REU © 2007

Things to do when you are in Potsdam that do not include water



Devil Sticks

Originally conceived of in Africa around 3000 B.C., devil sticks (aka equilibristicks or fiddlesticks) are a fun way to pass the time on not-so-eventful Sunday afternoons. They can be made with three lengths of wooden dowels, hockey tape, and scrap fabric. To use them, simply use the batons to twirl the “stick” in varying patterns and movements. When mastered, devil sticks can be used to fight off fellow REUers who secretly scheme to steal your Amish cookies.



Brownies, ice cream, and Amish cookies are the desert of choice in traditional REU townhouses. Participants have been known to eat so many that they become spontaneously pregnant. Brownieoffs tend to get very dangerous since the bribing started, however. Third parties who can judge the brownies without bias mysteriously disappear in the middle of the night, or are forced to make battle with multiple rabid chipmunks armed only with their shoes.



Geocaching involves searching for hidden "caches" with only a gps unit. To participate, one just needs to access the coordinates online for the specific area of interest. Finding the caches can be easy or difficult. There are two basic rules: (1) take something from the cache, and (2) leave something in the cache, as long as it is appropriate and not a food item. Recently, a fellow REUer turned a lazy day into payday when he found 10 cents in a cache. He did what any inspired person would do, and promptly dropped out of college to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a rodeo clown. To this day, we still don't know who the donor of such a find was. If they are reading this, just know Jimbo is grateful you helped fund his dreams.


Converse with area wildlife

Friends in Potsdam are plentiful. One can enjoy long walks through the woods with almost-domesticated deer, long conversations with flightless birds in the rain, and heated raquetteball games with grajuit stewdents. Nobody seems to be sure what kind of animal the latter is. I just know they appear out of nowhere in the evenings and can be seen walking home from their labs at around 4 in the morning. They seem to loosely grasp basic human communication concepts, and become offended when you say the words "your mom." Skunks are also so thriving in the area that one can go weeks without showering before the smell goes unmasked.


Do your laundry

Potsdam’s inner city laundrymats provide excellent settings to relax while listening to the peaceful sound of someone’s shoes banging back and forth in the dryer. Whether you are looking for friends, great reading material, or a place to sell your guns, the laundrymat is the place.


Contemplate life


Do your laundry again


Drink with locals in the laundrymat while you do your laundry


Listen to people play music about how bored they are

Once a week at a local coffee shop, locals congregate to express their pure happiness about life in Potsdam on open mic nights. Regulars include Jelly “Don’t Call Me Burnt” Toast, Joe “I only Know CCR” Bob, and Tom “Please Applaud for my Self Esteem” Jerry.