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St. Olaf Sentiments: November 7, 2014

Not too long ago, after a hearty meal in the caf, I began the trek back to my room to go mind my studies. Oh boy, my studies!

I left Buntrock Commons and continued due north onto the cold, hard sidewalk. After approximately 50 paces, give or take, I betrayed those concrete slabs in favor of the dirt path on the right that leads toward the magnificent Ellingson Hall.

As my feet were comforted by the transition to the malleable soil, I gazed down at the ground beneath me. There were some rocks mixed in with the dirt. Of course. This is only natural: dirt is just incredibly small rocks, so it makes sense that a few less-crushed rocks were able to stick around. But then I saw two larger, rectangular, grey rocks lying parallel to each other.

What? Seriously, what is that?

There is no way they are there by accident. Such specifically shaped stones arranged in such a particular way. No, this was intentional. But the question remains: why?

Perhaps the stones are excess cement pieces left after the building of the sidewalk and/or curb, and no one felt like digging them out of the dirt.

Perhaps the stones are left over from those “bricks” that seemingly every building on campus is made of. You know the ones I’m talking about? The ones that are all rugged, but in a classy, artistic, allegedly authentic way. I say allegedly because I have no way of knowing that they are real. It could be any material; I don’t know. 67 percent of bricks passed off as legitimate are actually made of Play-Doh that was left out too long. That is a fact.*

Perhaps the stones were laid down as part of some strange social experiment. You know, to see if after a period of time, people will cease to question or even notice ridiculous objects set in their path. I am sure when they first appeared, folks were all, “Oh dear, there are objects in the thoroughfare!”

But then as they faded into the ground, they also faded into obscurity. It makes sense. Even if you laid down a dying hippo in the middle of a walkway, after you step over that thing three, maybe four times, it becomes just part of the scenery.

Perhaps the stones are ancient artifacts. As you probably already know, the Hill is home to many mysterious secrets. Many centuries ago, this campus was the site for countless sacrifices and rituals. This is a fact.* Seriously, that is true.** Google it; the results will back it up.*** Those double bricks may have been part of some tiny Stonehenge type structure. Like for elves or something. An “Elfhenge,” if you will. Elfhenge®: the World’s Smallest Henge.™ Yes, that’s it.

Elves performed many tiny ceremonies in their tiny henge. Things such as tiny harvest dances, tiny alchemy, or sacrificing a tiny lion with the voice of a tiny Liam Neeson that’s just going to come back to life in the third act because tiny Tilda Swinton didn’t read the fine print of tiny magic or whatever in some stupid plot twist that nobody calls out because heaven forbid anyone dare criticize a single sentence written by tiny C.S. Lewis.

Perhaps the stones have existed since the dawn of time. Witnesses to all of existence, but never participants. Watching each of our lives unfold, in their very presence. The keepers of all stories, the tellers of none. Spectating humanity without judgement, merely appreciating the life surrounding them.

Empires rise and fall. Species evolve and die. But the stones still stand. That is what they do. The stones always have been. The stones are. The stones always will be. All hail the past and future stones.

Perhaps the stones are ghosts.

Perhaps the stones are just a rock that pokes out of the ground in two places.

Whatever their purpose be, sinister or mundane, I do not trust them.** They give me the spooks. I encourage all of you to investigate these stones and report your findings to me. I shall dedicate my life to the mystery of the stones. One day, I will uncover the truth, and that’s a fact.*

*Not a fact **Not at all ***No, it won’t

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