Reedies construct half-ton stick of chalk in Prexy basement
In a race against the clock and the record books, chalk enthusiasts Lorenzo Barrar ‘20, Patrick Bedard ‘19, Trevor Schlack ‘19, and Alexander King ‘19 coordinated the effort to create a six-foot-tall chalk monolith in under 25 minutes, after which the structural integrity of the chalk is put at risk.
This colossal chalk monument, which will clock in at upwards of 1,000 pounds, is currently drying in the Prexy basement in a six feet tall, two feet diameter sonotube built for concrete pillars. A massive increase from the 250 pound giant that was created during Paideia last year, the organizers also had a mound of help; over 20 Reed students rushed to the scene to create this behemoth and achieve a claim to fame for biggest stick of chalk in the Guinness Book of World Records.
“World record attempt number one,” Alex said at 1:52 p.m.. The first five-gallon bucket of plaster and water tumbled into the mold two minutes later, roaring like a waterfall that echoed and rumbled throughout the silent room.
At 2:29 p.m., ten minutes after the 25 minute mark, with three and a half inches to their goal and the chalk starting to set, the plaster ran out. Rushing against the clock, a small team dashed up Woodstock to seize the last of the needed plaster.
“Clear the way fast, we need to hurry!” Lorenzo exclaimed as the car returned twelve minutes later. With the last bucket, the chalk mold overflowed, spilling onto the floor in what should be a victory for Reed students in setting the Guinness world record.
So what happens next?
The creation will take about a month to dry before witnesses can measure the finished monument, but the record-breaking Reedies are hopeful that their creation will pass the test. As to what will become of the towering monument of chalk, and last year’s predecessor, their fates remain unknown.
Last year’s 250 pound chalk giant lies in wait at an undisclosed location on campus, a contentious debate circling its future.
“We might destroy it with a sledgehammer. If anyone wants to carve it, too. We’re still not sure though. There’s a lot of influence from the pro-sledgehammer lobby,” Lorenzo said.
This year’s chalk titan, on the other hand, has yet to find a way out of the Prexy basement in one piece. From departmental display to total destruction, of which many hope for display, the Reedies involved with their creation have a few ideas.
One student suggested, in jest, to carve the chalk like marble. “A big statue of John Kroger, and then ship it to him at Harvard and make him put it in his office on top of the rug. It would be kind of cool if it became a Reed artifact, if it was stable enough as it is. We definitely couldn’t fight over it on the great lawn,” Lorenzo said. “But I don’t know, I hope I’ll come here in ten years and have it still be here.”