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90's Coffeehouse In Review

March 25, 2015

written by Erin Diaz

It’s the night of 90’s Coffeehouse, and the clock says that it’s 10:29 pm.

The golf ball shaped building is lit up from the inside with neon yellow shirts that shine like little lightning bugs on a summer’s night. The yellow shirts pace back and forth, looping the concourse of the building, running up and down the seemingly thousands of stairs that take them from the floor to the concourse and back down to the floor again. Some of the yellow shirts can be seen close together and some can be seen alone, possibly lying on a nearby couch for a bit of extra rest before the next minute comes.

I am one of these neon yellow shirts. My name is Erin and there are a lot of things about me that are not the same as the other shirts, but tonight we are one. Our shirts signify that we are a collective, and we have a purpose.

I stand in my yellow shirt at the bottom of section 120, looking around and admiring. I appreciate the props, the scenes, the stage, the lights, and many other parts of this night. But mostly, I admire the other yellow shirts that surround me.

When I see these shirts, I think of the love I have for the person in the shirt. I also think of the hard work that individual put into making this night magical and sentimental and unique.

Years ago, before I had the privilege of wearing a neon yellow shirt on this night, I wore a normal outfit and was on the outside of the building at 10:29 pm. I never could have known that the incredible, life-sized Furby that sat inside took days and days to build. Furby began with a roll of chicken wire, a piece of plywood, and some zip-ties. A few people worked incredibly hard to take these tools and create a piece of nostalgia for thousands of people. This is just one example of the hard work that goes into making Coffeehouse memorable.

Coffeehouse is not anything about the staff of Student Activities needing recognition. But I’m a senior, and I’m sentimental because some of the people who wore neon yellow shirts to this event, the event that defines us, are trading in our neon shirts for a cap and gown in less than two months. And then we go our separate ways.

But we’ll never be apart. For the rest of our lives, we will be able to say that we were a part of something. We will be able to think of those neon shirts and smile, knowing that we were a group with a purpose – a purpose to make people relate to each other through our events. We worked hard on Coffeehouse and we executed it well and, after the event (at 4 am), there was a swarm of neon yellow shirts at IHOP because we really, really like each other.

I check my phone. The clock flips to 10:30 pm, and the “No running!” yells begin. I grab the hand of the neon yellow shirt standing to the left of me, Cherish, and we say, “Let’s make the most of this. It’s our last time.”

And we’ll never forget this night. And we’ll never forget each other. And we’ll forever be able to say, “We did it. We made 90’s Coffeehouse happen.”