The day Harper Center couldn’t stop, wouldn’t stop moving

By Rodolfo Maciel ‘17

Rodolfo Maciel '17

Rodolfo Maciel '17

I remember when I came for First Day #1 in 2015, more than a year ago. First time on campus, first time experiencing the Chicago winter, first time seeing a live flash mob. I was blown away by so many students taking the time to practice those moves and go through the hassle of actually dancing for complete strangers. It certainly left an impression on a lot of people (if you haven’t already, look for Poets & Quants’ articles: “A Bit Of Uptown Funk At Chicago Booth”, and “Chicago Booth: Where Fun Comes To Live?”).

This year, I am lucky enough to be part of the First Day Team. And we all knew we wanted to do something to surprise the admits again. And we did! On February 5 many Boothies were shaking it off at Harper. And we also got to feature Maroon 4 (awesome band of second-years), the Booth Dance Club (they kick some serious *ss) and Economies of Scale (our very talented acappella group). It was filmed and a cool video will be released soon. Stay tuned.

There wouldn’t be any dancing or playing or singing if so many people hadn’t reached out offering their time and work to make everything happen. If you were a First Day volunteer, a Random Walk leader, or if you simply joined the dance because it’s fun as hell, you probably felt how great the vibe was. And you probably made some new friends too. I did! And seriously, thank you very much. For your time, your positive energy, your effort and your participation. It means a lot to me, to the First Day Team, to the admits, to everyone. Thank you so much!

The performers

The performers

And for all of you quant jocks and future consultants everywhere: the numbers were pretty impressive. All together, we had about 100 people performing, over 5 practice sessions, each lasting for about an hour. An hour of dancing makes you burn roughly 250 calories. So if you practiced 5 times you burned 1,250. So those 100 people burned collectively 125,000 calories. Since 3,500 calories equal 1 pound, we got rid of approximately 36 pounds as a group. If being awesome and fun wasn’t enough, joining the First Day Surprise was also a fitness effort. Especially when it’s so cold outside. (And if you don’t want/need to get rid of any pounds, just treat yourself to a Kovler chocolate chip cookie after each practice… holy moly, that melted chocolate inside…)

Even more impressive is the final count of overall alcohol consumption during First Day Weekend. Try to guess that. You are all welcome to come up with an estimate (the bigger and more detailed, the better — 2 pages minimum), and then put your work into Talal Dajani’s mail folder. If you get it right, he’ll buy you the most expensive frosty beverage available in next week’s TNDC.

And hey, we already know that Round 1 yield improved significantly! Which is of course a result of the collective effort of so many people working on so many different things, but you can be sure that if you have been involved somehow, you also helped a little. How cool is that?

Now I hope we can keep counting on all of you. There will be another “surprise" thing for First Day #2 (April 8th), and while we don’t know exactly what it is going to be, rest assured there will be dancing and practicing and all that. Join us again! And if you were not part of the fun in February, you will be very welcome in April. We are open to suggestions, too. Reach out if you have an idea. Also very open to feedback. Let us know how we can make this better and more fun.

Meanwhile, keep cruising — can’t stop, won’t stop moving. And thank you very much, again!

Rodolfo is a music nerd who had never listened to Taylor Swift (ever) before moving to the US.