>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 22 – March 9, 2003

It's generally accepted as fact that, if you live in dorms and your friend gets sick, you're going to get sick as well. What separates people is how they handle this information. Some people become hypochondriacs, lock themselves in their rooms and wear air filters. Some people just accept their fate and start drinking Neo-Citron pre-emptively. Some people run to the Health Clinic asking for an immunization to everything. None of these solutions help, mind you. Everybody gets sick anyway. I suggested we stop drinking beer out of each other's glasses. People looked at me like I was crazy. At least I think that's what happened. I was pretty drunk at the time, and busy trying to make out with any girl who was sick enough not to care. Now I'm ill, the one person who doesn't deserve to be. Here's what else happened:

-You can't get food here anytime after 11pm. Anyone who happens to have a cupboard full of Ramen Noodles is instantly promoted to God-like status. It's weird, you'd think people would wisen up eventually and actually BUY food and drinks to keep in their rooms, but no one ever does. When I asked my friend Trevor if he had anything to drink, he responded with this week's Quote of the Moment: “Sure. I've got beer.” No juice, no pop, no milk. But plenty of beer. Of course, in fairness, I didn't have anything to drink either. If I did, I wouldn't have asked.

-Dorm rooms are empty. I mean, besides the computer and school books and massive quantities of alcohol and banned halogen lamp and stupid posters. Besides those things, rooms are pretty well empty. There sure as hell isn't any food in there, I promise you that much. I finally went out and bought a big supply of Ramen Noodles (“Nutritious AND Delicious, or, more specifically, neither”). I was like ‘great, now I'm set. No more begging for food and drinks from guys who certainly won't have any'. I was so excited. I ran to boil water, poured it into the styrofoam cup, waited three minutes, and then… Realized I didn't have a spoon. So I had to knock on every door begging for a fucking piece of cutlery. Nobody had one. But everyone had beer.

-Music plays a big part in college life, bigger than drinking or learning, anyway. Every student thinks they have the best taste in music, and they choose to show it off by playing it loudly late at night outside my room. I wouldn't mind if it weren't for the simple fact that everyone's taste in music is so awful it makes Barry Manilow fans look cool by comparison. Clearly, the only music that matters is mine. I say this because the music I listen to, more often than not, falls into the general category of ‘music', whereas everyone else's music would fit more adequately into a category called ‘pacemaker malfunction'. The popular music here sounds like an atonal heartbeat at 175 decibals.

-There are lots of people (alright, three) I know who brought their own turntables to the dorms and, because of this, think they're DJs. They consider themselves legitimate musicians, staying up late at night to practice their ‘scratching'. I'm here to tell you that what you're doing is NOT called ‘playing an instrument'. It's called ‘operating a record player'. It's not a difficult concept, really.

-There are also a fair number of people who saw fit to bring along an acoustic guitar. This wouldn't be a problem, under normal circumstances, since an acoustic guitar does in fact fall under the general category of musical instrument. Unfortunately, nobody seems to know how to play the guitar, so what you end up with is 10 losers standing around playing variations on the 2 chords they know and having every song they play sound like a horrible diluted abortion of “Land of 1000 Dances”. As I write this, I'm wearing earplugs and wishing I was more like Beethoven. Not in the talent department. I just wish I was deaf.

-Every Wednesday, the campus bar has ‘live' music by a group of students who are held together by a common lack of skill to form a ‘band' of some sort. I think they're called “The Talentless Hacks”. Their music is beyond awful. They sure have some big speakers, though. That's what happens when you can't sing, dance or play a musical instrument of any sort: You buy bigger speakers.

-Now Playing: “Wave Goodbye” by Steadman. Sounds great on any sized speakers.

-People always knock on my door, interrupting whatever it is I was doing. Then they ask me “What are you doing?” and when I tell them, they just nod and leave. It's quite perplexing. From now on, I'm simply going to stop answering the door altogether. I'll put a sign up on my whiteboard that'll read “If I don't answer the door, I'm either sleeping or having sex. Even if I do answer the door, I'm probably thinking about both.” Maybe then people will leave me in peace.

-A few days ago, the school held it's general elections. They've had a big problem with low turnouts in the past, so this year they had a big campaign encouraging people to vote, no matter whom they vote for. So I took their advice, went to the polling booth, and quickly realized I had NO IDEA who any of the candidates were. So I just voted for the girls with the sexiest-sounding names. Democracy works.

-I later found out that there were a few guys on the ballot who had been running for the last 4 years and had never been elected. It's not like these elections even mean anything. I say, give up. I don't even know what I was voting for, but if you've failed to get elected 4 times in a row, your name must be REALLY ugly. Like ‘Morton' or something.

-There's a lot more ‘asking out' around here than ‘breaking up'. I think that's because the guy almost always has to be the one to ask the girl out, and the girl always says no.

-It actually snowed here. Not much, but enough to have a snowball fight. Immediately, kids ran outside and started pelting each other with soggy, drooping snowballs that melted in mid-air. It wasn't even cold out, really. But everyone started acting like it was some kind of state of emergency. Call me cynical, but I don't see them closing the schools over the quarter-inch of accumulation on the ground.

-Trying to have a snowball fight with a quarter inch of snow is like using a 3.2 earthquake to rearrange your furniture.

-For research purposes, I applied to be an RA next year. Of course, after my Party of the Century last week, the chances that I'll actually be an RA are non-existent. Not that it's really a big deal. But I'm just wondering why the hiring process for RAs is so extensive. They have multiple interviews, callbacks, and role-playing exercises. Here's everything you need to ask to find out if you're fully qualified to be an RA: #1) Are you an unpopular, useless waste of space who craves an important-sounding job title to compensate for your misspent youth? #2) Are you physically capable of unlocking doors when morons lock themselves out of their rooms and of closing people's doors at 7:01pm? #3) Do you possess the mental prowess to invade on people's basic human rights by denying them the opportunity to vomit if necessary? RAs would be a lot more fun if I was in charge of the hiring.

-The exception to the RA = Dipshit role is the one on my floor. Of course, because she doesn't have a giant stick up her ass, the head RAs had to step in and intervene. It seems to me that RAs are just set up for failure. You're supposed to enforce the ‘rules' with the hand of the Almighty, while at the same time being ‘available' to students. (“Gee, now that you've gotten me in trouble for having a party, I feel a lot more at ease coming to see you with my personal problems. It's like you really get me.”)