The Things They Carried

Or, more accurately: The things I haul around in a rather abused suitcase and/or the back of a van.

Everyone knows you need to bring things like clothing and soap to college, but what about all twenty-six seasons of the original Doctor Who, a hair dryer, or your collection of potholders woven from human hair?*  As I’m preparing for the next semester, I have a new stack of expensive textbooks, fresh notebooks, and my trusty hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy (by which I mean my ChemE binder).  What else will come in particularly useful over the semester?  Glad you asked.**

The first item is one that some people don’t think is worth the hassle but that I consider worthwhile to have: a printer.  When you finish a problem set in your room at 2 am for a 9 am class, you don’t really want to leave the building or wake up early just to print.  Because the one time you’re up against an absolute deadline for a project that’s worth half your grade, the computer will take three times as long to log in as usual, your document will be in an unrecognizable format, and then the printer will run out of ink.  Not that anything like that has ever happened to me.

I also like having a minifridge in my room because one of the three drinks I consume regularly (water, milk, and juice) needs to be refrigerated.  Though if you end up with two roommates in a room that was formerly a large single, you may want to forgo the minifridge in order to fit your bed all the way in the door.  With both the fridge and the printer, it is worth noting that I get driven to and from Cornell for move in and move out so I don’t need to worry about storage and things like that.

Something that was unexpectedly useful (and also band-specific): my flip folder and lyre from pseudo-marching band during my freshman year of high school.  I had a vague idea that I wanted to join the pep band in college, so I brought along my lyre, and as it turned out, now I use it on average two to three times a week.

Useful for entertainment factor: crayons.  By the time I reached my second final this past semester, I was already tired of studying.  Great sign, I know.  So I decided to study for orgo in crayon (and then I gave in and made notecards for the different reactions).

*The answers are probably not, maybe, and absolutely not.

**Nobody asked.

A Room with a View

After four 1.2-mile-round trips between the apartment I subletted for the summer in Collegetown and my dorm room on West Campus, I successfully moved back onto campus for the school year.  In the end, I biked 0.6 miles; walked 2.4 miles; walked another 1.2 miles hauling my backpack, a full suitcase, and other miscellaneous random stuff; and got driven the final 0.6 miles.  It was a fun day.

Once I arrived at my room, I became aware that my double was in fact hosting a couple of extra guests.  They were climbing around on the window screens, but don’t worry, nothing in the room was in danger of breaking, because they only weighed about a tenth of a gram.  They also had six legs and occassionally buzzed.  Yes, we had bees in the room.  Right now, we don’t appear to have any friends visiting, but they seem to be able to crawl through cracks somewhere because our window has not been opened except to let the bees out.

In addition, our fan has been running at gale-force speeds for most of the semester so far because our room is about sauna temperature ten degrees warmer than the rest of the suite, the common room of which is air-conditioned to approximately ten degrees below freezing some inappropriately cold temperature.  After analysis, we determined that the combination of the vent placement, our exceptionally large windows, and the shape of the room prevent effective cooling.  Isn’t West Campus great?

But seriously, West Campus is nice.  I can get full meals without leaving my dorm.  I have floor space in my room (as compared to my first double on North Campus, which, among other things, featured one bed blocking a closet and the sink room door, the combination of the other bed and a bookcase leaving most of the room accessible only through a narrow opening, a chair that felt like it was going to fall apart under my scrawny mass, and a hole in the wall).  So I’m really not kidding for once when I say that I enjoy living on West Campus.  Plus, this is the view from my room: