Oh, Hello There!12:40 AM
College makes me feel this way.
But I must be honest: I adore college life. If the two sob-story blog posts implied otherwise, I apologize for my deception. I only find time to write when life gets traumatic. It's probably a good thing, or else I'd fill up every scrap of paper with college memories -- so much so that I would cease to be a college student and become a full-time recorder of Hillsdale's awesomeness. That would entertain you, no doubt, but I'd rather live those experiences than observe them. However, now that the family is in bed and my first semester is behind me, let me share with you the highlights of college.
The Dinner Table
There are three types of tables in Hillsdale: round tables, long rectangular tables and big square tables. The reason you need to know this is because we had to calculate how many people can fit around each and which table type best suits our purpose. What is that purpose? It's not eating -- of course it isn't. It's cramming all our friends together in as close a range as possible so that we can sip tea and laugh for about an hour and a half -- the average length of mealtimes. Our table is known as That Guy -- you know, the loud, obnoxious, prone-to-throw-balled-up-napkins guy. We spontaneously clap just to get the whole cafeteria to join in. We host pun wars, pitting the resident pun specialist against a lesser-known but equally sharp wit. We argue theology and philosophy and Dr. Who. We reenact the popular YouTube video of the week and quote Monty Python. We occasionally critique papers while ignoring those who create a drink out of all the juices, candy-colored drinks, soda and tea that Hillsdale offers. We refuse to drink said concoction until peer pressure wins. And we offer hugs and encouragement to whoever slips in and out of our table.
If you plan on visiting me at Hillsdale, you will end up sitting at The Dinner Table. Be forewarned.
I swear I clean my side of the room at least once every two weeks, and the second I come back from classes, everything creeps back onto the rug. Of course, this bothers not me nor does my roomie care in the least -- our principle point of similarity. Did I mention my amazing roommate? No one else tolerates my obsessions and oddities like she. We send each other to bed, drag the other away from studies and friends (whichever seems more appropriate) and never fail to forget to answer text messages from the other. She convinced me to try swing dancing and my first all-nighter, and I -- well, I'm sure she can list several matters where my craziness has corrupted her.
In the student union, there is an elevator that opens and shuts on its own with nobody inside. I cannot explain this, and neither can anyone else.
My Study Spot
Of course, I thought I'd study in the library -- it seems so studious -- but I can't stand the library. Heaven is too loud, with people chatting on cell phones and printers going off every ten seconds. Purgatory contains all the theological books: it really is a punishment to write a million pages about something far less interesting than all those books. Purgatory also contains the gerbil cages -- a.k.a. study rooms where people can stare at you from the outside and pity your existence. Hell has no windows and all the math and science books -- fitting. It also has a book cart named Lucifer.
Needless to say, I don't study in the library on any of its three levels. I study in the student union. Actually, I don't study; I pretend to study in the student union, but what with the elevator and friends coming in and out and bothering me with interesting questions and problems, I usually don't get any studying done until I trek back to my dorm and lock myself away from the world.
Just kidding! I'm not that distracted. Not always. I usually sit in the same spot in the union from the second I get out of classes to the moment I must needs go to bed. People comment on it. It's the only way I get anything done.
My First All-Nighter
Technically, I've fallen asleep through both of the all-nighters I pulled -- the first being a missions trip to inner city Detroit, the second being dedicated to writing a paper due the next day. I have no need of all-nighters because (A) I work on papers for about two weeks; (B) I said I'd never pull one; and (C) I love sleep. However, I had several papers due in one week along with tests and lots of reading and finals to study for, so my roommate and I threw a paper writing party in our room. Three of our friends joined us, bringing balloons, coloring books and studiousness/spontaneity. We placed a blank whiteboard on my roommate's bed, which, being a relative whiteboard, could say anything we wanted it to say -- even contradictory things. That encouraged us. We ate Pop Tarts and drank soda (my first sip of Diet Pepsi killed me). We called on each other for morale support and appropriate words. And we even banged out some killer essays.
I call them "killer essays" because as of today, we have not heard whether they really were amazing or if they killed our GPA.
During finals week -- which isn't as bad as Hell Week, the week right before finals where the first all-nighter took place and all the teachers decided to make you cram two weeks' worth of homework into one -- but that trauma is now past, and I'm not talking about it anymore. During finals week, we -- the compatriots of The Dinner Table -- delegated certain times for shenaniganizing. Don't question our neologism nor our foolishness at staying up until 3 am multiple nights. Once you've experienced studying for the same final all day long, you'll understand the need -- er, compulsion -- to go crazy.
In any case, shenanigans: we're all good kids, so our shenanigans involve questionable activities such as baking cookies at 2 am to pass around to anybody walking home at that hour; sliding around the student union in our socks; reading poetry and Winnie-the-Pooh aloud; and climbing trees. Sumo wrestling might have occurred one night, but I had nothing to do with that (except laughing when I should have been compiling an annotated bibliography). At those hours, we also consume Arizona tea and ice cream in excess.
Oh. Right. School. I love school. I try not to talk about it too much because you have probably not read the Western Heritage Reader with its curious footnote about claws nor have you heard Dr. Smith read Purgatory in a Gollum voice nor have you climbed four flights of stairs to your professor's office to chat for hours about Stoicism. I don't wish to make you jealous -- or confused, which is more likely. Actually, I hope to remain so enigmatic about the Hillsdale education that you cave into your curiosity and audit classes just so you too can join the Hillsdale arguments on Hobbes and Aristotle.
Actually, I'll talk about education and such important things in another post. All you need to know right know is that Margaret Thatcher (who literally is a lady of steel on the campus quad) has feet thrice the size of mine; that the chicken and fish in Saga look very similar but aren't at all on the same level; and that once upon a time, my next-door neighbor brought home a pet leech from the science building. Welcome to Hillsdale.