Monday, October 31, 2011

This One Time, At Rugby House...

As an American, a college student, and a lover of Mean Girls, I felt it was my civic duty to write a post on that most glorious and inappropriate-costume-filled of holidays, Halloween. More accurately, since today was Halloween itself and very little excitement occurred today (aside from Kim K's divorce), this post will be on Halloweekend, also known as The Weekend Designed to Kill College Students.

For, you see, someone decided this year that it was a great idea to compound the already insane Halloween weekend with parents' weekend, the big Folk Choir concert of the year, and the looming knowledge of two papers due on Halloween itself, which conveniently fell on the universally-acknowledged worst day of the week, Monday. Oh, and did I mention that I apparently have a terrible ear infection, as well? The fact that I am alive to write this post is really nothing short of miraculous. So, as Julie Andrews taught us, let's start at the very beginning - a very good place to start.

The Thursday before Halloween was, for many of my peers/all the people of Earth, the first big night of the Halloweekend party circuit. Lots of people around campus went out - to Fever, to various houses, to dorm parties. And this year, I, too, went St. Liam's. For much of the day Thursday, I had been feeling a bit under the weather. When I returned to my dorm at around 10, I noticed that the hearing in my left ear was slightly off. By 12:30, I could hear nothing out of my left ear at all, and it hurt badly enough that, any hope of doing work long since abandoned, I visited my RA to make sure my ear hadn't fallen off. After a consultation with our resident EMT-turned-assistant rector and half an hour of me complaining, I found myself in an NDSP squad car with both aforementioned hall staff members being escorted to St. Liam's. After a quick and remarkably un-helpful appointment, the nurse sent me back to Howard with a microwaveable gel pack that I'd been instructed to rest my ear on for the night. Needless to say, Friday morning, I awoke healthy, happy, and refreshed after a long night of sleep and headed off merrily to both my classes of the day.

Oh, wait, that's not what happened at all! I slept a whopping 45 minutes in total and called in sick to both my classes, then went back to St. Liam's for an actually helpful appointment. Considering the extremely rocky start to my Halloweekend, the rest of it turned out quite well. Newly restored to non-deafness, I managed to survive the Folk Choir concert with only one major coughing fit. The parts of my weekend spent actually going out were fairly successful, as well. I reaffirmed my dislike of dorm parties, got in some quality time with some quality people, had a great time judging girls for the harlotry of their costumes, and this one time, at rugby house, I got a free ride home in a limo.

On that note, random Knott freshmen, if you happen, by some weird twist of fate, to be reading this, I offer you my thanks. I hope your Midshipman friend made that 8 AM bus of his. And I'm (almost) sorry about that $9 you'll never get back. May all your Halloweekends be successful, and may all your papers be completed more punctually than mine.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Lockout

If, after my last post, you still find yourself searching for good ways to spend free time or avoid doing work, there is one more option that I failed to previously discuss: relatively major emergencies.

You see, an unusual series of events befell the fourth floor of Howard Hall on this brisk October night. Our lovely and capable RA, who shall remain nameless (but who may or may not also follow this blog), headed down to the green lounge at 9 tonight for a routinely terrifying meeting on ResLife punishments. Upon returning to her humble fourth-floor abode after the meeting, she discovered that her room key was apparently no longer functional. She tried the lock several times and even tracked down the master key for the building, but after attempts from the rector, another RA, and pretty much every girl on the fourth floor, her door remained stubbornly locked. While the crowd that had gathered discussed the possibility of a cockroach blocking the lock or a freshman pulling a particularly cruel prank, our rector made a quick phone call to the locksmithing powers that be and arranged for the campus locksmith to head over forthwith.

