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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The glory of another ‘Blatt

<w of the almost summer moon blankets the rugby field behind the Rec Center as students arrive in waves during the pre-dawn hours of the last Saturday in May. They stand in line for shirts, a symbol of what many consider to be the best day of the year at Carleton: Rotblatt.

Since the late 1960s, what was once an intramural softball league has morphed into one of Carleton’s most recognized traditions. As a day of softball, dancing, community, music, and friendship, Rotblatt reminds all Carls who participate of the special cosmic energy that exists in rural Minnesota, an energy that not only brought us to Carleton but connects all of us through this collective experience.

Traditionally, students begin to gather behind the Rec Center around 2 a.m. They organize into lines by size, and await shirt distribution. In the weeks leading up to Rotblatt, two colors are selected for the shirts by a group of seniors who serve as referees for the day-long event. They also select the design that appears on the front of the shirt.

As the sun begins to illuminate the morning sky, the referees open the boxes of shirts and distribute them to wide-eyed students eager to begin the day’s festivities. After shirts are distributed, everyone gathers round the softball field to await the first pitch. In years past, distinguished members of the community have thrown the first pitch, including Frenchy and Stevie P.

The first pitch signifies the beginning of a day many will never forget. As the sun continues to rise, student DJ’s blast tunes from the first base dance floor, and the grill is fired up to begin roasting hundreds of hamburgers and hot dogs for hungry students. While some students return to their dorm rooms for a much needed nap, some of Rotblatt’s most die-hard participants continue to dance and rage into the late morning and early afternoon, until the nappers return and Rotblatt reaches peak energy levels.

By 3 p.m., Rotblatt is moving and shaking at its highest potential. Happiness pulsates across the field as smiles embed themselves on every face in sight. In combination, the people, music and dancing make Rotblatt a spiritual experience that words fail to describe. As the day winds down, the sun flames orange like a torch burning through the last of its fuel. Those who remain are utterly exhausted. Tears begin to flow. Seniors embrace, reflecting on past Rotblatts, knowing their final experience is about to end. Freshmen are stupefied, unable to comprehend the magnitude and brilliance of the day’s experiences. Sophomores and juniors rest in the glory of another ‘Blatt, rejoicing in the tradition they will soon inherit and pass down to the next generation.  

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