Saturday, August 23, 2008
Reliving the Dorm Experience
We spent last week on campus at BYU's (Brigham Young University) Education Week,(please click and scroll down) held every summer in August. About 23,000 people came this year, leaving the comfort zone of their homes across all 50 states and several foreign countries to get a little smarter about a lot of things. More than a thousand classes were offered. This year my husband and I decided to stay in the dorms rather than drive back and forth every night and every morning. Unfortunately, the couples housing was torn down for renovations, so we had to stay in different dorms. His roommie was a crazy man (I don't mean strange, but really crazy) who babbled all night and then snored like a jet engine. I had no room mate, so I could run around naked, fart and snore to my heart's content. The bed was as hard as a slab of granite, but there were lots of drawers to hold my levi's and socks, and a sink to wash up in. The bathroom and showers were only two doors down. I left every morning with the top half of me smelling of Calgon's sweet Hawaiian Ginger lotion and the bottom half smelling like Dr. Woo's Chinese liniment for my bad back. (Of course, my previous dorm experience, fifty years ago, I only smelled of Ivory Soap and baby powder...). Oh, think of the estrogen and perfume smell we left in that bathroom!
Probably 70% of the participants zipping down the walks between classes were either white-haired or bald, pushing canes, walkers, or in wheelchairs, the other 30% were middle-aged women who left their working husbands home, or teenagers with flourescent red or purple streaks in their hair, their hard bodies tan and muscular and beautiful. Evenings in the dorm were interesting. There was a community room with a TV where we watched the Olympics; around the edges of the room several women pushed together card tables and chairs and played loud and raucous card games, or Monopoly. Some of the other women were giving foot massages, painting one another's toenails and giggling like little girls. There was a piano at one end where, one evening, one little old lady accompanied four other little old ladies with creaky little old voices who sang "I Am A Child Of God." It was sweet, but a little annoying to those of us who were watching Shawn Johnson get her Gold Medal.
And I found out something I have previously suspected: I am definitely a people person. I do not like to be alone. If I had to live alone for longer than a week I would be as crazy as my husband's room mate. Alone in my room, I munched, looked over my notes, I read, and I wrote a little --well, a long--poem for Rick Mobbs Storybook.
(Oh, and I forgot to mention that our dorm was a MEN'S dorm. There was a sign on the door that said NO WOMEN ALLOWED PAST THIS POINT!--and there were URINALS in the bathroom! How often do I see those? I can't begin to tell you how HARD it is to pee standing up at one of those! I should have got a picture.)