Simon's Rock Humorous FAQ



About Simon's Rock:

Q: What affiliation is there between Simon's Rock and Bard?
A: Simon's Rock may be considered a "satellite" of Bard. This means that someday in the future, a comet will strike Simon's Rock and send it careening into Bard, covering Bard with a cloud of radioactive dust. Alternately, Simon's Rock may be considered a "colony" of Bard. This means that Leon Botstein shows up once a year to speak in Latin; in good years he'll also comment on the curious habits of the colonists.

Q: What's with the Simon's Rock logo? Is that supposed to be a pot leaf?
A: It's a tree. Really. Pot leaves don't have roots, and they don't fork. Haven't you ever seen a pot leaf?!

Q: And the mascot is a llama. What's up with that?
A: Llamas are fuzzy, smelly, and lovable. They like to be kissed by Simon's Rock faculty. It helps that there's a llama farm right next to the College.

Q: Is there really a rock called Simon's Rock?
A: Yup. It's pretty big and has been around since the last Ice Age. It's up in the woods off Drab Ave. You should check it out.

Q: What kind of a name is Drab Ave? Do people really walk up it?
A: "Drab" is "Bard" backwards; it's a satanic message. And people really do walk up it. They also bike, sled, and ski down it.

Q: The Fisher science building has slanted beams. Is that intentional?
A: Yes. It's post-modern. If you are concerned, you can donate money to support the Fisher foundation.

Q: Is Simon's Rock Y2K compliant?
A: Yes. We don't anticipate any problems until at least 2038.


Q: Am I too young to go to Simon's Rock? Too old?
A: Age is not actually that important. Most freshmen enter at 16 or 17, but there's no such requirement. Despite the "Start College after third grade" parody, you should wait until you are at least 11 to go to Simon's Rock and probably 14 if you want to live on campus. If you are over 21, you'll stick out, but you can make a good deal of money buying alcohol for "younger scholars".

Q: How much is tuition? Can I get financial aid?
A: $2much. Probably.

Q: Will you write my admission essay for me?
A: No. If you can't write your own admission essay, there's no way you'll survive at Simon's Rock.

Q: What do you think of the Allegory of the Cave?
A: See above.

Q: I have this great idea for my essay. I want to write about Plato, James Joyce, Michel Foucault, Joe McCarthy, Hieronymous Bosch, Pythagoras, and Galileo. Is that too weird?
A: Not at all.


Q: Is Simon's Rock hard?
A: The rock? Sure, lots of rocks are hard. The classes? No harder than the admissions essay. Well, maybe just a little.

Q: What classes should I take?
A: Your classes your first year will be full of requirements. You may think you have a lot of choices, but you really don't. Fortunately, most of the classes are really good.

Q: What is fresh sem like?
A: It's called first year seminar now, and it depends entirely on your professor. If your professor spent the '60s stoned and getting maced by cops, fresh sem will be a fascinating endeavor in extracting Truth from the great works of the ages. If your professor spent the '60s stoned and writing poetry, sem will be an exercise in dealing with bad poetry. Either way, you'll have to write a ton of papers.

Q: I'm a science person. Why do I have to take literature classes?
A: Because "liberal arts" means "everything but sciences". It will help develop your reading, writing, and thinking skills and make you a better, more well-rounded person. Plus when you transfer -- or apply to teach science at liberal arts colleges -- you can impress people with your knowledge of Oedipus and Hamlet.

Q: Is it true that thesis topics include things like "Dancing the Internet", "Alice in Mathland", and Neil Gaiman's Sandman?
A: It is. You know you want to stay for four years.

Q: What are the faculty like?
A: Excellent, but don't just take my word for it. Visit and find out.

Student Life:

Q: Is it cold in the Berkshires?
A: Only from August through May. At Simon's Rock you will experience rainy-and-cold, snowy-and-cold, too-cold-to-snow, and muddy-and-cold. These will occur in random order. It has even snowed at graduation at least once.

Q: What's the town of Great Barrington like?
A: One of the more affectionate nicknames is "Great Boringtown". In spite of that, there are an insane number of sushi joints and other good restaurants.

Q: Do I need a car?
A: You won't need a car, but you may eventually get tired of walking the 2 hours into town. These days, there's apparently a bus that goes to town for lazy people who want to sit on a bus for 2 hours rather than walk. If you want to travel beyond Great Barrington, you'll want to have a car to go to Boston, NYC, and NoHo, or even Albany, Harford, Springfield, or Worcester. Or better yet, find an upperclassperson who likes driving and offer him/her gas money.

Q: How fast is the Internet? I want to download music, porn, and warez.
A: Not fast enough. Go play nethack, Snood, or South Park Tetris instead.

Q: Are there vegetarian meals?
A: Vegetarians aren't meals, no matter how yummy they may look. There are, however, lots of meals for vegetarians and vegans to eat. They are slightly tastier than the meals for omnivores.

Q: Are there jobs available on campus?
A: Yes. Available jobs include answering phones, shelving books, washing dishes, and breaking, err... fixing, computers.

Q: What are the students like?
A: Simon's Rock students are unique and we think quite special. We are sometimes described as hippies, goths, punks, ravers, geeks, nerds, and stoners.

Q: Is everyone gay?
A: Not everyone. Simon's Rock is home to and tolerant of many straight people. Oh, and that whole "eating the purple ice cream will make you bi" thing is just a myth.

Q: Will I have a roommate? Will I get along with him/her?
A: Probably. Maybe.

Q: What are parietals?
A: Parietals are the monastic rule by which the Dolliverian Order, the Convent of Crosbites, and the Lay Society of Kendrick operate. They are appreciated by freshpersons who don't want to deal with their roommates' scary boyfriends/girlfriends after midnight. They are less appreciated by the scary boyfriends/girlfriends. Circumvent parietals by getting a same-sex partner.

Q: Do Simon's Rock students miss high school?
A: Some students miss high school, but most probably don't. Those who don't never talk about it, or bitch about it most of the time. Those who do, never talk about it, or over-compensate by bitching about it most of the time.

Q: What do people do at Simon's Rock?
A: Homework.

Q: What do people do for fun?
A: Sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, use Al Gore's IntarWeb, talk, eat, and do homework. Probably not in that order. People used to sit out in Siberia and look at the stars, but there's no Siberia anymore.

Q: Do I have to do drink, smoke cigarettes, or do other drugs?
A: No. Not everyone at Simon's Rock smokes. Fewer people do other drugs. And still fewer people touch alcohol -- seriously.

Q: Where can I get drugs?
A: I don't know. Ask around. But don't ask your RD or the provost, err... dean.

Q: Are the RDs out to get the students?
A: Very, very rarely. It just seems like it. Really, they have better things to do.

Q: Will I ever sleep?
A: Yes. There are breaks every 6 weeks or so for sleeping.

Q: What's the minimum number of times I will need to do my laundry in a semester?
A: That depends on how much underwear you have, whether you are comfortable not wearing underwear, and whether you are willing to pay/manipulate other people to do your laundry for you. In general, you should do your laundry before it starts to smell. Also whenever you or someone on your hall gets lice.

Q: Is there really a lice problem?
A: The entirety of rural New England has a lice problem. 85% of the population of New Hampshire, for instance, have lice, and they don't even spend all their time rolling around on Kendrick lawn and sharing each others pillows and hair brushes.

After Simon's Rock:

Q: Will I ever pay off my student loans?
A: No. But on the bright side, you can be happy when the economy is miserable.

Q: How many students transfer? Where do they go? Do they like it?
A: Half the sophomores run screaming to other colleges. A vocal minority of those who transfer go to elite preppy schools, get tired of the sports, alcohol, and lack of academics, and come back. Those who go to large state universities get lost for the first month or two or three and eventually seem to adjust. Those who go to other liberal hippy colleges smoke pot and join cults.

Q: What about the other half who stay?
A: Okay, so it's more like one-third. They complain that the town sucks, that there aren't enough upper-level students or classes, and that every year the freshmen get more conservative. But generally they are glad they stayed.

Q: If I stay at Simon's Rock for four years, will I ever leave?
A: Eventually, but you'll keep coming back, even if you say you hate the place. You might even get a job at Simon's Rock.

Q: Where will I go when I leave?
A:Statistically, Boston, New York, or the San Francisco Bay Area. Or D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, or Seattle. Or the Berkshires. You may also find yourself in graduate school, living in your parent's basement, biking through Southeast Asia, or sleeping in Nader's campaign headquarters.

Q: I saw someone from Simon's Rock on The Real World. How successful are Simon's Rock graduates?
A: Many alumni end up in social work and activism, where they are happy and poor. Many others end up in academia, where they are nerdy and not-so-poor. Still others end up in computing, where they are geeky and make obscene amounts of money. Rockers are also writers, actors, artists, doctors, lawyers, politicians, and even businesspeople.

Q: What do alumni do for fun?
A: Younger alumni tend to spend all their time blogging and protesting. Older alumni breastfeed their children and rant about education. Still older alumni dream of colonizing other planets.


Q: How much of this is true?
A: Half of what I say is meaningless. But I say it just to reach you.

Q: You're not funny at all. I want real answers.
A: Try
the official admission site.