Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Observation Essay for ENG 104

Too Easy 2C
To the naked eye, each individual would believe that every residence hall on a college campus is the same. As I walked into DeHority Complex I was entering a whole new world. I slowly slid into the recently renovated hall. With glass doors and walls a feeling of the sensation of a young child at Disney World came upon me. Soon I would find my assumptions were not far off. I was use to the “normal” college living experience in Johnson B. When my old friends from high school had invited me over to meet their new friends and show off their living facility, I was in for the new opportunity. I was introduced to the college experience of the high class as I walked through the hotel-type lobby. There was a smell of fresh paint and the cozy feeling of a home away from home sweeping through the air. Along with my friends comments this homey feel allowed me to know that I was going to be able to observe an area of unique people and surroundings.
As I waited patiently for my friends, I noticed a repetitive trend of people sneaking through the door. They would make a quick move as a resident swiped their identification card to open the door. Uneasy, I was not willing to take the risk. Instead I sunk into a cozy red chair. I noticed that paint had started to chip off from cards running up against the wall. I jumped out of my red chair and grabbed the door. Rushing, I passed hundreds of mailboxes on the right and an empty wall to the left. I realized that I needed to slow down to not look ridiculous. I never had the feeling of being an alien in a new dorm by myself. The feeling was uncomfortable, but my friends had told me that there was core group like no other. There were different majors and characteristics from the drunk to the religious one. As I continued, I saw that the wall had two water fountains. I continued up a flight of gray stairs to the second floor. This is where I started my way down the hall looking for room 243.
Just as I walked into the vanilla hallway I passed a tour group. They were visiting the dorm and it seemed biased that they were showing the dorm that has the qualities of a hotel. There were cubed wall shapes and intersects of green shapes. I also noted the two kinds of carpet on the floor. One of them was striped and the other was patchy with dark greens and grays. As in the lobby, I noticed that there was a scent of new. I could tell it slowly was disappearing because of its new residents who had brought their own smell. I came to a halting stop as I noticed two black orbs coming out of the wall. After investigating I found out that they were cameras that were posted to provide for surveillance, but no one was actually monitoring the video. My dorm did not cameras that worked, but I found it surprising that the honors college needed surveillance. I feel like these people should be trustworthy. It is funny that the people that do not need watched are and those who did not are not. As I entered the observation I knew that I was now the camera into a floor’s life.
Surveying the area, I noticed that there were five automatic closing doors around me that were propped open. After construction doors were installed for safety and because of this the hall became known as closed-door residence hall. If the doors were not opened then the halls were not able to communicate like they could in the past. With this barrier, halls would no longer share the common bond that use to be there. This floor had doors that were propped open that was seen by the connection that they shared. I walked to the doorway that was directly across from the cameras. On the floor was Kathy Heart, whom was working on the floor sewing together different colored cloth. Rooming with Victoria Scarlet this room looked like the typical girl’s room.
Living in a z-shaped room, I was not use to how close the square room were for the roommates. While it was girly the room had its own particular charm with pictures of friends and family posted on zebra boards or directly on the walls and closets. It had the smell from some kind of perfume that wafted the air. There were also several glowing stars posted around the room that should have helped make it feel more comfortable. I found that since it was a girl’s room the clutter was not all trash, but clothes, shoes, and boots lying on dressers, chairs, and on the floor. A month after Christmas there were still ornaments and lights that were still hanging up around the room. As I sat in the room I felt a little cramped, but I was meeting many new people. In any new relationship you always try to figure out how you are connected, but in this hall I was finding that all of the individuals were very different. In this new environment I found that it was not about the space. It was about sharing the space with special people.
I was introduced to Rachel Handt, who lived across the hall, but did not leave her door open. Handt had lost her roommate during the Christmas break so the room only had her stuff in it. I found that she spent most of her time in other people’s rooms. As she went into her room I caught a glimpse of a very simple and empty room. It had pink sheets and carpet, but then the door quickly closed. Soon after that Miranda King entered the room yelling about something that I did not understand. I decided that it was time to follow her down the hall to her room, the next one on the left.
