D.C.Diary: Kids in the halls

October 30, 1999
JBKO Residence Hall
4:15 p.m.

Jordan Haigler’s bag broke for the third time Saturday, overstuffed as it was with Tootsie Rolls, Snickers bars and packs of Mini M&Ms. The five-year-old fairy princess daintily unwrapped a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup the size of her hand.

The best part of Halloween? she said in a whisper. The candy. Here, try some. She slipped me a Kit Kat bar to emphasize her point.

Princess Jordan and seven of her friends (including a Green M&M and her sister, a hot-pink cheerleader) from the academic tutoring program D.C. Reads were the guests of JBKO for an afternoon of trick-or-treating and Halloween games, paid for by the hall council.

It was a nice idea, said sophomore Rachel Whitmore, who passed out candy with her roommate Erica Pencak. Trick-or-treating here is probably a lot safer than going around through D.C. in the middle of the night.

For the kids, who meet with GW tutors twice a week for reading and math enrichment, it was a chance to stock up on chocolate and check out how the older kids live. For the GW students, it was a throwback to childhood and an excuse to buy more Halloween candy than humanly possible to consume.

Sophomore Rocky Cipriano said he definitely overbought for the youngsters who knocked on his door because he wanted them to enjoy trick-or-treating as much as he did as a wide-eyed child.

I had way too much candy, he said. I told them it was against the rules to leave any in the bowl.

The kids couldn’t argue with that. Dumping their score on the floor of the JBKO TV lounge in the post-trick-or-treat candy-counting ritual that has spanned centuries, the children were bewildered, thrilled and more than a little woozy from the sugar.

Seven-year-old Joseph Gasca said he didn’t know what to do with all of his sweets, totaling a good three-bags worth by the end of the afternoon.

Unconcerned, he tossed me a Baby Ruth and went off to join the toilet-paper mummy-wrapping festivities. Some things never change.

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