Until he arrived, then, our RA was locked out, and she needed somewhere to go and something to do. The remaining lockout spectators - namely, myself, another fourth-floor-single lady, the entirety of the fourth floor sophomore quad, and the RA herself - decided that the only logical course of action was to hold an impromptu par-tay in Club 421, also known as the fourth floor quad. The seven of us piled onto the couches and lounge chairs of the quad's common room, and we commenced with the good times. We collectively read the latest Domerberry post (because what else could we do), laughed about the lockout, further developed our conspiracy theories on the freshman hiding out in the RA's room, exchanged Twitter names, tweeted about the lockout, discussed our reputations in the dorm (my personal favorite, from one of the very heterosexual quad residents: "People probably see me and say, 'Who's that lesbian?'"), watched a live dance performance (put on by ourselves), ate candy corn, and generally procrastinated our lives away. About a half hour later, the promised locksmith arrived. He tried unlocking the door with the same keys we had tried and, to no one's surprise, had no luck. After "jokingly" telling our RA that she must have broken the lock somehow, he informed us he "had to go get the drill." He returned with said power tool and, as we took sneaky muploads and attempted to laugh somewhat quietly, went to town on the door. A few minutes later, he had successfully managed to get the RA's door open - by straight up removing the lock from the door altogether. He said he would bring a new lock back in 15-20 minutes, and twenty minutes later, there we remained in Club 421, still laughing and, in my case, blogging about this completely ridiculous night.

By now, it's been well over half an hour since the locksmith's most recent exit, but if he keeps us waiting for another two hours, I think I speak for the group when I say we won't mind. After all, if the NBA and NFL taught us anything this summer, it's that a lockout is only as good as its obnoxious duration...and its ability to get you out of doing work.

How To: React When Class is Cancelled

In honor of my American Studies lecture being cancelled this morning (the first cancelled class I've had all semester), I thought it fitting to write this brief tutorial on How to React When Class is Cancelled. Read, learn, and enjoy.

Professor: "Hello dear students. We will not be having class today!"

At this point, you must ask yourself the following questions.

1) Were you supposed to have a test today?
        -If yes, rejoice. A lot.
        -If no, rejoice anyway; you don't have class! (Caveat: If you pulled an all-nighter studying for said      test, take a moment to complain about your all-nighter, then shut up and go back to bed - you just earned 50-75 more minutes of sleep.)

2) Did you have homework due for today?
        -If yes, did you do it?
                  -If yes, congratulations, you are an overachiever. Consider cancelled class your reward.
                  -If no, it is your lucky day.
        -If no, your homework-ridden peers probably hate you anyway. Do not brag about cancelled class;  you may be lynched.

3) Do you like this class?
        -If yes, rejoice about cancelled class anyway. Being sad about 50-75 extra minutes of life is for losers.
        -If I even need to explain this one?

By now, you have figured out the appropriate response: joy! You then realize that you have 50-75 minutes in front of you for which the possibilities are literally endless. ("Literally" used loosely in this case. I would not advise, for example, taking a trip to Bali during this newfound free time. That would not go well.) The next order of business, then, is figuring out what to do with this time. You must, once again, ask yourself a series of questions.

1) Do you have Twitter?
        -If yes, tweet about cancelled class. Let all your followers know how much greater your life is than theirs!
        -If no, first of all, you should get one. Secondly, make up for your lack of Twitter by bragging to people in person and/or, for the especially bold, on Facebook.

2) Back to question 2 from above: did you do your homework today?
        -If yes, congrats.
        -If no, you have two options for this free time:
                OPTION 1: Do your homework. (Note: if you choose this option, you are probably a loser.)
                OPTION 2: Your homework is now not due until several days from now. Do anything but your homework. For advice on what to do, keep reading.

3) Did you get enough sleep last night?
        -If yes, see the next line, because you are a college student, and "yes" is a lie.
        -If no, report immediately back to your dorm and sleep until your next class. If you're really bold, keep sleeping right on through your next class - you worked really hard this morning in that class you didn't have.

4) "But Sarah, factoring in commute to and from my dorm and my class buildings, I'd only have 20 minutes of nap time! Not worth it. What do I do now?" Well, grasshopper, allow me to teach you.
        -OPTION 1: Report to the nearest public building (in the case of Notre Dame, try LaFun). Find a couch. Sleep there. This option does wonders for your stamina and your dignity.
        -OPTION 2: Do something productive. Homework for another class, working on a paper or project, answering month-old emails, cleaning your room, exercising, etc.
                  -Note: If you choose option 2, please also do the following:
                             1. Find a dictionary.
                             2. Look up "fun."
                             3. Punch yourself for being the antithesis of the definition you just found.
         -OPTION 3: Do something unproductive. Your options here number in the thousands. Some of your best choices include...
                             1. Facebook stalking someone.
                             2. Facebook stalking yourself.
                             3. Watching funny YouTube videos. (Recommendations: Animal Beatbox, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Potter Puppet Pals, Sassy Gay Friend, anything Jenna Marbles)
                             4. Making funny YouTube videos.
                             5. Painting a picture.
                             6. Baking a cake.
                             7. Looking up baby Halloween costumes.
                             8. Looking up Irish baby names.
                             9. Doing some online shopping.
                            10. Chili face noodle punch (see                        
                            11. Turtle backback turtle spin (see #10)
                            12. Crying about your life. Just kidding, this is not an option - you had class cancelled today! Your life is not cry-able!