On the door of her room was a Halloween skeleton and I was introduced to Miranda. She had a roommate named Amy, but she was not around very often. This room was very different from any other room I had ever seen. It seemed that each room shared it’s personality with the people living in the room. To see the differences in each of the rooms I was enlightened to the lives of those who lived within them. There was a brown and pink carpet with a large black chair. This proved that they did not care about coordinating colors. Each wall attacked the mind as it was wallpapered with posters of Johnny Depp, bands, and other pop culture phrases or icons. King had reported back to her computer to tend to her many Facebook games. While she ignored me, I noticed some spots on the ceiling where the paint had been peeled off by some sticky substance that had been used in an attempt to paste something. This room was actually messier than the first room as it looked like a stadium after people left. It was just used for living and not much hanging out. Once again the cramped room arrangement had cause for very little relaxation. It appeared to me that this set-up caused people to feel cramped. People did not spend as much time in these rooms. I decided that I had seen enough and walked into the hall.
Across the hall I met Baron von Trapp who was just leaving, but allowed me to take a quick look at the room. Being the first male room to visit in the hall, I did not know what to expect. I was under the assumption that it would be an unorganized mess. When I entered the room I was surprised by the simplistic set-up that followed the pattern of the previous rooms. Each had a closet that was positioned near the door and then beds placed against the side walls and a television setting on the counter by the window. In this room I found that it was very clean and neat, but lacked on color or spark of creativity. This room was very much like a study lounge, but it did have a flavor of Michigan with hockey, celebration, and city signs. I found that even though each room could be used as an area to hang out, they were also very easy to change to a quiet study area. In many other dorms this is not possible, but in the honors dorms it seemed normal. While it did have the look of a picture from a pamphlet, it was very silent and too quiet. I walked into the hall where I found an irritating fan that was way too loud and could be broken.
Annoyed by the sound, I finally noticed that I was being watched by a boy in a football sweat suit. His name was Frank Costello and he lived in the next room to the left with Jack Chuan. Entering the room I was hit by a smell that was like Chinese food and bad body odor put together. I did not say anything, but walked into the room and realized it was basically split into two separate rooms. One side looked like the place of an athlete with sports posters and pictures of family and friends at different events. He also had fraternity paddle and several knick-knacks that reflected his sporty personality. On the other side of the room I found it was a gamer set up. It had a Transformer poster, legos, and a bevy of paper work and nerf guns related to humans versus zombies. Both sides were slightly messy with Kleenex and clothes. This was the typical male room. The differences that split these two individuals also brought them together. They were polar opposites, but as I sat in the room I realized that they were perfect for each other. Their mannerisms were very different and this cohesion of flavors brought them together. I noticed that I was alone again. Everyone had gathered across the hall in a room that I had not visited.
I had finally arrived at room 243. This was the home of Ronald Hindenburg and Artemis Andraste, my old friends from high school. By now the room was full with all of the people I had met and some other visiting faces. Immediately walking in the room I noticed that it was warmer than any other room. I also noticed that someone had obviously taken time to make sure the room was as clean as possible. Everything was very organized and there was very little dust. The carpet on the floor had apparently been swept continuously, but had stains that marked that a plethora of people have been in the room. This is the place where the group spends most of their time when talking and watching movies.
Looking at the room, it was very nice on the eyes because all of the colors coordinating. There were several electronics ranging from Blu-ray players to game systems. The set-up in this room was very different because the beds were bunked and the desks were all across the other side. This different set-up caused more space to be available which may be reason for a cozy environment. Above the desks there were posters of different superheroes and pictures of family and friends. Walking in the room there was a feeling that is very much like a bachelor pad or lounge that was calm and very free to make yourself at home. Standing around this group of people I felt a connection to the world and the people we share it with. I realized that within a group of people everyone brings something to the table.
When in the Ronald and Artemis’ room, 2C had to decide on what they were going to do and picked up a black case that was filled with DVDs. I found that not only do they have their own individual tastes, but they were willing to share each other’s favorites. Similar to how each person was different; each DVD was also special. The case is like the hall in the way that they were all brought together in one space. It moves from space to space, but it is because the culture is shared within the building. They all live in different rooms, but their lives come together as one family group.
Coming into this experience I did not know what to expect. Living in the dorms I had my own opinion of how the system ran. People walked past each other and gave a “hey”, but that is all the further relationships would go. When I walked into DeHority Complex I felt a new sensation. As the day progressed I got to see relationships that would last forever. It was not because they lived together or they shared common interest. They were friends because came together perfectly as individuals into one group.

1 comment:

Graduation Open House Pictures

Thanks again to everyone who attended!