August 8th 2004 A Night in the Haunted Hotel

I moved into my fall housing last evening. My room is in Vedder Hall, in the northwest wing. I’m in room 272A, which is quite a nice room—one of the bigger ones in Vedder (it’s a 14×16 room). It’s also across from the men’s bathroom, which is both a blessing and a curse, I think. It’s a blessing because it’s, well, right across from my room, so I won’t have to walk very far to get to the bathroom. It’s a curse because it’s, well, right across from my room, so I won’t have to walk very far to get to the bathroom. Now, I know what you’re saying: “Wait a second, Mike, you just contradicted yourself—how can it be both a blessing and a curse?” Well, it’s a blessing because I don’t have to walk very far to use the restroom, take a shower, brush my teeth, shave, and do all those other things for which you normally use a bathroom. The problem is, I won’t see anyone while walking to the bathroom. While I lived in Hunt, I had to walk all the way across the dormitory to use the restroom, and I met all sorts of interesting people while doing so (or, at the very least, I could be reassured that, yes, there was indeed other living beings in the dormitory). For example, there was a very friendly young woman (a chemistry student, I think), that I seemed to always run into when going to brush my teeth at night—hence my bestowing of the nickname “Toothbrush Girl” upon her. Unfortunately, I won’t run into people like that when going to brush my teeth anymore, and that kind of disappoints me a bit.

Furthermore, right now, Vedder Hall is kind of empty. I know it will fill up once students begin arriving, but for now, there seems to be me and two other people in the entire hall (one in Room 245 and one in Room 409). It’s downright lonely in Vedder right now. In fact, I kind of feel like that mysterious lone occupant of a haunted hotel, stalking from one part to another. Frankly, the whole place right now reminds me of The Shining, and I remind myself of Jack Nicholson, which is a scary thought in and of itself.

Aside from the emptiness, I’m fairly happy with my new living arrangements. As I said, my room is quite large, even for a double—much bigger than my room in Hunt, which was roughly the size of a telephone booth. The facilities in Hunt were nicer, though. The dorm floors were hardwood and there was carpeting in the hallways. Vedder uses mainly tile, and the tile in the stairwells remind me of a dank, creepy bathroom. Speaking of bathrooms, those facilities in Hunt aren’t nearly as nice as those in Vedder. The showers in Hunt are relaxing and soft; the water in Vedder’s showers come out like exhaust from a jet engine. The bathrooms are also dim and claustrophobic (like the rest of Vedder), and there’s no little shelf in front of the sink on which to put my toothbrush and razor. Still, overall, Vedder is a nice dormitory. I’m just eagerly awaiting the return of the rest of the occupants so that the place isn’t so lonely and creepy at night. (Which reminds me, if any suitable young women wish to stay overnight and keep me company, I have an extra bunk for the next few weeks.)