How is Information Acquired?

    Tiny Grinnell College, 1,500 students, Iowa, has a tradition called 100 days, so named for the fact that it occurs one hundred days before graduation. It’s a party, held this past year in the Elks’ hall, where seniors gather for the express purpose of kissing someone they’d meant to approach these past 7 ½ semesters but never found the moment or the courage. Hundred Days is a chance—a last chance, really—to settle infatuations, correct missed opportunities, right some wrongs.


    There are no guidelines for navigating the crowded hall, and so it starts out awkwardly enough, but it soon loosens. With the lights low, drinks flowing, temperatures rising, the scene mixes: no judgment, no consequences. From across the room, someone flashes a little smile, shrugs a shoulder. Wanna? It goes from here. First one, then two—and for some, thirty kisses that night. Worries of mono and hygiene drop from the conversation.


    By the time the night is over, a student’s world has twisted inside out. What was kept private—a crush, a heartthrob—is now exposed, your secrets spilled along with everyone else’s. There is so much to consider. Who kissed whom? Who kissed me?! Who declined a kiss and who invited an advance?



    Did you see those two in the corner going on? And what’s up with that guy who came around three times?


    Under such conditions, you’re soon up to your knees in new facts to consider. Illumination is conceivable, even probable, and with so little effort required on your part.


    Just stand there, with a willing attitude, an open mind and a smiling face, and it will come right up and kiss you.

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    © 2019 by Sam Madden