl who charges her laptop at the wall outlet in the wooden chairs, and the group of friends who meet there at any available hour. It would say that, right now, it’s missing some of those regulars—some who graduated and some who are off campus—as we experience limited capacity on campus to minimize risks of coronavirus infection.
If the Winston Room could talk, it would tell you that it misses St. Lawrence at full capacity, the friend groups who would meet within its walls every night for conversation and a side of homework, and the group of friends who would spend more time on its couches than their own dorm rooms.
If the Winston Room could talk, it would say “see you soon” to those off campus and “welcome” to those who are here. It would say that despite the challenges presented in 2020, St. Lawrence students will be back to its cozy couches and inviting atmosphere soon enough, if they aren’t back already. If the Winston Room could talk, it would tell you that there will be plenty more laughter-induced spillage, plenty more accidental light switch flipping and ill-advised couch plopping, and good times gone awry to come.