As we all know, everything in the world has its opposite: every Superman has his Bizarro, Mr. Glass his David Dunn, Pepsi its Crystal Pepsi. Fletcher is no different, and it’s around this time each year that rumblings of Disorientation Week (“Dis-O,” in the parlance of our times) start hitting the internal streams. Dis-O acts as a graduating-student counterweight to the beginning of students’ time at Fletcher, Flexo to orientation week’s Bender. Taking place after finals but before commencement, Dis-O is a communal release valve for graduating students to spend a bit of time together doing anything other than reading, writing papers, and meeting with study groups.
Unlike orientation, which is mandatory for all new students, pretty tightly scheduled, and full of a lot of important information, Dis-O is completely optional, open to all of Fletcher (including first-year students who may still be on campus), loosely organized, and serves no higher purpose beyond providing a bunch of opportunities to hang out with your Fletcher pals in stress-free bliss before everyone heads off into the world to officially join the Fletcher alumni community. Activities vary some from year to year, but typically kick off with the annual Diplomats’ Ball (or “Dip Ball.” Extraneous syllables are fast casualties around here), a formal evening affair held at a select Boston waterfront location. Another reliable mainstay is a barbecue in the Blakeley Hall courtyard, featuring an end-of-year show by Los Fletcheros, a Fletcher musical institution. Students will volunteer to organize a variety of events in the intervening days, which in the past have included local tourism (walking the Freedom Trail can be logistically tricky and pretty chilly during December finals), pick-up sports, video game challenges, Red Sox games, dinners, pub crawls, and area shows.
This year’s Dis-O is still in its germinal stages – there remain capstones to write and finals to take, after all – but early indications are that it will be a week full of merriment and goofing off, as usual. And for those who can’t summon the energy to, like, move around, go places, and do things, lying about in the grass on Fletcher field is also an option. You’ve earned it, graduates!