One of the best things about being an upperclassman is theprivilege to live off-campus. You are no longer confined to asix-by-six cubicle, although, there’s just something aboutliving with another person in a tiny room that makes it a collegeexperience.
I lived in Boaz Hall my first year — enough said. J.W.,are you still there? I must give props to the RAs and the halldirector, Karen, for putting up with the rowdiest group of freshmenevery year. Nonetheless, Boaz is a great community-building hall.Kudos to the residents of Boaz for the extra effort in campusactivities. Keep the tradition (and the parties) going.
Boaz is one of the only residence halls that has yet to berenovated. I don’t blame them for delaying the process giventhe hall’s fairly accurate reputation as the party dorm.However, there are only so many layers of paint you can apply tothe walls every year before someone suffers from leadpoisoning.
I remember there being only two temperatures in our building:arctic ass-cold and sweltering hot. They installed thermostats inevery room, which were more like “pretend thermostats”to fool us into thinking that we could actually regulate thetemperature in our rooms. They did nothing for us. Yet, they hadworkmen in our hall for a week, pretending to work really hard toinstall these plastic boxes that didn’t do us any good. Isuppose that was another way of tricking us into believing that ourmoney does pay for something after all. Perhaps it was a form of”control.” They made us believe that we could”control” the temperature in our rooms, but little didwe know they were actually controlling us. Okay, so I’ve beenwatching too much of The Matrix.
During the summer, the university underwent some budget cuts.They tried to conserve energy as a way to save money, so the firstluxury to go was the air conditioning. They failed to realize thatair conditioning is a necessity in Texas. As a result, we had tobring in these large industrial fans that were so powerful, youwouldn’t dare walk too close behind them for fear of gettingsucked in. They were noisy and did nothing but circulate the hotair in the room. Some people even brought in those fans meant fordrying carpets. Hey, hot temperatures call for desperatemeasures.
In the wintertime, the heat would be on full blast in our rooms,but the air conditioning would be on in the community bathroom. Wewould be roasting like ham in our rooms, but when we got to thebathroom, it was ass-cold. Yes, it was ass-cold because the toiletseats made your ass cold. Instead of placing only two strips oftoilet paper on the seat before sitting down, I had to put threefor the added insulation.
Speaking of community bathrooms, they waited until the end ofthe year to change the shower curtains. They went all out andspared no expense with full-length curtains instead of the halfcurtains that were there before. Once they upgraded the curtains,there was no longer the fear of someone seeing that side of youwhen they passed by. I was grateful for the full-length curtains,because that put an end to the great “Whoosh!Phenomenon.” The curtain would no longer go”Whoosh!” and fly all over the place when I showered.If only they could have done something about the other 472 problemsonce the shower curtain dilemma was solved.
Everyone had that one special shower stall they used every time— not because it had sentimental value, but because that wasthe one with the minimal amount of problems. It had the rightamount of water pressure, the drain wasn’t clogged with hair,it was the only stall with a working light, Sir Cockroachwasn’t waiting for you in that one, and it was just a tinybit cleaner than the others. If that one was occupied, you wouldwait because damn it, that one was yours. The other showers eitherhad such low water pressure that it wouldn’t completely rinsethe shampoo out of your hair or such high pressure that it nearlycracked your skull.
Anytime I went home, I would forget that I was home. It took mea while before I stopped carrying my little shower tote into thebathroom. I also felt the need to wear shower shoes every time Itook a shower. There was one girl in my hall who never wore showershoes, and I’m surprised that didn’t result in footdisease.
I liked how all the rooms were connected to one ventilatingsystem. When people on the second or third floor had their”smoke out nights,” the whole building shared in their”high times.” If they didn’t blow smoke into thevents, they smoked out their windows, and we would get whiffs of itevery time a gust of wind came through.
In a way, I almost miss dorm life. I miss sharing a room thesize of a prison cell with the best roommate ever. I miss beingwaking up to the fire alarm every other week because some moron setthe bulletin board on fire or blew up the microwave. I miss wakingup and stepping outside my door, only to hear crunching underneathmy feet after the guys played football with a bag of Cheetos. Imiss sharing a bathroom with 11 other girls and never knowing whothat one person is who never flushes completely. I miss Boaz.
Ann Truong is a columnist for The Daily Campus. She may bereached at firstname.lastname@example.org.