Tug-of-War in Harvard Yard: Tourists, Ready Your Cameras


Something I have realized about Harvard is that the tourists never leave. It can be 10:30 at night or 8 in the morning, but no matter the time, the Yard is full of curious explorers.

On one of our first afternoons of Dorm Crew, the pre-orientation leaders organized an activity for our entire 200-person crew: Tug-of-War. The rope was hauled out and dragged across the Harvard Yard as dirty Dorm Crew cleaners were divided into teams. For the tourists who were lucky enough to stumble into the Yard on this fine day, they found the perfect photo opportunity- two hundred students, decked out in Harvard apparel, viciously tugging at a rope. What makes this scene even better is that all athletes were in pre-season, so the majority of the participants were scrawny little fellows.

And it gets better. The majority of Harvard tourists are Chinese. In fact, Harvard even provides tours in Mandarin. Now, if you have read any of my other blog posts, you know that Chinese people always have their cameras on them and will take a picture of anything. So imagine how ecstatic they were for this!

Just so you know, my side won the Tug-of-War. I definitely became very aware of the fact that “we go to Harvard” when instead of just pulling the rope, my team developed a “pulse” strategy where we pulled on every 3rd count. But, hey, it worked like a charm. I wouldn’t be surprised if word gets out about our Tug-of-War festivities and Harvard starts to see “Tug-of-War Champion” on future applications under Hobbies & Awards.

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