And finally, if you don't like any of these options, there is one more...

                            13. Write a blog post about what to do when class is cancelled, wasting your entire 50 minutes of newfound free time. Afterwards, go to class. After class, come home and do any/all of #1-12.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Consider Yourself At Home

For the students of our lady's university, this week was fall break. The crew I jet-setted with this summer went to Switzerland. My RA and seemingly 90% of the senior class went to Las Vegas. Several more of my friends went on pilgrimage to Montreal. And I went home to Logansport, Indiana.

At first glance, one would probably be tempted to say, "Wow, Sarah, your life sucks." This is (occasionally) true - BUT NOT THIS WEEK. I do not care what my classmates did this fall break; these were the most needed seven days of my life. First of all, I slept, on average, 9 hours a night. In my giant double bed, in my own room, in my own house. The full greatness of that can't even be captured in words. When I wasn't sleeping, this week also gave me a lovely chance to pretend to be in high school again/to stalk the bejeezus out of the Swing Choir. The most valuable lesson I learned this week is that, by walking in with a moderately fancy dSLR camera and saying "I'm here to take pictures," you can justify your presence literally anywhere. What's that, Swing Choir has a community performance? You definitely need someone to take pictures of that. Don't mind me, Tri Kappa board members, I'll just be hovering behind you snapping away and quietly singing to myself throughout the whole show - just pretend I'm not here! And what's this I hear - there's a run-through of the first act of Oliver on Monday night? It's definitely necessary that someone sit there and take low-quality artsy pictures of the cast and their backpacks! And the big fall concert for all the middle and high school choirs is on Tuesday? Not only do you need me to take pictures for both the practice and the concert, you certainly need me to throw all my stuff in the best seat in the house an hour and a half before the show starts - because sorry, choir parents, you're simply not as important as the official choir photographer.

Once you've used this excuse enough times, people will actually start to consider you part of the furniture. At this point, you can start showing up to things you really shouldn't be present for without even bringing the camera along. Bdubs with the choir post-concert? Certainly! Oliver vocal rehearsal? Well, we could use an extra bass. And once you've infiltrated these circles, the opportunity arises to learn fall break lesson #2: listening to 15-year-olds gossip about their lives is remarkably fun. I listened to sophomores complain about ex-boyfriends, seniors and juniors talk about cross country creepers and about each other, and foreign exchange students talk about America, imaginary adjectives we'd invented, and, to my great delight, me. Creepy though it may make me, I enjoyed listening to their stories. It's not like I'm around often enough to tell anyone who would ever care, so between that and the fact that I'm 2-5 years their senior, they consider me an excellent confidante - and I get to listen to juicy gossip that will never cause any problems in my actual life. That, my friends, is what you would call a win-win. On a similar note, it's also entertaining to have teenage boys obsess over you, especially when they keep to a minimum their attempts to break your fingers or feel you up (both of which almost happened this week, because you just can't win 'em all).

The inevitably Oliver-infused moral of the story is that, after some consideration, I can state that this week at home was completely fantastic. I earned myself three new Facebook friends and a new Twitter follower, so it would be a success even if we considered nothing but social media. I ate at the brand-new Logansport Buffalo Wild Wings a whopping four times, which benefits both me and the local economy. I spent a lot of time reliving my Swing Choir/Thespian glory days. I watched Hocus Pocus (the best movie ever made) without feeling guilty about whatever I should've been doing instead. And, in case you missed it the first time, I slept approximately 80 hours. I'm sure that all of you other Domers had a lovely time with your Swiss lakes, your Vegas casinos, and your Canadian cathedrals. But I couldn't have been happier this fall break, simply considering myself at home.