Saturday, July 22, 2006

Dorm room blogging

The Faculty Development thing is housing us in a college dorm. Makes me smile.

First, these are NICE, spacious rooms. Mine has two beds, so I'm guessing it's for two people. My college would have housed three in the space. But, kids these days (so I'm laughing at myself here, in case you didn't guess). They've put three rooms (two singles and a double, from the looks of the bed distribution) in a mini-hallway, sharing a bathroom space with separate single toilet and shower areas, so you could conceivably have a person showering, while one used the SSHH, and two others used the sinks. Still, at ten til eight, I bet there's a crowded feeling!

The mini-hallway doesn't feel like a suite because there's no central gathering place or place to sit. So there's the advantage of having a little more privacy and not sharing a shower space with 35 other people (the number of women who shared the bathroom on my dorm floor; the other bathroom was shared by the 35 men). But, the extra doorway and mini-hall also changes the dynamic I expect from having lived on a hall where lots of bedroom doors were open when people were around. We pretty much went in and out when doors were open, knew who was in and might go for frozen yogurt or a movie or whatever, and hung out in the central hallway as a social space. This hallway doesn't feel like a good hanging out area.

The space is also sterile with none of the noises and decorations of a living dorm. (Yes, I do remember that some of those noises and decorations weren't so pleasant, especially on a Saturday morning!) So that probably adds to the feeling that it's not a good place to hang out.

Were I to design a modern dorm (and this one's quite new), I'd make sure to put in a bazillion electric sockets, because even I manage to have plenty of things to plug in. Let's imagine your average college student: computer, printer, tv, hair dryer, clock, radio/stereo, re-charger(s) (phone and so forth). Then microwave or heating thing, electric blanket, and game thingy for luxuries. That's ten, right? So say your average student needs 7 of these?

This double room only has six sockets. You KNOW there's going to be a huge surge protector thing from each of the three outlet areas.

Sharing a dorm "suite" makes me aware in ways I usually ignore of other people's quirks and habits. Usually, I really don't care how long it takes someone to shower in the morning. But when someone announces that they need at least half an hour in the shower, I notice. And when someone wants to plan out a shower schedule ahead (for three people), I notice. I still don't really care, though.

So, I've showered and dressed, and I'm off to get breakfast. Stirrings in the shower area now, so my roomies are up and about.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I'd almost guess that you were at my undergraduate school, because they had dorms just like that. Except you can't be, because I'm pretty certain that instead of two singles and a double, that building had three singles in those suites. But the point about no common area is the key thing here--rumor had it that at the time those dorms were built, it was when student agitation was rampant around the country. The university wanted to prevent it in this new dorm, so they made sure there were no common spaces, including in individual suites.