As you probably know by now, last week was Tree Week, the one week out of the year when mascot-hopefuls dedicate all three hours of their free time to the pursuit of the greatest honor that can be bestowed on a Stanford student. And even though Tree Week has come to an end, we can still reflect on its highs and lows, to glean what wisdom we may.
Sophomore Thomas “Big Oak” Richardson kicked off the week on Monday during the lunch rush at Arrillaga, where he cleared an area, laid down a tarp, stripped naked, and let everyone present take a turn squirting condiments on his body. As one might expect, the dining staff was less than delighted and he was escorted out of the cafeteria while screaming “Big Oak for Tree!”
But competition during Tree Week is as still as Richardson became during his stunt (to everyone’s discomfort), and later that same day Freshman Alicia “Pinecones” Gladwell painted herself as a Rodin statue and hung out in the Main Quad scaring tourists as they approached to take a picture of the artistic masterpiece. Her stunt continued until sunset when the cold and dark forced her back inside, with only some frostbite damage to her nipples to show for her effort.
Come Tuesday morning, Big Oak was at it again, moving the entirety of his dorm room’s furniture from his residence in Potter to White Plaza’s birdcage, where he lived for the rest of the week. Meanwhile, a newcomer to the race, sophomore Regis Wang, rode through Meyer on a burning chariot pulled by highly trained mountain goats, also on fire, pausing only to deliver the Gettysburg address backwards.
This year’s contestants strove to stand out in the illustrious history of tree stunts by, among other things, mowing the grass in White Plaza with their teeth, scaling Hoover Tower while naked, biking all day while blind-folded, and convincing Condoleezza Rice to kiss them on camera. Yet as they entered the Band Shak to deliberate, the leadership said only, “Meh, it’s been done before.”