The lounge. is an Explosion of Self-Expression

In an effort to promote spontaneous self-expression, junior Karl Jackson organized Colgate’s first “lounge.” night. Hosted at the 1934 House on April 6, “lounge.” provided a space and opportunity for Colgate students to sing, recite poetry and draw in a friendly community without fear of being judged.

In the main room, the walls were taped over with white paper, creating a large canvas for everyone to draw on. At the end of the night, the walls were filled with every doodle imaginable. The drawings ranged from sketches of Pooh Bear or Japanese emoticons to detailed drawings of Mickey Mouse, and even a 3-D picture. On one wall there was an intricate picture of a worm with a face like a man who wore a tie around his neck and had a ghost coming out of his head, while on a nearby wall there was a sketch of a serpent-like dragon. Some people wrote messages on the wall, such as the inspiring C.S. Lewis quote, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” And tucked into another corner someone scrawled a few lines from a song, “All we are is blood and bones and sometimes a soul.”

In one darkened room, student-made films played on loop, while in another room a few microphones were set up so anyone could perform music or poetry. This was by far the most crowded room in the house, and the level of musical talent exhibited by the students was truly inspiring. First-year Quincy Pierce sang “Pumped up Kicks” by Foster the People and “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver while playing the ukulele. Her enthusiasm and song choice had people singing along under their breath and even sparked some spontaneous harmonies from senior Caitlin Grossjung. Grossjung followed Pierce in what she announced was her very last performance at Colgate. She sang two original songs and was accompanied by first-year Dylan Giustra on the saxophone. The combination of guitar and saxophone mesmerized the audience and lifted her songs to a whole new level of musicality.

Alumna Christie Flemming performed a newly-written song and impressed the audience with her beautiful voice. She was later joined by her boyfriend, Brad Bensko, in a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Trying to Get to You.” Following Flemming, seniors Chris Butler and Ben Diamond performed a cover of Elliott Smith’s “Angel in the Snow” as well as an original song about carrying on after “all you thought you knew got lost.” Later, Jackson himself picked up his guitar and entertained the group with a few songs. He sang a cover of “Voodoo” by Frank Ocean and a heartfelt version of “Your Love is King” by Sade, which he dedicated to a friend he had once danced to the song with. He was then joined by Giustra to perform an original song, which involved a call-and-response between his voice and the saxophone.

After the recitation of a few original poems, the relaxed performance came to an end and people started to move into the graffiti room to draw on the walls. Even as people began to leave, a group of people exploded into an impromptu a cappella version of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Overall, “lounge.” was a fun and friendly night that really gave students a chance to express themselves artistically.