To The Grim Dell

Dear Mr./Mrs./Mx. Grim Dell (do bodies of water have gender?),

Oh, Grim Dell, if anyone deserves an open letter devoted to them, it's you. I mean, I feel everyone gets open letters on Odyssey anyway. The average TWAMP really doesn't give you the love you deserve. You aren't seen on college tours. Far away from Old Campus, it is rare Williamsburg tourists will ever catch even the slightest glimpse of you.

Your pretentious, name-dropping older brothers, the haughty Lake Matoaka and the bourgeois Crim Dell think they're better than you, but I disagree. I believe you're the noblest of the College's bodies of water. You truly represent what is best about William & Mary.

William & Mary alum and President of the United States Thomas Jefferson (yes, his titles go in that order) once proclaimed, "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." I am almost certain this quote was inspired by you, Grim Dell, by your clear, shallow waters and rocky dam. Your water levels rise and flow with the coming and going with the Williamsburg monsoons, while your dam demonstrates principle, restraining you so that your banks do not overflow and drown us all. You, Grim Dell, represent the Jeffersonian ideal.

They say personality trumps mere appearance when choosing a romantic partner. The same advice applies when talking about bodies of water. True, the Crim Dell may be pretty and scenic, but what substance does it provide? Sure, it's a scenic spot, but is it anything else? It has a bridge, sure, but it is rarely crossed, only serving as a pretty ornament during graduation. At all other times, it's too scary to traverse: if crossed alone, you'll remain forever alone for the rest of your life.

If you cross it with people, you run the risk of being stuck with them for eternity. You, Grim Dell, do not exercise evil magic that binds people together. Rather, you greet people with your cute little fountain as they head to Swem, Botetourt, or Sadler! Your rocky dam can even serve as a bridge of sorts! People also don't feel compelled to swim with you in the name of tradition.

"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." You, Grim Dell, are the epitome of hard work. The Crim Dell and Lake Matoaka had everything handed to them. The Crim Dell was pumped-up and decked-out with a reservoir of alumni funding. Matoaka had the privilege of being a natural lake that people could kayak on and rope-swing into.

You, on the other hand, started with nothing and had to work hard. When I was but a mere first-week freshman, I looked at you and saw a pitiful swamp. Now, as a fourteenth-week freshman, I can say I've had the privilege of watching you mature and grow. You went from a swamp to a fully-fledged man-made lake/fountain. You went through lake puberty and really had a #GlowUp. What more can I say? You are like the new William & Mary freshman, who went into Swem a mere child and came out a TWAMP. I love you, Grim Dell. Never stop believing in yourself.

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