Only today does it occur to me that I should've SENT them an outline of one of my conlangs.
Oh, well. Maybe next time.
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So I’ve been
finally going through the photos I took at the aquarium on our California trip, and it occurs to me that I never told y’all the tale of my sister and the Dump.
We had gone to California to get my sister set up in college at UC Santa Cruz. So a couple of days, including my birthday, were spent moving her into her living quarters.
We knew a couple of things about it already: that it was a sort of apartment with about seven kids living together, and that it was COED. When we arrived, we quickly learned one more thing about it: the place was a Dump.
Now, I realize that it is tradition for kids to live in Dumps during college. I myself lived in a residence hall at the UO for two years, and it was pretty much a Dump, as evidenced by the cockroach I caught the week before I left the first year.* But aside from the one cockroach (and the proverbial hundred you don’t see), Carson had two things going over my sister’s apartment:
2. Bathroom doors.
Yes. Apparently, this apartment was designed by some crazy ’70s commune architect with a lot of drugs and some concept of humans living naturally and harmoniously, by which I mean he put the bathroom in the hallway. Or sort of, you know, made the hallway into the bathroom. Or something. The point is, the bedrooms all open into what appears to be a miniature locker room, replete with two toilet stalls, sinks, and a shower stall.
And the housing people expect the students to keep this thing clean—when everybody knows that Freshmen Do Not Work That Way.
This was a bit of a shock to us all.** My sister is a neat freak, and she wasn’t thrilled with the state of the bathroom. Nor was she happy about the fact that, since the toilet stalls were right next to her bedroom, she can hear everything going on in them, all the time.
So Mom graciously cleaned the hell out of the bathroom, and we tried to make the best of it, and left my sister in the Dump with the hope that she’d settle in.
Two weeks later, when she was still freaking out, we decided that we had underestimated her horror. After a bit of a trip round the College Resources, we settled on a housing dude who found her a nice, girls-only apartment with a bathroom that was actually, you know, a bathroom. And last weekend she moved in.
The change has been amazing. She no longer sounds on the verge of a psychotic break. She’s happy and actually concentrating on classes. Things are going well, and she’s doing a lot better.
Amazing how environment can make such a difference, can’t it? And nobody deserves to live in a Dump, so I hereby tell you: if you don’t like a place, dammit get out. It may be the place, and not you that’s the problem.
Now if only the economy doesn’t crash so bad we can’t afford to keep her there, I think she’ll do just fine.
*Liz and I named him Ned. We wanted to keep him, but that seemed unwise, so we gave him to our RA Elizabeth. She promised to set him free far from any buildings. We have it on good authority that she flushed him down the toilet immediately after we left. Sorry, Ned.
**Especially my dear auntie, who went to visit my sister a week later and came back on the verge of hysteria. “SHE NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO LOCK HERSELF IN WHEN SHE IS TAKING A SHOWER,” she opined. “BECAUSE IF SHE IS SHOWERING AND THESE BOYS COME HOME FROM THEIR SPORTS, SINCE THIS IS A COED APARTMENT, WHAT IS TO STOP THEM JUMPING INTO THE SHOWER WITH HER? OR THE GIRLS. THEY COULD BE LESBIANS, YOU KNOW, AND THEY WILL TRY SOMETHING.” My aunt has an interesting definition of “coed.” It’s like she got it from softcore porn, except that she would not be caught dead viewing porn.