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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Todd Anderson: an Intro

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Hi. My name is Todd. I’ve got a last name too, but excepting the esteemed custodian Todd Hildebrant, and famed admissions councilor Todd Olson, I’m the only Todd at Carleton. Certainly the only student Todd. So we’re fine with first names.

Hi. Nice to meet you. You have a nice smile.

I’m a senior. I live in Colwell House. I sleep on a $10 memory-foam pillow from Target. Every night I feel like we have a good thing going, and then it forgets all about the shape of my head during the day.

That outfit fits you so well you look like a department store mannequin when you stand still.

(In a good way.)

My junior year I spent the summer studying in Ireland and the next six months in Japan. Belfast is the kind of city where your chances of being beaten to half-death and your chances of seeing an amazing punk concert go hand-in-hand. Riordan’s, in Galway, has the best seafood chowder in the world. I have shed tears over this chowder. Tokyo is an ant farm built inside of a kaleidoscope. There are always shiny new tunnels to find.

(In a good way.)
I lived in a Zen Buddhist monastery for a month. I had two brief brushes with enlightenment. The second one almost made me throw up.

You are the last three pages of a paperback bestseller. You are the only part worth reading.

I play ultimate frisbee for the Gods of Plastic. The man who invented the frisbee died last year. His coffin was a perfect circle.

Your hands are like…hands. Hands that are really good at the stuff they do. Like tying knots, or thumb wrestling, or cat’s cradle.

I like cooking. Cooking is like theater. There’s a script, sure, and some key players, but every performance is a little different, and only lives on in its audience. Other people rarely accept money, but always accept curry. Cooking is one of the best ways to be nice. And yes, you are invited over for dinner. Just make something for me before I graduate. It doesn’t have to be food. Make me a drink. Make me a picture. Tell me a story.

If I woke up married to you after a long night in Las Vegas, I would find a way to make it work.

I’m a poet, maybe you’ve caught hints of that already. I’m an English major and I’m producing 30 pages of poetry for my comps, as well as some audio and video. I’ve participated in poetry slams in New York, Chicago, and the Twin Cities. I’m an editor for The Manuscript and The Clap. I run Carleton’s Literary Open Mic, and I’m working on putting together a Carleton Slam Poetry team to compete in College Nationals. I’ve also been known to sit in Sayles every Friday with my typewriter, writing poems for people to give away with their Friday Flowers. Don’t worry, they’re free.

Let’s hit baseballs at the mountains. Everything’s an inside-the-park home run.
Now that we understand each other, let’s talk about this column. This column will be about making things, the people that make these things, and the kinds of ideas that become cool things. It’ll be about art, and film, and poems, and stories, and building your own washing machine.

I had this idea, at the end of the spring of my junior year, that this year would be the year of the Carleton Renaissance. That there would be routine improvised chamber music in Sayles during Common Time, and poetry readings with live art, and projectors projecting films everywhere. And dance, dancing to all of it.

This is a very pretty dream, and certainly a rose-colored one, but I’m not willing to let it go yet. There’s still time, there’s still time. If it should happen, if small liberal arts colleges are places where dreams become something besides poems, then this column will be about that too.

You are the bright, red Fez on the dancing monkey of life. Sometimes you feel like you’re going to fall off, but only when you forget to listen to the music.

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