welcome to snowball
Welcome to the Micheltorena Stairs! These stairs are a popular spot for both Silver Lake locals and Angelenos who travel east to get that perfect picture for the ‘Gram. There should be two of you here so give yourselves a huge hug and introduce yourselves once you recognize each other!
YOUR SNOWBALL CHALLENGE
Your challenge here at the Micheltorena Stairs is get to know each other through a series of activities that explores how we’ve built intimacy from our formative years through adulthood. There are three activities total, make sure to do them all!
Activity 1 - Middle School
Take the provided paper and play MASH (Mansion Apartment Shack House)! Do you remember playing this game when you had braces? Each Snowballer should go once and use the below categories, selecting four options for each. The amount of letters in your first name should determine the “magic number” for eliminating options.
Potential partner (pick celebrities if you’re already coupled up IRL!)
Type of car you’ll drive
Where you’ll live (city, country, etc)
How many kids you’ll have
What your job will be (don’t use the one you already have!)
Activity 2 - College
College is that atypically beautiful era in time where meeting a bunch of strangers is not only standard, but welcome--they are the ones that held your hair back as you barfed, gave you gum, and listened to you drunkenly spill your guts while peeing next to a stranger in a bathroom stall.
For this activity, ask the three below college-themed questions and spill your guts! Answers do not have to be limited to experiences had in college.
When was the time you barfed the most / hardest?
Describe the most awful experience you’ve ever had with a roommate.
Tell us the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happening to you on a date (can be you or the date).
Activity 3 - Adulthood
Grabbing a drink can be the first step in getting to know someone you could potentially date. Alcohol helps to soothe the discomfort of opening up and being vulnerable with them, but oftentimes the exchange can feel dull with generic questions or can feel like you’re being interviewed for a job you never applied for.
For this activity, answer with your fellow Snowballer the below questions. Select from either the NYT article “36 Questions That Lead to Love” or the Proust Questionnaire. For the 36 Questions, each group of questions has two questions total, one selected from each tier of the original 36 questions.
36 Questions - Set 1 - General Traits
What would constitute a perfect day for you?
Name three things it appears you have in common with your fellow Snowballer.
36 Questions - Set 2 - Personal Concerns
What do you value most in a friendship?
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
36 Questions - Set 3 - Self-Narrative
Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share…”
If you were going to become close friends with your fellow Snowballer, please share what would be important for them to know.
Your favorite virtue?
Your main fault?
Your idea of happiness?
Your idea of misery?
Your greatest extravagance?
Natural talent you’d like to be gifted with?
Your present state of mind?
Fault you have most toleration for?
Trait you deplore in others?
Most treasured possession?
Your favorite motto?
HOW THE MICHELTORENA STAIRS INSPIRED OUR CHALLENGE
Across the street from the stairs is Micheltorena Middle School. Monday through Friday, you can stroll down Sunset and hear the sounds of jump roping, basketball games, and of course, the whispering and laughter of preteens gossiping about lunchroom flirtations and ”who’s-dating-who”.
It’s been quite a while since any of us were in middle school, but that feeling of excitement of liking someone, having your first crush and feeling a connection with someone (even if it was just over a mutual love of after school cartoons) is still something we look for even as adults. Think about the last time you’ve had a really great kiss and thought, “Man...I feel like a teenager again!”
And this makes sense, because our need for love and companionship is arguably the greatest desire we as humans can experience. Psychology and science support this notion, with endless studies recognizing our instincts to love and be loved are not just rooted in evolutionary need, but also in personal fulfillment and self-improvement.
With apps like Tinder and Bumble accelerating the courtship process, it seems that we are inundated more than ever with the prospect and hope for romantic relationships...but the cultural zeitgeist generally questions these tactics. In Vanity Fair’s 2015 article, “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse’”, writer Nancy Jo Sales questions if these methods are helping people come together or if they are divisive in preventing us from what we actually seek: intimacy. (Did we mention we are doing this Snowball event in honor of LOVE and Valentine’s Day…?)