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H is for Hot & Hairy

Think back to finals week. I know, I know: it hurts a bit. But try. Remember thinking that you were being shadowed by Burt Reynolds look-alikes? Did it feel like everywhere you turned you were bumping into Magnum P.I.? The good news: 25 hours of finals in five days had not caused you to lose your mind. You were indeed seeing beards and mustaches everywhere you looked. And you have the men of Section H to thank.

Syl Apps, an expert on facial hair since the third grade, came up with the groundbreaking idea of a beards and mustache contest. The last day of class, men were expected to arrive clean-shaven, submit themselves to a photograph for proof, and cough up $5 to enter the contest. Until the Friday of finals, they sat back and let the hair grow. And grow it did. At least for most (sorry, baby facers Carl and the Gregs). Friday afternoon H’ers crowded into the Spangler Grille to judge the results. Rich Thomas came away the big winner with more facial hair than most men can grow in a month. Rich, our resident Career Rep, promises a repeat performance for Interview Week. While Rich took home the cash, there were also some impressive runners-up: frightening mustaches from Guy “Thomke” Yamen and Michael “CEO” Graffeo, red beards from Dan Fink and Class of 2006 Social Chair Alex Michael, and truly unique looks from the esteemed Senator Bud “Bacarat” Bhattacharyya, Andy “Sean Penn” Kay, and Michael “I don’t look so sweet anymore” Mettler.

What does this contest say about Section H? That we’re hot? Sure. That we’re hairy? Absolutely. And a little odd? Without a doubt. But in a good way.

H’ers are also all about growing the Section H family. We had not one H Junior born over the break but two. Patiently waiting to enter the world until right after his father had finished his last final was Stephen Spadini, son of Rosanna and Alex. Our second addition to the growing H family came when James “the Doctor” Good and his wife Amanda (who many know from Shad) welcomed their daughter Lily Diane.

Not to be outdone by those becoming parents, Garrett Lewis and Clara Veniard each added a ring-wearing partner to their classcard. After being hounded by Intramural chair-throwing champ Edd Hendee at the fall retreat to Vermont with, “Where’s the ring?!?” Garrett Lewis made it official in mid-January by asking Amelia Blevins to marry him. Amelia and Garrett, both from Kingsport, Tennessee, dated in high school and then got back together ten years later. Far from Tennessee, Clara Veniard met Hugh Campbell in Nicaragua where they were both doing Peace Corps.

Hugh, a great guy despite the fact that he is a first-year at Wharton, popped the question during the break. All ninety of us are invited to the weddings, right?

While some were busy with babies and engagements, most H’ers were busy trying to find Carmen San Diego by traveling the world during winter break. Omar Williams and Andrea Mitchell went on what must have been a grueling trek to Trinidad and Tobago. Lucy Jacobs, Greg Tademoto and Irina Zeltser went on the India Trek. Caitrin Moran, Cassie Kearney, Doyl Burkett, Greg Galligan, Bruce McEvoy, and Mans(el) Larsson all traveled to Argentina. Gita Swamy who went on the WesTrek hurried back to Boston to help her husband Sanjay prep for his appearance on CNN.
Sanjay, a professor at MIT, was discussing the top 25 innovations of our
time.

Speaking of the top 25 innovations of our time, section H probably falls somewhere between the personal computer and hot pockets. While this debate could rage on, what is clearly undebatable is how fortunate we are to have such a gifted group of sectionmates. Here’s to bigger, hairier things in ’05.

January 31, 2005
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