The Carl Online


A House for Everyone, and Me by carlmagazine
October 30, 2010, 9:38 pm
Filed under: Campus, Feature | Tags: , , ,

By Emily Ban

I was drawn to the idea of living in Dacie’s because of the open-door spirit and the warmth of community that surrounds the house. Admittedly, part of the draw was that I could be paid to bake, something I always spent a whole lot of time doing anyway. My roommate (Emily Winer) and I wanted to help maintain the wonderful tradition of “grandma Dacie’s” while somehow incorporating ourselves into the house. While living here this summer, we started hosting themed Wednesday night dessert parties that were open to the Northfield community and we were amazed at how many people came each week! My personal favorite event which we threw together was the “1950’s Dessert Party” where we served banana cream pie, angel food cake, and about a hundred whoopee pies. Ultimately, I think I chose to live here because I wanted to live in a home and encourage other students to make Dacie’s a home too.

Living here has been a wonderful experience so far although it is a very different experience living and working here in the summer and during the school year. Granted, it is a rather unique living environment for a student, I sometimes feel as if I’m an RA for the entire community because it seems as though almost all of Carleton passes through my house. While it can be very frustrating to know that sometimes students take ingredients for their own use or borrow pots and forget to return them, living here has generally given me more faith in people. Truly, this house would not exist if there wasn’t such a large group of students who not just use the house respectfully but genuinely care about it as a beloved part of the Carleton community.
I’m always so happy to see students using the kitchen to bake and bond with their floormates over improvised recipes. I also love having the acapella groups here, I’m a very big Knights fan so I feel pretty lucky to get to listen to them practice as I work. I’m also very excited about our new floors and carpet (everyone should come by and see!) and I’m even more excited that the whole carpet installation process is over! It’s always slightly anxiety-provoking to change the house in any way because there are a lot of community members and alums who want the house to remain exactly as it was when Dacie lived here.

I personally think Dacie would love our new floors and would be happy that the carpets were so thoroughly used by adoring students that they had to be replaced at all. From what I know about her, I think that she would be very pleased that her house is still a home for so many Carleton students and for me.

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The Strength of Generosity: An Interview with Julia Uleberg by carlmagazine
October 29, 2010, 9:42 pm
Filed under: Campus, Feature | Tags: , ,

By Yuvika Diwan

Comfy couches. Haunting smells of freshly baked cookies. Tinkling music in the background. And now, crunchy carpets. As I stepped into Dacie Moses House, one sunny afternoon, I was greeted by a confused dog who came out of the kitchen to the living room, now decked up with a lavish blue carpeted floor. I walked to the kitchen, and as I had expected, there were cookies waiting for suddenly-hungry-stomachs, and I grabbed one (while thinking if I should grab another, and moving away before I could), and walked down from the kitchen into the little garden at the back of the house. There I met Julia, the coordinator of Dacie Moses House, cutting vegetables on the hammock, and then moving blocks of firewood, leftover from a bonfire that was used in one of the Sunday brunches.

Julia first came to the House, 22 years ago, many years after Dacie’s death. What brought her to live in this 100 year old house within the boundaries of a student campus? She was attracted to the ‘community idea’ of living in Dacies, and how a history had to be preserved within its confines. Dacie, when she was alive, was an ordinary resident in Northfield, who opened her house for students, feeding them with the best that her cooking skills could create. After her retirement, she is believed to have used her pension money to maintain the same relationship with students as long as she could. In return, students volunteered to run her errands, paid her grocery bills, and later when she was unable to bake on her own, baked for her and other students, continuing this tradition. And this tradition amazingly continues to exist. Julia calls it ‘the spirit and strength of generosity’ that Dacie has left behind. According to Julia, with Dacie’s death the ownership of the house passed on into the hands of students. Student ownership is now kept alive by her and the student workers and through continuously organized events in the house. It is an open house, which means any student can come in and make use of its services. This is one aspect that particularly appeals to me about coming and hanging out in Dacies. Even as I looked all around me, while talking to Julia, I noticed a left over cup of water, a forgotten baseball glove, an opened sheet of music and cushions that looked sat down on. The house is happily lived in by so many people, and when they walk out from the front door, they leave some imprints behind. This is a house bundled with layers of memories. Nothing lasts forever, and the house has become more and more fragile with the amount of traffic and usage that it undergoes every term. There have been many occasions when the existence of the house has been threatened by people who feel that it could be much better used. But the student energy has brought life and energy to this house and so it has stayed. There is still a lot of concern for it, not just among the alumni, but also current Carleton students, who never knew Dacie in person. Referring to the replacement of 20 year old carpets, she says,’We are just dressin’ the old gal.’

Before I left Julia and Dacies, I reminded myself to grab another cookie.