A new lifestyle

In my old home, I ate in the kitchen, slept in my room, and studied in the den. Nowadays, I eat anywhere and sleep everywhere, but I can only ever study on a couch or at a desk anywhere else on campus. Back in Montreal, I could have gone from the end of dinner to class the next morning without opening my mouth (except to brush my teeth). In my new home, those hours may be the most exciting!

I'll tell you a bit about it.

First, my room. It gets messy, it gets cleaned. I make the mess and
I do the cleaning, because this is MY ROOM! At home, there were the
standards of a higher authority. I choose the standards here. In my
room, it's okay if the floor is temporary storage. Sometimes, the desk
is the storage, and the floor becomes a very (very) low desk. I'm
flexible that way. Mostly, I return everything to its place. To me,
cleanliness is next to eating meals at regular times, which is above
handing in assignments on time, which is above sleeping at times. It's
interesting how priorities cascade.
My room is my castle -
literally! We have no door, only a choice of over or under and
developed techniques for both. I like to sit on the skateboard and pull
myself under my the gate which is my bed frame, but my roommate does a
backwards roll over the top (Korey is taller than I am). He and I agree
that our room is a cool room.
I actually have a third roommate.
His name is Corky, and he is a giraffe. I met him on a street corner
one day. He was looking sad and feeling abandoned, so I took him home
and cleaned him up. Now, he mostly hangs out in here, always there to
hold my hat with a smile.

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I expect he thinks I should tell you
about the awesome study breaks they have here. He doesn't go because he
doesn't study, but Corky probably thinks that they're swell and that
they deserve a mention.

I should start by saying that our R2s
are wonderful, caring, imaginative, and benevolent. They know when the
days get long and the uneasiness starts to accumulate. 'I didn't expect
this part to take so long...' 'I just lost two hour's worth of work...'
'I'm sick, I'm tired, I'm exasperated...' These sentiments, our R2s
understand them. They know just how to alleviate our troubles, too.
This year, between presentation deadlines and part submissions, stress
levels had begun to rise. Our R2s --  our champions -- they burst into
our halls with bowls of baked goods and piles of pretzels. They united
freshman and upperclassmen from all (both) dorms with promises of
pancakes. Boy, do they deliver! A fifteen minute to half hour break
never killed a project, but going without these snippets of heaven
could frazzle a mind. Carefully planned and tirelessly manned, these
breaks could stand alone as successful events. In the context of
relieving study fatigue, though, they are divine.

There's so
much more to be said about constant interaction with people. I can't
pick up my laundry without pausing to say hello to a friend or
classmate. It's distracting and it's hectic, but it has its upside.
Friends for walks and talks are close at hand. The answer to a hurdle
in your assignment may be next door. Somebody's cool project or
adventure is immediately your business. If you're surrounded by
interesting people you like, there's no better way to live.            

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