By Georgia Grellier 

Welcome back to Story Time with Georgia, where I relay weird stories from members of the Colorado College community. Shoot me an email at if you want to be Catalyst-column famous.

Who: Marisa Pena-Alfaro ’20

When: Several years ago 


During Marisa Pena-Alfaro ’20’s first year at CC, the only thing standing between her and her first college Winter Break on fourth Tuesday, Block 4 was a final paper for a Southwest Studies course. Although she has “no clue what it was about,” she distinctly remembers poring over it in Worner for six hours straight, fueled only by sheer willpower and the glass-jar yerba mates they sell at The Preserve. 

I’ll reiterate: Pena-Alfaro had been sitting in the same chair writing for six hours straight, mate in hand, not pausing for even ONE bathroom break because she was so over the whole thing. By the time she finally typed out her last sentence and submitted her paper, she told me, “I just wanted to go home into bed.” 

She didn’t even consider using the restroom in Worner as she closed her computer, tossed it into her backpack, grabbed her mate, and headed towards the door to return to her Loomis double.

Maybe she’d just been sitting for too long and forgot how her legs worked, or maybe it was her rush to get back to her room and sleep. Whatever the cause, as Pena-Alfaro pushed the Worner side doors open and stepped outside, both feet suddenly slipped on a patch of ice and she landed on the ground, hard. As she sat on the sidewalk, she instantly noticed that her pants felt somewhat damp “and was like, ‘Shoot, I spilled my mate.’” 

When she looked around, though, there was no broken glass on the ground, and when she looked at her right hand, her mate bottle was still in it, fully intact. Confused, she tried to think of ways the fall could’ve made her pants wet, until she realized that her pants were warm, and she’d definitely peed herself. While it was only “enough to wet the pants” and not a full six hours’ worth of urine, it still made her walk to her dorm feel very physically uncomfortable and approximately twice as long. 

Pena-Alfaro was very happy to be able to relieve herself in an actual toilet when she got back to Loomis, as well as to be able to finish her unbroken mate. Also, if she ever gets famous, I feel like the school could probably put a cool little plaque there or something.

Anyway, hot take on yerba mates: those things are not something to mess around with. Personally, I find them caffeinated as all hell and as someone who has a pretty large bladder, even I would be careful downing one without taking a bathroom break at least once an hour. Stay safe out there.

Takeaway: Don’t step on ice. I’m serious, guys.  

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