By Margaret Cheng
If you were walking on the Quad in the afternoon of Monday, February 25, you would have witnessed thousands of people on the grass, and some of them were even dressed like characters from movies. What made people so crazy on a day full of class? What made so many people wait on the Quad with interesting customs? What made some professors dismiss their lectures early to let students have the opportunity to be on the Quad? The answer is: Ellen Degeneres!
After Ellen posted several tweets about a big surprise on Monday at Quad for University of Illinois students, and promised awards for the students dressed like their favorite movie characters, students got all excited and couldn’t wait to see their favorite talk show celebrity. Many of them posted on facebook to ask their friends whether they want to gather together to participate in the event.
It was from my friend’s post on facebook that I learned about the event in the first place, and it was the first time I ever heard of this name too. When I told my friends about that, they were pretty surprised. But it turned out that I was not the only one. Some of my international friends also had no idea who Ellen was and why people were making such a big deal out of it. I guess that is because we seldom watched American TV shows. However, many of my friends knew about her pretty well. One of my friends, an international student, heard about her all the time when she was a child and likes her very much. Another friend told me that she is his favorite talk show actress. So in order to know more about her, I watched her talk show, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, on Youtube. Her warm smile and approachable style made me fall in love with her at first sight. I finally get the idea why people are so crazy about her showing up. It would have been so cool to see your idol in real life! There are also some interesting and famous talk shows in China, like Happy Camp, that is hosted by Happy family that includes five celebrities; and also Day Day Up, as well as one week Libo show, which is hosted by Libo Zhou. The talk show celebrities in China sometimes give presentation to university students and students are also excited to meet their idols.
On Monday after class, I passed through the Quad at 2 pm, and there were already several students waiting for their favorite talk show host. People were standing there excitedly and some of them were in different kinds of costumes, hoping to win the prize. When I finished my class at 3 pm and passed by the Quad, I saw hordes of students on Quad; I could hardly pass through them to get to my building! The people on the outside of the circle couldn’t see anything, and there was a student dressed as a gorilla in the tree! Although I wanted to see her too, I had three classes on that afternoon that I had to go to. Even in class, all the people were talking about her!
Although in the end she didn’t show up in person, she did show up on a screen and select the winners of the costume contest. She made an ordinary school day so special for University of Illinois students.