My Life in College: The perils of living in Wickersham

Moral Mildred/Sun Star Columnist
April 2, 2013

As most of you already know, the residents of Wichersham Hall had to be relocated for about a day this past week. There was a problem with the heating system, which basically meant we had no heat. Since we all live in Alaska and the weather has been weirdly cold, that was a little bit of a problem.

For those of you that don’t live in Wickersham, let me fill you in on some things. Fire alarms here in Wick, are commonplace and expected. In fact, most of us have become utterly desensitized to the piercing, you-will-never-hear-properly-again ring of the alarm. Subsequently, when the alarm on Wednesday afternoon, I was relatively unfazed. In fact, I was annoyed it was happening at all. Thoughts like,  “I’m watching Netflix, fire alarm” and “I’m in my fat pants, fire alarm,” ran through my head as I briefly contemplated ignoring it all together and staying inside.

After deciding that I am not enough of an idiot to ignore an alarm, I calmly  took time to go to the bathroom, find new, warmer clothes and hunt for my sneakers. I have many shoes, but I wanted my sneakers and I wasn’t leaving without them. My roommate checked the door handle, commenting, “It’s not hot so we are probably fine” and helped me search for my missing footwear. This is not smart, and really I’m not promoting this kind of behavior. You have to understand though, most of the time the fire alarm goes off because someone burnt their dinner again.

Once my roommate and I were outside, we saw smoke billowing out from the second floor windows and realized that maybe, just this one time, this fire alarm was not a drill.

Being homeless, as we all affectionately referred to our states that Wednesday and Thursday, sucked. Residence Life was wonderful, making sure we all had rooms elsewhere on campus to stay and money to buy food, but it was still an inconvenience and inconveniences are annoying. I’m near positive I checked UAF alerts 500 times if I checked in once. I wanted back into my dorm, away from desk attendants and communal bathrooms and I wanted to change my underwear. I only had one clean pair left the day of the alarm, and I couldn’t exactly do laundry after being evicted.

Getting the news that the dorm was being reopened was the best day of my life. I have never been so happy to see the dinged carpet of Wickersham’s first floor hallway in my life. Even the fact that the dorm smelt faintly of soggy, boiled gym socks did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm.

All in all, this whole experience was something I could have lived without and I guess the moral of this story is this: fire alarms are serious business and I should do my laundry more often.

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