Friday, October 1, 2010

My Criminal Past

The door to my old mailbox from Agnes Scott College sits prominently on my bookcase, reminding me of the greatest criminal caper of my life.

When I visited Agnes Scott as a high school student, I looked around and thought, Yes. This is what a college campus is supposed to look like. It was beautiful, with its manicured landscaping and stately brick buildings. The college had just celebrated its first 100 years, and the buildings told the story. U.S. News and World Report declared that we had the Most Palatial Dorms. It was true. Wonderful high ceilings, enormous rooms and well-appointed parlors were part of the package that we called home. Did I mention most of the dorms had no air conditioning? Small price to pay. We all loved it.

For the first three years of my matriculation at ASC, the post office was located in the basement of one of those palatial dorms, Walters. The mailboxes were so charming, with their antique-looking doors sporting combination dials that used letters, not numbers, and only went from A to J. I never knew the combination to my box, nor did anyone know the combination to any of the boxes. They simply stood open. This was a testament to our Honor Code, which I am certain is one of the most revered by its students that you can find. If your box was accidentally slammed shut, you had to ask a post office employee to open it from the inside for you.

When I found out that the new student center was going to house the post office from my senior year forward, I was crushed that the old post office boxes would no longer be used. Instead, we would have modern, shiny, new boxes in our modern, shiny, new student center. One of my friends just happened to be an R.A. in Walters and had *a master key* for the building. After phone calls over the summer, hushed conversations in the dining hall, and secret planning behind dorm room doors that were rarely closed and never locked, the plan was made.

A small group of us stealthily entered the old post office one evening. Screwdrivers in hand, we took our old mailbox doors. Yes, we did it. They were simply going to be removed and used as scrap metal, so far as we knew. We couldn't let that happen to our pieces of ASC history. The screwdrivers didn't work, and it took some good old girl power and ingenuity to get the job done. I don't remember how we did it, but we all got our mailbox doors.

And I have mine. It's my most treasured possession from my college days. I love to hold it in my hands and remember those four years that changed me forever. The education I received was better than top-notch. The traditions of Black Cat, throwing newly-engaged girls into the pond, and choosing class mascots are forever burned on my brain. The friends I made there are forever cherished in my heart.

So, there's my confession. Lock me up and throw away the combination. I'll just get a post office worker to open the door from the inside.