Second in a Series

CLASS OF 2000
Keeping Tabs on the Last Class of the Millennium

By Marisa Cigarroa


I

It is a festive scene at Paloma Hall: Red and white balloons form an arch at the entrance; a stereo blares REM’s “Shiny Happy People” and the Indigo Girls’ “Closer To Fine”; energetic resident assistants, who have committed the names and faces of their incoming charges to memory, take turns behind a large microphone welcoming the incoming frosh.

As she approaches her dorm, in fact, from the very moment she arrived on campus, Milena Flores has known that she is where she belongs.

Flores has been preparing herself for this day since the sixth grade, when she first dreamed of attending Stanford and playing on the women’s basketball team.

Before she even gets to the arch, someone shouts out her name: “Paloma Hall welcomes Milena Flores,” the announcer says, in a game-show voice.

“Wow, they said my name exactly right,” she exclaims. “Back home, people have trouble pronouncing it.”

As other freshmen stand around the outer courtyard, introducing themselves to everyone in sight, Flores calmly weaves through the swarm, checks in to the dorm and finds her way to her room. “My goal today isn’t to meet 50,000 people and learn their life stories,” she says. “I figure that can come a little later. Right now, I have a lot to do, like get my phone hooked up, start an e-mail account and get my post office box.”

But before she can settle into her room and get started on errands, she has to go to the track and the gym for a few hours of conditioning with the other freshmen on the basketball team.

Her life as a student-athlete at Stanford has begun.

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NOV/DEC 1996

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