Logan Shearer, Eva Dawson and Kate Kitman pose with the product of their gardening skills. Photo by Elizabeth Eason

Logan Shearer, Eva Dawson and Kate Whitman pose with the product of their gardening skills.
Photo by Elizabeth Eason

“We all love each other,” said Kate Whitman ’14 affectionately.

It seems almost an understatement of the friendship that envelopes the three members of 1132 Main St. Apartment 1. Eva Dawson ’14, Logan Shearer ’14 and Whitman are as close as the pages of the books scattered about the living room. Bright, vibrant and warm, the trio’s friendship has flourished since they began working together to translate the Old English heroic poem, Beowulf, to modern English in their Mentored Advanced Project (MAP) during the summer of 2012.

“It made sense that because we all did Beowulf together, we would live together,” Shearer said happily.

Their love of Beowulf has been an essential element of every part of the group, including their name. The group goes by Twat-Team, a play on the pronunciation of the first word of Beowulf.

“Beowulf starts with the word ‘Hwæt,’ which pronounced ‘watt,’ sounds like ‘twat,’” Shearer explained. “So, naturally, it became a thing.”

Shearer was the one to discover the abode, and the group fell in love with their house as soon as they saw it. They even moved in at the beginning of this past summer. It was also during this time that they were able to form a bond with their new home and their new housemates.

“Because of the summer, this house is a world that feels attached to Grinnell, but distant enough [that] it feels like its ours,” Dawson said.

Dawson spent the summer working at Prairie Canary after returning from studying abroad in Prague, while Shearer did a MAP on James Joyce and Whitman did one on theater. They spent the summer enjoying the quaint nature of their house and the small, cozy porch that looks out over the sprawling backyard.

“It’s nice to come down in the morning and enjoy a cup of tea and see the beautiful garden that Logan worked on this summer,” Whitman said.

When not working on his MAP, Shearer spent his free time weeding the three foot high greenery that had previously infested the backyard. Despite the recent drought and prolonged heat, Shearer brought morning glories, forget-me-nots and sunflowers into life. Now lit by solar lamps, the flowers are artfully enclosed in a small brickwork fence.

“Flowers so beautiful, crickets have been seen having sex on them,” Dawson added.

Twat-Team fondly refers to the garden as the Emily Dickinson Garden in honor of the Emily Dickinson love letters the group read there on quiet, peaceful nights.

“It’s basically taking care of a home space,” Shearer said of their garden.

The garden, the atmosphere of the house and living as a small group has truly set 1132 apart from many of the other off-campus houses.

“The distance from campus is nice. It feels like real life, like a house community outside of the school community. It feels like our home,” Dawson said.

The three English majors often bond over their shared love of and appreciation for literature. When not spontaneously writing short stories, reciting poetry or composing recitals, the trio has ebullient conversations deep in spirit, emotion and meaning.

“We closely communicate, and we are also very open with each other if there is an issue,” Whitman said.

While some houses have sat down and planned who will make what meal on what day, Twat-Team prefers to take life as it comes.

“It is either communal for the sake of having a moment  to do something together, or on our own terms,” Dawson explained.

Shearer, a culinary enthusiast, takes even the simplest meal, instant ramen noodles, on his own terms.

“Mix Ramen, chicken, scrambled egg, crunchy peanut butter and garnish with Sriracha sauce,” Shearer shared.

This may be one of the areas with which Shearer and his housemates do not completely agree, but their love of good writing and good housekeeping have managed to keep them close.